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Crooked Crown

March 4, 2010

If my life was a movie with a soundtrack, Maia Sharp’s song Crooked Crown would be used throughout:

I’m holding steady, this crooked crown.
Knowing I’ll lose it, if I look down.

I had out-patient surgery yesterday to install my port catheter, or as shall heretofore be referred to as Port-O-Kath. The Port of Kath is lovely this time of year. But the Port-O-Kath is icky. It’s this plastic thing that is about the size of a Dove chocolate (who can’t refer to that?) with a tube that leads into a vein that leads to my heart. Placed directly below my left collarbone.

Because it’s plastic, I now have to keep myself out of the microwave because I don’t want plastic leaching into my tissues. Don’t my tissues have enough issues? And I can’t be stored in a car in the summertime. You know, what with the heat and the leaching.

Wow. I am on FIRE with the funny this morning. You’d think I was still under the influence of the knock-out drug I got to undergo the surgery. Alas, I am all out of the knock-out drug. But let me tell you, I had that operating room cracking up before I lost all control of what I was saying. I also think I invited them to all come to New York with me for some purse shopping lessons.

They started it, the nurse anesthetist asked me what my favorite vacation destination was. “The tiny little underbelly of Chinatown” I wish I’d said. I actually said “New York.” But next time I have surgery and they ask me that questi0n, because they always do – I’m using the underbelly line.

So danged funny.

I know I didn’t write about my hospital stay when I had surgery a month ago. I felt too  horrible to type that many words. And now it’s just too late, too long and too boring to type up. I am thankful that I got to go home yesterday because even though my hospital stay after the bilateral mastectomy wasn’t bad (great nursing staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital!) staying in a hospital is a nightmare. And that is an understatement.

They did their best to bring me mashed potatoes and pudding, and given a normal day, I can be bought with mashed potatoes and pudding – but they are definitely not worth it for a hospital stay.

In case you were considering one for the other.

This port-o-kath feels so danged creepy. I can’t explain it. It’s like the feeling the people in horror films get right before the pitchfork is plunged through their clavicle. Something like that. Maybe a little less dramatic. I’m hoping the creepy factor will go away. If you’ve had one inserted and you can guarantee me that the creepy factor will go away, kindly leave me a comment. If it didn’t go away, don’t let me know. Just pretend you didn’t read this entry. If your brother or sister had one and it made their toenails fall off, don’t let me know.

I can’t get the site wet for 48 hours. 2 days without showers? And I have to go out in public? I fretted over that for hours until I thought – Genius! Kitchen Sink with Hose + The Big Nugget + me holding plastic over the bandage = Squeaky Clean Hair!

Next I’ll be soaking in the tub as low as I can go.

Anyone suffering from hysterical blindness right about now?


On today’s Happy Fun Cancer Agenda: Chemo Class. I’ll be back in the oncologist’s office and doing the very best that I can to not blurt out what a dump their place is. I have issues with blurting things out in 1) Class (shout out to my DCTC peeps and my brilliant teacher Susan!) and 2) the oncologist’s office.

Wish all of us luck!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie permalink
    March 4, 2010 10:44 am

    Glad you are done with the Katheter insertion (installation?) — it does sound creepy, but I bet you will find something funny or somehow advantageous for it. Maybe if you show it at the box office or cashier’s station, you could get a discount on a movie ticket or popcorn? I think there should be some sort of universal perk associated with having a Port-O-Kath. Seems like it should be worth at least as much as 10% off on Tuesdays for over 55 at Ross.

    Sending good thoughts your way … cxoxo

    • March 4, 2010 12:42 pm

      I’m just going to start flashing my chest and insisting on discounts wherever I go!

  2. March 4, 2010 11:52 am

    It’s not fair that you’re so funny, even with all this going on. But then it’s not fair you have cancer, so I guess the scales have tipped in your direction. I can only imagine the creepy factor, having a Port-O-Kath. I’ve never had one, nor known anyone who has, so no advice from this quarter, though I imagine you’d get used to it over time. One can hope, anyhow. Still sending you all the best. Also hugs.

