Today’s appointment was for a power port
The power port is a device that is inserted under the skin in my upper left chest. It’s about the diameter of an American quarter and about 1/2″ thick. It has a white catheter that is approximately 5″ long and this is what sits just at my heart. This is my delivery device for my chemo drugs. It’s less damaging because it is inserted into a large vessel (my internal jugular vein) and has more blood for the chemo meds to mix with—the idea being that more dilution means it can be less harsh on the vein. It’s just wedged up under the skin and it feels really unnatural.
The first thing scheduled was lab. They started an IV this morning when I arrived for my blood draw (CBC, PT/PTT). It took them twice to start the IV. It happens. No harm, no foul. (Labs all good, BTW)
Following the lab draw, I met with social work to find out about any financial resources available to me. There are a couple. The most useful benefit is something called the Kathleen Sutton Fund. She was a lady from the area I live in and she died from cancer some time ago. She understood the financial struggle for people living on the peninsula to get back and forth to Seattle for treatments, surgeries and specialty doctor appointments. My understanding is that the fund was created at her request upon her death to assist people with cancer (and I think specifically breast cancer but I could be wrong about that) to get to their treatments without the added financial stress of transportation costs. Adding up just the trips to Seattle I’ve taken for cancer related appointments since my diagnosis on October 17, 2018 I’ve spent over $550 (not including gas or food expenses those days). I’m very grateful that they will be assisting me in recouping some of that cost as well as offsetting future costs.
From social work I went to the procedure area where I met my nurse Cheryl who was most pleasant. I really liked the way they do things there. Everyone is so friendly, it feels peaceful and calm. Cheryl got me all settled, answered any questions I had regarding the procedure and was just a pleasant lady. Once I was positioned on the table they sedated me (lightly), they numbed the area with lidocaine and the whole thing took roughly an hour. I was awake the whole time but I was comfortable and entertained the staff with stories about my life and I can’t even recall which stories!! (Total medication: 3.5 mg Versed + 150 mcg Fentanyl and me just as chatty as could be—comfort not coma LOL)
Once the procedure wrapped up they took me to recovery where I had Tillamook cheese, crackers and the best Pepsi I’ve had in a long time. (I rarely drink soda at all). They brought The Mr back and I was discharged shortly after that.
Headed back home on the ferry now. I feel fine. There’s a little soreness in my neck where they inserted a wire and the button insertion site is still numb but shouldn’t be too painful when the lidocaine wears off.
P.S.~ The nap did not happen. I wrote most of this blog instead. The lidocaine has worn off, I’m sore now and I think it’s more red than it should be but I’m not a nurse today. I’m an anxiety ridden patient.
My Happy: I don’t have anything else scheduled until the 13th of December.