Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Any new port in the storm

Sorry, no pictures. My daughter is snarling at me because I couldn't save her Spanish IV homework on the upstairs computer and according to her, that's the only computer which an do the Spanish accents.....of course, it is also the computer which has PSE and my photos on it.

Tomorrow, bright and early, I get to go to Dayton to have a new port put in. Having had CAF in 1994, my veins were shot. In 1998, I had a port put in and had it removed just 2 years ago. After a bunch of screw ups at the doctor's office (none having to do with the doctor, just his clerical staff), I will start Abraxane on Friday.

I keep on trying to remember what the port felt like. A port makes it easier to access the vein. There's little membrane and that's where they stick the needle. No digging. No diving or rolling veins. Two types of ports are commonly used, the Hickman (which is not subcutanious) and the Bard, which is. Hopefully, I will have a Bard because you can shower, there's less problem with infection and that's what I'm used to.

My surgeon was good. He added a second stitch which prevented the port from flipping, a common problem. He never had a port flip, and the other surgeons were amazed, until he told them about the extra stitch. He said that it was a small matter of time, but for the patient made all the difference in the world. He explained this to me after he kept on saying "Mine don't flip." I thought he was being arrogant, but after his explanation it seemed to make sense. Mine was deep, it was difficult for some people to get if they didn't take the time to feel the edges, but it always flowed well.

I remember waking up in the recovery room and being allowed to put my clothes on. When I bent down to get my pants, all hell broke loose. I started bleeding like a stuck pig. No one told me I should remain upright....but I'm still wondering how one puts on pants by oneself without bending over...or socks for that matter.

I was only partially dressed and had to ask the lady who was in the bed opposite the bathroom door to get a nurse, I swear she about fainted. I was fine, just putting as much pressure as I could on my chest. They called my surgeons assistant who was a BIG guy by the name of Dr. Aziz. Dr. Aziz had HUGE hands and he put one on my back shoulder blade and the other on the front where the port was and pressed. HARD. I remember asking that someone get a chair quick. Why? I was on the verge of passing out. I had Dr. Aziz's handprint on my chest for about a week.

On Friday, I'll start Abraxane (Paclitixel in a human albumen carrier....the human albumen is derived from blood...one of those "products" harvested from all those good people who are able to donate or sell their blood. We'll see how I do. Hopefully, as good as I did on Taxol as they are both derived from the Pacific yew.

I must admit, this is a bit scary. I never have had the discomfort from cancer as I have from this one. I fear that they didnt't move quickly enough. Hopefully, this will be able to stop it in its tracks. I'll get a 30 minute infusion weekly for 3 weeks, then I'll have a week off before starting again. I'll continue as long as it looks like it is working. I'll lose my hair, again.... The biggest drawback is that people complain of fatigue. Hopefully, I'll be able to breeze through that, but I am older than I was when I first got it. There are other things that the manufacturer note as side-effects. However, the only other one my doc mentioned as being common in his office is neuropathy in the hands and feet, which I also got from Taxol, only that never went away.

We'll see. Always an adventure. Trying to get the outside taken care of with digging and lifting as best I can before all this as I won't be able to do it for a while. Hopefully, the goldfish pond has stopped leaking (we did a repair which had pretty interesting happenings) and I got the big ceramic pots in good enough shape to weather the winter. What dahlias are dug are dug. I'm not going to be able to dig any more. Oh well!

1 comment:

  1. I know it's dinnertime or I would have called, so...

    How did the port insertion go? I hope you conveyed the "extra stitch" tip. And good luck tomorrow. Feel well!