Monday, March 02, 2015

My portacath is out

My port-a-cath has been removed, finally. I'd only been using it for bloodwork four times per year at the cancer center and they were balking at doing bloodwork without chemotherapy. I decided to have it removed a few months ago but it took a little while to get the appointment made. It's an elective procedure after all, and there's no rush to do it.

I was nervous beforehand and babbled to anyone who would hear me. Apparently I babble when I'm nervous - who knew? (Ian did) The procedure was straightforward. We started with bloodwork; when it came back about an hour later, I changed into a gown and got on the table. They sanitzed the port area with whatever stuff they use, applied local anaesthetic (which burned, like it always does), and cut through the original scar.

The pulled the catheter part that went up to the neck vein out first. It hurt a bit because apparently after so long - 7 years - scar tissue forms a tube around the catheter tube. That scar tissue broke in places as it was pulled out and that caused an unpleasant tugging, painful sensation.

After the catheter was out it was time to take out the reservoir. That, too, was completely encased in scar tissue. I already knew that because when the port went in, it slid around and it's been stationary over the last few years. It took quite a bit of snipping and tugging and snipping and pulling and snipping and yanking before the thing came out.

It took about half an hour to remove the port and once it was done, I was stitched up with dissolving stitches and sent on my way. Ian took me home and has stayed with me since.

The freezing is only now starting to come out, nearly 8 hours later, and the area is starting to throb and ache. The area by my neck hurts a bit, too. I'm quite tired because being nervous takes up a lot of energy.

Home care will be coming tomorrow and again Friday or Saturday to change the dressing. I can't get the dressing wet until I'm all healed up so I'll have to wash my hair over the tub and take sponge baths.

My oncologist and the nurses all said that I would be able to travel next Monday, which is good because I'm going to Manchester to see my sister and her new son, Warwick, who was born February 8. (surprise!) That's as long as there's no infection or anything - I don't want to go to another country if I'm sick. I don't expect there to be a problem.

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