Thursday, August 18, 2011

Port O' Cath

This morning I'm off to Abbott Northwestern to have a Porta Cath installed. I think "implanted" is the approved nomenclature, though "installed" seems more appropriate.

This is a metal and plastic device that will go underneath my skin in the my upper chest area. It will allow the nurses to have easier access to my bloodstream when taking blood and giving me chemo.

I didin't have this done during my last chemo (it wasn't discussed until about halfway through).

This was part of the chemo that I dreaded the most: the (sometimes lengthy period) spent fishing for a good vein. The longer chemo goes, the harder it is to find a vein. Other than the needle sticks before and during treatment, the actual chemo process is just a boring 5-hour wait in a chair. It more like having your hair colored than anything else. Except you don't get your hair colored. Oh, and it costs like $6,000 each time. Now, when I go in for chemo, there will still be a slight needle sting when they take blood, and another when they start the chemo IV, but they'll be right in, every time.

Once the porta cath incision heals, it won't be visible above the skin, and it will be (hopefully) eventually removed once all this is (hopefully) over with. I'll be only lightly sedated, and the procedure is just an hour or so, though I am still nervous when anyone is messing around with my bloodstream near my heart.

I know that Abbott Northwestern is commonly regarded as a pretty good hospital locally, but my confidence is shaken at the moment. Mayo clinic -- one of the best medical institutions in the world -- messed up big time with me twice recently. They should have scanned me more often, and they should have been using PET-CT scans, not MRI and chest X-rays.

Anyhow, wish me luck and more soon, tomorrow at the latest.


Anonymous said...

Finally! A photo of Mike when he was a tad, all of two months old.

Kevin was somewhere inside the house, destroying furniture, most likely.


Anonymous said...

Uhh, that sounds as if Kevin was a bad kid. No, it was just what was going on at the time. Give Mike a year or so and he could lay waste to make the Visigoths blush.


M said...

Nice picture! It seems hard to believe that I was ever that small...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I could pick you up and everything.


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