The news of the day is that my port is infected with a gram negative rod bacteria. We should know tomorrow more specifically which bacteria. Sadly, this could mean the surgical removal of my power port if the infection can’t be wiped out with just the antibiotics. My neutropenic fever however is gone, so the antibiotics are working to some degree!
Where did these gram negative rods come from?? Well… most likely my intestines. I had a CT scan of my abdomen this evening, but won’t know more till tomorrow.
Today I was allowed the privilege of wearing scrubs instead of the oh-so-drafty.
What is a Power Port?
It is an implantable pin cushion with a catheter. The catheter runs all the way next to the heart. It’s surgically placed right under the collar bone under the skin, with a second incision in the neck to guide that catheter into the vein. Ports are perfect for infusing chemo drugs since the infusions are delivered directly into a big, powerful stream of blood. Before I had mine placed I got chemo through an IV… my little arm veins were NOT impressed. Getting the port placed wasn’t unpleasant. I had local anesthetic as well as some anti anxiety drugs and some Andrew Bird playing in the background upon request. The incisions were glued.
The three days after getting it placed I learned just how important ALL my neck muscles are to me… no matter how small… and how I never want any of them put under the knife again. The most painful activities were riding in a car, and going from sitting to lying down. I also had an unfortunate incident where my dearest Marian (age 2) bonked her sweet little pigtailed head against my new device. I cried.
Since then, the port has been my friend. It’s accessed with one prick and I can put lidocaine cream on it an hour beforehand so I don’t feel it. Once accessed it can be used for blood draws, getting infusions of blood products, chemo, CT contrast fluid…
What does one do all day at the hospital?
Between doctor visits, taking meds and logging vital signs there is lots of time left over to catch up on all the things I don’t have enough time for in my normal life.
- Talking with my dear sisters… both the biological ones and the ones I’ve come to know and love from all the places we’ve lived
- Getting to know nurses
- Ballet training
- Healing form the infection
- That I can keep the port I have.
- Intestinal… soundness…