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Get the Port Out of Here!

June 29, 2010

I suppose I should update this and tell you peoples how the port removal went.

But before I do that, I just have to tell you, I am not happy about this cancer journey at all. I’ve gone through so much crap and I still have a ways to go. Today, while picking up my second set of lymphedema glove and sleeve from the prosthesis office, it really pissed me off that I had to go into an office where a person can order a spare leg.

Oh god. That just finally made me laugh about it. Finally. I haven’t found much that’s funny about this frickin’ cancer but the fact that I now know where I can get myself hooked up for a spare leg kind of makes me laugh. In a sick way. And that, my friends, lets me know that I am going to be okay.

I’ve got a gal who can hook me up with a hooked arm.

Okay. Stop it!

I can’t wait until I’m “normal” again. Which = hair and reconstructive surgery. Mostly just hair. I don’t need much. Just enough so that I can put the damned hats away. I’m not too self-conscious about the no boob thing. It’s not like I was a supermodel before so I don’t give a crap if I have no boobs. Although I’m leaning towards getting some just to make my belly look smaller.

I’m so sick of people looking at me and pitying me.

Okay. So the port removal. (Which was done in the surgeon’s office) I know you’re all waiting to find out how it went. I know I was waiting, especially after the anonymous commenter told me about how she’d grown scar tissue around hers and the doctor had to almost put his foot on her chest to yank it out.

I’m calling bullshit on that one.

I was freaking out yesterday morning. I could barely contain my anxiety. But did I take a Xanax, which I happen to have? No I did not. I was too panicky to even think about it. Instead I was sad and very crabby and my stomach was a gastric mess.

When I got called back to the doctor’s office for the pre-removal consult, I asked the Medical Assistant (who lives in my neighborhood and has children who played basketball and baseball with my kids – because, really? Am I personally connected to everyone who will be looking at my bare, freak show of a chest?) when the “screaming would begin?” She told me that there’d be no screaming, this was going to be easy.

Which is when I decided that the anonymous commenter was just mean.

The surgeon, who is a partner of the surgeon who removed my breasts and put in the port, was awesome. And funny. Lord, I needed me some funny under these circumstances. After spreading that orange stuff on my port area, he tossed the swab at the garbage can, and missed. I said, “That doesn’t bode well!” He replied, “That just tells you I spent more time in the library than I did in the gym.”

Loved him.

People of the Twin Cities Metro area, if you ever (god forbid) have to go through this crap, have I got the surgeons for you!

The lidocaine shots directly into my chest hurt like a mothertrucker, I’m not going to lie. But he was kind about it and just kept talking to me about other stuff. It took no time at all before he was asking his assistant for the sutures. I never felt him yank it out. Not at all.

“Oh! I guess there won’t be any screaming,” I said. “I was going to,” he said, “but decided not to.” (Love him!)

He showed me the power port, which is a valentine heart-shaped purple plastic thing about the size of a 3 stacked nickels, with a little line that was under 6 inches in length. The line was smaller than I thought – I kept imagining it to be the length and circumference of those stupid Jackson-Pratt drains.

I did say something about taking it home to make a necklace out of it but realized that I want as little as possible to remind me about this crappy cancer crappity crap crap. Although now that I think of it, it might have been kind of fun to bring it home and smash it with a hammer.

Now I have a bandage that I have to keep on for 48 hours (I have to keep the area dry for that long). Then I can take that off and take a shower. There’s a steri-strip over the dissolving sutures that should come off in the days following.

The area stings but I don’t need to fill the vicodin prescription he gave me. Tylenol works just fine.

One more thing the hell behind me.

Now we can begin with Hair Watch.

Did I tell you that I have to shave my right leg? I never lost all of the hair on my right leg but my left leg is bald. Did I also tell you that were I to wear a bikini, I’d have to shave my bikini line? Are the cancer gods funny, or what? All the other private area hair is gone except for the bikini line. That’s some funny damn shit.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 2:32 pm

    Gad! I’ve told this story before (I hope it wasn’t to you), but making a bracelet out of your port reminded me of a woman who had a hysterectomy and, of course, was able to get rid of her IUD.

    Her husband was a craftsman who did jewelry and stuff as a hobby. (He made beautiful earrings for his mother out of silver dimes…) He took the IUD and encased it in clear lucite, making a paperweight out of it. He gave it to the doctor, who liked it enough to keep it on his desk.

    The woman saw it there and thought it was hilarious…until she found out it was hers!

  2. June 29, 2010 2:47 pm

    HURRAY IT’S GONE!! I am so thrilled for you — and doubly so that you had an amusing doctor to keep you giggling.

    I wonder who thought it was funny to have you keep the hair on your right leg. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

    • June 29, 2010 5:02 pm

      Makes you wonder if that means I’m right-brained or left-brained! Hair on right leg = left-brained? Hmmmmm!

  3. poolagirl permalink
    June 29, 2010 2:58 pm

    I am so glad that is over! YAY for you! And you know what, dear? You never lost your sense of humor during any of this. Not to me, anyway. Still my hero!

  4. June 29, 2010 4:11 pm

    I am so happy that another step is in the past for you! I kind of wish you’d taken that dumb port outside and smashed it with a hammer. I bet that would have felt good. Anyway, onward and upward!

  5. dakotagirl permalink
    June 29, 2010 4:35 pm

    Just a stupid question. How long for your hair to start growing back? Does it start right away, or is it stunted for a while?

    • June 29, 2010 5:00 pm

      I think it’s still being killed by the last round of chemo but should begin growing again and start to show on my scalp within the next month or two.

  6. June 29, 2010 5:15 pm

    I’m sorry someone saw fit to tell you a horror story that was obviously untrue. I meant to comment on the last one, but as I read it from work, I didn’t. I know those generally come out pretty easily. Sorry I failed to tell you that! I’m just not keeping up on those comments, I guess. Anyway, I’m glad you were one of the 99%, and I really think you would have gotten an unbelievable sense of satisfaction by smashing the port!

  7. goatbarnwitch permalink
    June 29, 2010 5:44 pm

    Great milestone, getting rid of that port… I have a funny friend who has had severl chunks chopped off him because of the big C and he always lets me know when he is on another round of chemo because he is not only bald on the head (his choice in real time) but tells me he is smooth as a “baby’s bottom” everywhere… I will have to ask him about his bikini line 😀

  8. June 29, 2010 8:39 pm

    So glad the port crap is OVER!!!!!!!!!

  9. June 30, 2010 8:32 am

    I’m glad this part is over. After all you’ve been through I think you should get to request what color you want your hair to be when it grows back. It only seems right.

  10. June 30, 2010 8:48 am

    I am going to giggle about your random hairy-ness all fricken day. Throw in a spare leg and I think you have the makings for a sitcom.

  11. Margaret permalink
    June 30, 2010 9:20 pm

    I am really relieved that it was that easy for you, but I assure you that for me, the keloid former, it was not. I only wanted to alert you to all of the things that might happen.

  12. July 2, 2010 12:02 am

    Anonymous is a bitch or a dick or both!

    I am glad you have kept your sense of humor and all went well.

  13. July 2, 2010 11:37 am

    Horray, the port is out and new hair is on the horizon. What is the next step in your recovery?

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