    • March 4, 2010 12:41 pm

      Dear Little Blue Sleepy – I refuse to let cancer knock out the funny. Cancer doesn’t change who you are. Well, except the part where your chest looks like Dr. Frankenstein was high when he operated on it and I’ve got a dove chocolate sitting below my collarbone. AND my hair is going to look like Abe Vigoda any day now! It’s all good.

  3. fran permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:59 am

    Naaaah, the creepiness will definitely go away and you’ll forget you even have it. In fact, whenever I wash or dress and I feel it, I embrace it …I think it’s because that’s where the “good medicine” went in to fight the “bad cancer”. I like it, it’s sort of like a badge of… something. Oh, and I never lost any toes or toenails or such. The worst that happened to me is that food tasted different and that doesn’t happen to everyone either.

  4. Sue permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:04 pm

    My MIL said she didn’t even know her port was there a couple days after they inserted it. She said she didn’t even think about it until it was time to hook up the chemo. She finished her chemo treatments on Dec. 31, but the port is still there until after her 3 month check up.

  5. fran permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:11 pm

    No, I love YOU!
    Listen, cancer is no picnic, let’s not tell a lie, but it’s only as bad as you let it be. The medical industry will do their job and the rest is up to you.
    P.S. Please feel free to tell me to shut up anytime I go too far.

  6. March 4, 2010 1:11 pm

    Good luck! I know I am not much of a commenter, but I’ve been thinking about you a lot this past month. Last night I even had a dream about you. I can’t remember it, but I guess it just goes to show you are on my mind. I wish I was in MN so I could come cook you up a lunch or dinner.

  7. fran permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:15 pm

    P.P.S. According to IMDB, Abe Vigoda is 89 years old and still working. Not bad at all!!

  8. March 4, 2010 2:58 pm

    i had a cath or something similar once- maybe a pic line? i don’t know what it was called. mine was a little box sewn to the skin at the top of my breast and the line inserted somewhere by my collarbone. it was weird having it taped to my body. i got over it. when they removed it, it seemed as if the tube went down to my toes. it didn’t hurt but it was a strange sensation. i don’t even have a scar! but the good thing is that they won’t have to stick you again to do a procedure and they could use mine to take blood. it’s going to be okay! do you want me to make you some mashed potatoes and pudding and fed ex them to you while it’s still cold weather?

  9. March 4, 2010 3:11 pm

    The mullet wig … you have the perfect excuse!!
    C’mon, you know you want to.

  10. Agent99 permalink
    March 4, 2010 4:04 pm

    What size is a Dove chocolate?

  11. March 4, 2010 5:33 pm

    Hey make sure you stay out of the dishwasher too. If you HAVE to be in there, go for the top rack.

    I have been feeling my knee like you told me. I was going to say somethings here but it even me blush so just know I am thinking of you as I rub my knee lightly!

  12. Floweer permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:33 pm

    You have the right attitude – and on those days you don’t call me. We will get thru it – I promise. Best thing about BAA baseball – is meeting you and cheering for our kids. Now – I will cheer for you. Luv ya!

  13. March 5, 2010 12:30 am

    I have no advice. Most of us really don’t even like advice. But this is the first time in a long long time I wish I had something to offer. Oh wait….I can tell you that I’m dragging myself through my days and then you remind me to run, to jump, to rejoice, to LAUGH…and so you are doing more for me than I am doing for you.

    You should just start sending me bills. It would pay for a million trips to one’s favorite vacation destiny. When people ask me that question I say “I want to travel to happiness”. It’s really the best place to ever be…seek to drive to…and heck it’s a great place to live. I’m thoroughly convinced that it’s a place we all know our way to if we stop trying so hard to leave where we are.

    • March 5, 2010 9:38 am

      Kristy – I totally get what you’re saying. And for me, I’m so happy whenever I’m in New York! Give me hours in the Strand Bookstore or eating a sandwich in Bryant Park!

  14. March 6, 2010 9:50 am

    Kathy though I know that self radiation treatments via microwave are tempting and cost effective, I can assure you that they are messy. So please DO stay out of the microwave. Thanks for the humor you inject into your updates…

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