As I sit to share my thoughts, I wonder why have I waited so long since the last posting.
So much has happened since then. Some days I have been exhausted and too overwhelmed to share feelings, then on my good days I complete work for my office and work around the house. So my apologizes for my lack of updates and ask for your understanding.
When I embarked on this journey, I was so naive. I think my mindset was okay mastectomy, chemo, radiation and better. I was so focused on the end result of cancer free that I did not allow myself to think about what I will be tackling and all the side effects that I will experience.
Before April 10th, I was a healthy woman. The usual once a year flu bug maybe, but no big aches and pains, no migraines, no broken bones and never a stitch.
Well life is different now. My life consists of Advil, nausea meds, bone discomfort, dry skin, sore nails and fatigue. And of course a bald head, that may be fun for my family to rub, but it can be pretty itchy (with or without wig on).
But life is beautiful! I wake up every morning with the Lord on my mind and know that He will provide everything I need for the day.
Well I’ll get to the update.
My second chemo was a looooong day. At the University of Chicago Medical Center in Hyde Park at 8:00 am for blood work before surgery.
Kevin was able to work out of Hyde Park throughout the day, so he was there for pre-op and then for chemo too, darting in and out if clients needed his attention or working from his laptop when sitting and waiting with me
Jaclyn also joined me for every step. So I prepped for surgery. Simple procedure of a port installation. The “purple port” inserted just below the skin on my right side just below my clavicle bone will make chemo treatments easier on my body.
First the wonderful medical professionals would not have to try to find a vein in my right arm. My left arm will never again be used blood work or IV’s due to the trauma experienced through the mastectomy and lymph node removal. Since I have at least 28 chemo with at least that many blood draws ahead, the port will save my right veins.
Second the chemo moves through the port into larger veins faster. Which means it dissipates throughout the body more effectively and will make it less stressful on the body. Side effects still apply though (hoping maybe not as harsh).
The port can be kept in for up to five years, mine will be removed once I’m done with chemo.
The surgery consisted of local anesthesia which put me into a twilight state. As I lay on the table I could feel pressure on my right, but no pain and suddenly it was over. It took about 50 minutes and I became as my family will tease “borg”. You have to be a Star Trek Next Generation fan to understand, but suffice it to say I have technology as part of my physiology and it feels strange.
The small port, they access by poking a needle through my skin into a spot in the port that they are able to draw blood from and use as an IV for inserting medicine and chemotherapy into. From the port runs tubing up and down my carotid artery. I can feel that…it feels strange. The scar from the surgery is larger than I imagined for such a small device…maybe I should have asked my breast surgeon to insert it, her scars are clean and healing in a single line. Too late now 🙂
So I now carry a purple card, to show physicians, medical staff and TSA staff that I have a purple port!
I am Borg, I’ll embrace it. I am thankful for the technology to give relief to my veins.
When I came out of surgery I discovered my sister, Toni came to be with me. Toni just arrived home from 11 months in China teaching with her family, so I welcomed the sister time. Even if it was during treatment time. Toni has such uplifting and positive energy, she was a delight while the AC dripped into me. I actually take a quilt Toni made to every chemo, so a part of her is with me during all my treatments.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:26
Grace embraced through the technology that caring people have created to make a tough situation easier for cancer patients.