Chemofuckingtherapy · Surgery

No More Port!

Today was my third and final medical appointment of the week: surgery to remove my port, since I don’t need it anymore! I scheduled the surgery for 9am, because you can’t eat or drink (not even water) after midnight, so the sooner the better. What I did not realize was that that meant we had to be there by 7am! Oops! So this morning I woke everyone up at 6am to drop the kids off at Tad’s mom’s house and hit the road. And of course, it was raining and there was an accident. We got there shortly after 7, which was puh-lenty of time.

Before the port was removed.

Ironically, very few medical personnel are trained on how to use the port. I was admonished strictly not to let ANYONE use my port except for the oncology nurses. Even if this was not the case, I suspect they would not have used the port right before it was going to be removed. All this meant that to draw my labs, they had to do it the old fashioned way: by trying to find a vein in my arm. As I was lying on the gurney in the admitting area, in walks Henry (not his real name)! You remember Henry, the sweet older gentleman phlebotomist from when I had the port installed. I reminded him that the last time I was there he and the nurse were both unsuccessful in getting any blood out of me. Well, this time was no different – no blood came out. I don’t know why this is happening. Fortunately, this time, he gave up after only two tries.

Ready to go!

Both my vascular surgeon and the anesthesiologist came by and agreed that we’d skip the labs since it’s such a minor surgery; and in fact they’d sedate me instead of using general anesthesia this time. The anesthesiologist was looking over my previous labs that are only a few weeks old – but critically, prior to my last round of chemo – and commented that my blood counts were a little low. Well, yeah… I was in the middle of chemotherapy, I told him. Oh, ok, that makes sense then…

They wheeled me back and got started. The operating room was very cold, but they immediately put a blanket on me that blew warm air. They strapped me down, including strapping my arms onto boards. They put on a blood pressure cuff and the first time it did its thing, holy shit it hurt – they said it’d only hurt like that the first time. Of course I don’t remember anything shortly after that anyway.

Human pin cushion, again: IV bandage, IV attempt, and two lab draw attempts on my inner elbow.

I woke up to a chatty nurse reminding me where I was. Wow, that was an awesome nap. The nurse and I had some great conversation, most of which I don’t remember – later, when I was ready to go, she said, “Hope you manage to get to Mammoth this year!” I have no recollection of talking about ski trip planning! I guess we know where my subconscious is.

I did not take any recovery room selfies as promised because they didn’t give me my stuff back until later, when I was moved to the discharge room. Tad had waited for me in the hospital cafeteria so came to get me right away, and we headed home. I was awake and feeling fine but was definitely light-headed, so when we got home I took a nice long nap. As I type this I’m feeling pretty normal. The surgery site is a bit sore but not too bad.  No “after” pictures since it just looks like a neck with a bandage on it.

One thought on “No More Port!

  1. Hurrah!! Glad you’re happy the port is gone. 🙂
    Btw, you inherited the very narrow veins from me. I have only one vein that is accessible and by now it’s even more difficult because of lots of built up scar tissue.


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