January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!  Prepare for battle.

Sometimes I feel like this isn’t really happening, like I’ll wake up tomorrow and be completely healthy. Like I can wish this away.

I know I don’t have a choice. Well, actually, I do, but know all too well how that will end and  I don’t want my kids watching my body decay as it’s eaten away from the inside out.  I don’t want to leave them standing around my grave wondering why, in the name of everything that is Holy, I didn’t seek medical help.

I know I have to go through it and sometimes it’s gonna suck.

This newly installed med-port the in right side of my chest drives that point home quite nicely.   I know it’s a better option than direct venous infusion, but right now it hurts, it’s big and it’s ugly!

They tell me I’ll grow to love it.

Chemotherapy is chemicals.  It’s nasty.  Besides sparing me from being stuck with needles with each treatment, it will be easier on my veins.  One of my nurses commented that people have actually lost limbs due to the caustic nature of this stuff.  It’s supposed to target cancer cells.  While I’m thankful for that, I can hardly wait to see what else it has in its crosshairs!

So I’m now sporting a large grape-sized bump beautifully nestled in where my right shoulder meets my pectoral area.  It’s probably even more apparent due to my small stature.  A catheter leads almost directly into my heart from the bump.  Chemicals will be inserted into the bump and blood samples drawn from it using a special needle.   (This post is too short to go into detail, but there’s a lot of information here.)

I’m glad to know my veins will have it a little easier, but don’t even want to think about what chemo will do to my heart.  Isn’t that also living tissue?

Surgery to install my new best friend was ‘interesting,’ for lack of a better word.  I’d had minor outpatient procedures before and was totally unprepared for the “seriousness” going on.  It was a real operating room.  I expected a little treatment room.  There were medical people hustling around in their surgical garb.  I found myself getting just a tad bit nervous!

They asked if I wanted sedation and I said “absolutely yes!”

Turns out their definition of sedation was a teensy bit different than what I expected.  I was thinking they’d knock me out and do their thing.   I’d wake up free to go home.  Or out to lunch or something.

Wrong!  I think a good Manhattan would have been more sedating!

Their version of “sedation” left me awake enough to watch everything on a giant screen and to feel my heart go crazy when they got too close with the catheter.

Screen part was cool.  Crazy heart thing, not so much.

Afterwards, I was instructed to rest.  No lifting, pushing or pulling anything at least until “Chemo 1” next Friday.  Orders are to not cause any shifting in the system before it heals into place, which could be messy at best, deadly at worst.  Think massive bleeding from the heart.  Now that’s a sobering thought!  I just might have to take them seriously.

So….if I can’t lift at the gym, can I skip running the vacuum too?

Maybe there IS a bright side!

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