• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 24 (Port Installation)

    road3

    Let the journey begin.

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    Day 24 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    If tomorrow, my first day of chemotherapy, is the first step on the road toward remission then today’s installation of the port was the equivalent of lacing up my shoes.

    Other than having my wisdom teeth removed in high school I’ve never had surgery before.  So I was a little clueless what was expected of me.

    I had a good laugh at my own expense over the super-sexy thigh high support hose I had to put on.

    These beauties are thick and white like a little girl’s tights only tighter and they stop at the top of my thigh.

    This results in a rather unappealing butt-flesh muffin top.

    It took me two tries before I could get the first one on and the second leg wasn’t much easier.

    The nurses laughed when I complained, “Seriously, when was the last time you put on panty hose?”

    I get to wear these for the next 24 hours.  The doctors say they prevent blood clots.  Personally, I think they’re there to boost my self esteem.  I can now claim I am tanner than something.

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    Yes, these are the super-sexy support hose. No, you may not see my muffin top ass.

    Justin snapped a picture of me pretending to be brave before they wheeled me out of the room.

    All dressed up and nowhere to go.

    See? Brave smile.

    Right after Justin took this picture an orderly named Amir came in and wheeled me away.

    And then I was pissed.

    It might have been the fasting hunger, or (more likely) my lack of caffeine that set me off.

    But I was suddenly furious that I couldn’t walk.  I had to be wheeled.

    I could understand needing a ride later, but now?

    There was nothing wrong with my legs, ugly support hose or no ugly support hose.  Being wheeled around might be hospital policy, but it made me feel like an invalid.

    No, more than that.

    It made me feel helpless, and I can’t think of anything I hate more than being helpless.

    The more I thought about how I hated being treated as though I were sick, the angrier I got.

    I don’t think of myself as sick.

    I think of myself as having a problem, albeit a rather scary problem, that needs to be solved.

    Being wheeled around in that bed was fucking with my self image.  Before cancer I saw myself as strong and capable.  Not someone who needed to be carted around on a mobile bed.

    So, yeah, I got angry.

    And, of course, what happens when I get angry?

    I cry.

    It’s a vicious cycle I’ve been trying to break for years.

    Amir parked me behind a curtain in the pre-op area where I met my favorite person of the day:  The anesthesiologist.

    “Have you ever had surgery?”  He asked as a nurse pressed a tissue into my hand.

    I shook my head.

    “Yeah, you seem a little stressed,” he said with a smile.  And then injected what he referred to as ‘the equivalent of three margaritas’ into my IV.

    Silver Lining:  Medical professionals who know just when to hit you with the good shit.

    I remember meeting the surgeon and being wheeled into the operating room.  Then nothing else until I woke up.

    Later, coming out of the anesthesia I cracked a joke about my new Borg implant.

    The nurse smiled in that ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ way that Trekkies grow accustomed to when talking to non-Trekkies.

    Here’s what my port looks like.

    Resistance is futile.

    Resistance is futile.

    Just kidding. Here’s what it really looks like. Here's what it looks like from the outside.

    And here’s what the device itself looks like.  This little thing will spare me ten million needle sticks and keep the chemotherapy from trashing the smaller veins in my arms.

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    I’m a little sore and my neck is a little stiff, but I’m not in any real  pain.  The port feels weird and a tight under the skin, but that’s it.

    I told Justin, “It feels like there’s a straw in my neck.”

    He said, “That’s because there is a straw in your neck.”

    (I think he’s still mad that I was right  about having fun at the museum.)

    I can’t swim for four weeks, and there was a lot of random emphasis on not going bowling (I guess someone actually did this??), but I can shower and resume normal activities tomorrow.

    So my ‘shoes’ are laced up and I’m ready to ‘run’.

    Let the journey begin.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    xoxo,

    Meghan

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20 Responsesso far.

  1. Pam says:

    You look beautiful, Meghan. Beautiful and strong and very very brave. Thank you for sharing this incredibly hard time–it’s a real inspiration for those of us not facing cancer right now. I imagine it could be a lifelong to people who are.

    Hugs,
    Pam

  2. Mom says:

    only my kids will quote something from Star Trek. Both are super trekkies. I never liked the Borg series cuz it scared me. Never bothered my kids though. Good luck with chemo. I’ll be on this side crying for you. Leave it to mom to cry, huh! Love you lots, Mom

  3. Michelle says:

    You got this!! Run, Meghan, Run!! Love ya!!

  4. PAt Sincox says:

    I am not an original Trekie, but I can say that I was a close follower of Captain Picard, Commander Data, and that crew, and I do recall the Captain getting his Borg implants……don’t know that I would come up with that analogy, but it fits.

  5. Leslee says:

    At the starting gate, it opens, out jumps this beautiful mare, full speed ahead. The race has just begun but will be over soon, and the beautiful mare will be triumphant!

  6. You are still you, cracking jokes right after surgery!! keep this attitude. Smiles will make you feel better and make your bad times seem better also. I love the way you descibe many things in your life right now, love reading your messages.

    Keep on Smiling!
    Luv U
    Auntie Minute

  7. Rene says:

    and isn’t the anesthesiologist the best! The awesome nap is the silver lining of any surgery. LOL!

  8. Tina Smith says:

    Thumbs down on the nurse not understanding the Trek references. All medical professionals should be well versed 🙂

  9. […] was definitely more afraid of getting the port placed than I was of my first day of chemotherapy, but still, I’d be lying if I said I walked into […]

  10. […] My doctors are all on board with me staying active throughout treatment. The surgeon who placed the port even gave me permission to run the day after surgery if I felt up to […]

  11. Chrystal Tennyson says:

    Silver lining about the port…you won’t look like a junkie! Yay! Lol 🙂

    • Meghan says:

      Ha! No kidding! Being bald will be bad enough. Adding track marks and blown veins to the mix would just be disastrous! 😉

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