Thursday, November 8, 2012

I've Been Deported

What an eventful day!  I went to work for an hour and a half, and then headed to radiation.  This was the first of five boosts.  The boosts are going to be MUCH quicker than the regular radiation.  They just do one blast to a concentrated area, instead of 6 blasts to various parts of my skin, chest wall, etc.  Today was the lining-up day, and starting tomorrow, it will go quickly.

After that I drove around to the other side of the same hospital to get my port removed.  I was so excited!  I'm not sure why, but I think it's because it's just one more step toward being done.  I got parked, in to the office, and checked in a full 10 minutes early.  I was ready to get this show on the road!

The nurse took me in and took my vitals, and then told me to undress from the waist up and put on a gown.  I couldn't wait.  When she came back, the Dr. was following her, as was his medical student shadow.  He started talking to the student about the fact that I was in active radiation, and they usually don't get to see patients until six months after.  Then he asked if they could see the radiation site because he rarely gets to.  Umm, sure!  Why not?  They talked as they viewed my raw skin.  Come on, guys.  Let's yank this port!

Finally, they were ready.  The nurse placed a special pad on my lower abdomen.  It was to ground me so the equipment wouldn't shock me.  Very interesting.  After that, the surgeon (I really like this guy) started disinfecting and then numbing the skin.  It was time to start!  He warned me that I'd feel a bit of pressure, and I could tell that he was slicing into me.  This was getting interesting!

As he was cutting, I said, "So...are there any rules against you giving the port to me?  I mean, can I have it?" He thought for a minute and then said, "Well, you paid for it.  Sure you can have it."  I got 17 kinds of excited!  I have friends and workmates who thought I wouldn't ask, and now I'd asked.  Not only that, he said YES!

As I was reveling in the fact that I was going to leave with port in hand, I noticed smoke rising from my chest, and I could smell burned flesh.  Umm.  Weird.  "Is that normal?" I asked.  He assured me that it was.  I then lamented, "That makes me want bacon."  By now, the whole room was laughing with me.  I love it when an act comes together.

At one point during the procedure, the surgeon said, "Wow.  This one is in there deep.  I did a really good job with this."  LOL  That made me giggle.  He was admiring his work, even as he dug it out of the scar tissue that had formed around it.  Funny stuff.  If it was so deep, that might explain why it didn't bother me, and some people complain about theirs.

Finally, it was done.  He had stitched me up, leaving only a 1 1/2" scar:

I think his stitching job was amazing.  I can only see the knot at the left side of this picture.  It will soon dissolve.  He cut along the same scar that was created when he placed the port to begin with.  The nurse offered to clean up the port for me so I could take it with me.  Sweet!  She brought it back wrapped in a towel and placed in a bio-hazard bag.  Awesome!  It sat on my desk all day:

I went back to work, grinning all the way.  I had forgotten how nice it was to visit with a doctor that I like.  I like all but one, but the one bad apple is the one that I'm forced to see once a week right now.  Seeing the wonderful Dr. Shook was SO refreshing.  I couldn't wait to tell my coworkers that I had my port with me!  In fact, I called a couple of them on the way to work!

Why did I want it?  I have several reasons.  I am weird.  They said I wouldn't ask.  I am weird.  It made me feel brave to ask.  I'm weird.  I want to freak people out with it.  I'm weird.  The nurse asked if I wanted her to cut off the catheter part (that went into my vein) and I said, "NO! Why?  I paid for the whole thing!"  She laughed and left it in tact.

I think I'll make a Christmas ornament out of it.  After Christmas, I'll fashion it into something that can hang from my rear view mirror.  What an awesome conversation piece that will be!  Yup.  It was part of my body for seven months.  I'm not going to just toss it aside.  Maybe I'll make a necklace out of it.   Wanna see it?  Do you?  OK, here goes:

See?  That's not gross!  The circle in the middle of the purple part is where they stuck the needle for blood draws and for chemo. It can be pierced over and over and over.  Such a cool little invention.  


Carlene Noggle said...

I don't think you weird...I think you ROCK!!!

Joyce Rector said...

Once again you are my hero, you are not weird.

Cyndee said...

You should have asked the student for some beads first ;-)

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