Before we get into today’s topic, “Port Placement” I have to announce new skills…..I finally figured out how to add a picture. See, us “seasoned bloggers” (those that have written more than one) know how to do these things. Impressed? You should be. It took a lot of time and effort on my part and at least 5 min watching a YouTube video to do this for you. My friends run the gamut of people with advanced degrees to knuckle draggers. One of my knuckle dragging friends asked for pictures. Now personally, I thought my eloquence wove a tapestry of images but apparently not……
Our first picture is one of the radiation mask that I have to wear, twice a day, five days a week for six weeks. About two weeks before I started, they put what felt like a wet cloth over my face and stretched it. The material hardens and the result is this mask. It is made of some kind of polymer as well as some Kevlar So if anyone wants to shoot it out while I am getting radiation treatment, my face will be OK, so I’ve got that going for me…which is nice.
Pretty Buck Rogers looking, huh? The blue edge is what they bolt to the table to make sure your head stays still.
When I have shown this picture to a few people, the first question they ask, is, “Can you keep it?” It seems there is a very strong, malicious rumor around that when I consume an adult beverage or two, that “headgear” may end up on my head. There is absolutely no truth to this rumor, even though by the bar at our house is a Batman helmet that I’ve had since I was 7, a WWII pilot helmet, current Navy flight helmet, a WWII German helmet, a mullet wig, a Drum Majors hat, a shemagh (arabic head wrap) a helmet that looks a lot like my SWAT helmet from Dallas but its not because if it was, would mean that I “appropriated” it, and a few other items.
So the answer is, yes, you can take it with you when you are done. I asked the nurses about that and they said one gentleman, after receiving over 60 treatments asked if he could have it. They gently gave it to him. He took it placed it on the ground, raised his foot and stomped the hell out of it and walked out. With 10 treatments down and 50 to g0, I think I can relate.
You just learn all kinds of new terms when you go through a process you nor your family has ever gone through. One of those is a “Port”.
During this six week process, I am going to be jabbed with a needle over 50 times They draw my blood two or three times a week but the big one is the chemo infusion. Last week for my first chemo infusion, they stuck me with a needle in a vein in my hand and pumped that crap into me. The particular chemo that they are using, CISPLATIN, it is a very harsh chemical that is very bad for your veins. Like, destroys them, kind of harsh. I have 7 infusions scheduled so they would have to find a different place every time. A way to get around that is a “port”.
This is what one looks like… (another picture? Yes…I am spoiling you)
The purple thingy is the receptacle. It sits under your skin, in your chest, right over your heart. This is what they stick the needle into. The wire snakes up through your jugular and back down to your heart. So any needle stick during my stay here will be through this port, thus saving my veins from ouchy boo boos.
I had surgery this past Friday getting this implanted. There are two holes…one in my chest for the receptacle and one at my jugular to make sure the wire was inserted.
WARNING… GRATUITOUS SKIN ….LADIES..SIMMER DOWN
So today I showed up with my new port, (and learning from last week, my laptop) and going to town. Us “port-people” look with sympathy to “non-port-people” Tsk tsk.
I also received some additional anti-nausea meds so hopefully things will be better this week. Damn I sure hope so.
Next post will be about a gentleman I met named George.