Tomorrow I get my port. To those of you who haven't traveled the cancer road, a port is short for a "medi-port" or a "portacatheter". Still fuzzy? I will start again.
Tomorrow my breast surgeon is sticking a long plastic tube somewhere in my chest into a major artery so I can get chemo administered through it directly to my heart. It is meant to protect our arm veins from the burning, toxic effects of the chemo drugs. Oh yes! The veins need to be protected but it is OK for the rest of us to get burning, toxic chemicals pumped into us. Do I have to ask it again?
WHO THINKS OF THESE THINGS?!
Do you remember Star Trek? The real one, not the cheap knock-offs. Back when William Shatner was hot. (Yes, there was a time when people actually thought that.) On Star Trek, Dr. McCoy would scan his medical device over someone and heal them with vibration and dilithium crystal power and even the dead would come back to life. It was what modern medicine was supposed to be like on the final frontier.
On one episode the crew beamed down to planet earth in present day time. Bones (you could call him Bones if you knew him really well) was looking at earth's medical equipment and looking at what medicine was like in the 20th century and exclaimed, "THIS IS BARBARIC!" He was shocked at how human beings were tortured to be "cured."
Oh, Bones, you got that right.
Unfortunately this is not Star Date 9203, and Bones isn't my Primary Care Physician... I hear he doesn't take Oxford anyway. As a result, I am to report to the ambulatory care center of the hospital at 9 am. It is supposed to be a one day procedure. In and out.
You see, my breast surgeon took the time to tell me of the risks involved and should something go wrong I might need to be admitted. I am more worried about being admitted than his hand slipping. Did I mention I broke out of the hospital less than 12 hours after my 8 hour bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction?? I really mean it when I say I hate hospitals. I trust my breast surgeon and his skill, but I really hate hospitals!
I also have a question about hospitals: What's with the hats? Have you ever noticed the absolute fixation hospitals have with head wear?? All the nurses have hats on. Not pretty, starched white index card things, but full sized hats. A baby is less than a minute old and before they slap his butt they slap a hat on him. All the docs wear them. And they will force me to put on a blue paper shower cap before I take my coat off. Now some people look good in paper shower caps. I am not one of them. So far though, I have taken note that my surgeons do look pretty good in them so maybe it is a fashion thing - we like shoes - they are into hats. They must have them made at a special surgical custom shower cap joint exclusively for surgeons so they can always look good.
Anyway, back to my "port". It wouldn't bother me so much if it was hidden deep in my chest and was my little secret from the world. He WILL bury it deep in my chest but the toxic docs- um - the chemo folks, I mean, will need to access it. How do they do this you may ask??? Well, the doc who invented ports must have been a big fan of Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein. You see, right smack dab under my collar bone will be a knob. Bigger than a doorbell but smaller than a doorknob. Attractive, no? People will think I am carrying my own personal satellite dish. To make it even more fun, it will be covered with my skin. So it will appear like I have a odd growth.
And all this to help the toxic chemicals reach my heart faster.
I am having an epiphany here...
I have been walking around with a stomach ache for three days. I think I just figured out why. I am so not into this. No wonder I am feeling like I don't know whether to faint or throw up.
But do it I must. And I will. Tomorrow, at nine.
However, my surgeon has a little surprise waiting for him tomorrow. I am bringing three of my favorite summer tops, the top to my favorite bikini and a pen. I will try them all on and mark where their straps are and he can use that for his "guide". Isn't that a brilliant idea?
I have a feeling he may not accept my participation in this serious medical procedure. But my former breast surgeon got quite used to me. Every time I had to go in for a biopsy I would write "B9" on the spot they were going to be biopsying. One time I wrote on the unaffected breast " It is the other one."
Hey, I am in this alone. A girl has to do what a girl has to do!