Good bye Port

I finished the Herceptin infusions at the end of May, had a mammogram in May, plus an ultrasound. The staff said the mammogram looked good, as did the radiology center’s doctor.
Then I had an ultrasound a couple of weeks later. I was told the results would be sent to the oncology doctor within a week. Well, she phoned me just the other day to ask about the ultrasound that I was supposed to have! She had not received the results!

I haven’t heard back from Dr. S. so I hope that the results are indeed alright.

Also in May was one last MUGAscan as well as the port removal. I had no IV, and it was removed under local anesthetic. It took only about 15 minutes to remove and then I was sent to recovery for just over an hour, then came home. The stitches are dissolving, so no need to return to the doctor for that.

Here are photos of the port in place. I actually thought to take these photos so maybe my ‘chemo brain’ memory is getting better.

 

Port shown under skin.

Port shown under skin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am pleased that it served its purpose and is now out.

You can read more about ports at the Bard site (they made the port I had)

http://bardaccess.com/products.php

and at the Canadian Cancer Society’s site on this page

http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/tests-and-procedures/subcutaneous-port/?region=ab

I continue on the Tamoxifen with some night sweats and hot flashes, occasionally. The doctor said good, that shows the pills are working! She says the symptoms may lessen over time. She doesn’t want to prescribe anything to control it at this time. Some women apparently have 5 night sweats a night, so I am not doing that at least.

 

 

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All is Well

…at least as far as the port goes. I was starting to obsess about “Will the port work okay” and “Will I have to have the infusion done in my arm instead?” Turned out that the port is functioning just fine. This was the number 12, and 5 more to go. I keep a hand written calendar note and mark off each treatment with a bright hiliter color.

The next appointments are for very late in the day, so when I create menus for those weeks – I make a menu one week at a time always – I plan to have easy-to-fix meals on those days. This is one suggestion for anyone undergoing chemotherapy or Herceptin infusions. It is important to eat well, and by having fast and simple meals on  the treatment days, you can do that.

 

The Port

I had another infusion of Herceptin last Monday. All was uneventful until it came time to flush the port. The nurse could not get the blood to return, whatever that means. She had me lie down, and tilted the bed with my head lower than my body, and before that, she had me raise my arms and wave them, and turn my head and cough. Nothing worked. She finally decided that it was how the needle had been inserted that caused the problem and told me I could go.

I hope there won’t be any problems when I have to return for another infusion in 3 weeks.

It’s bad enough having to have  a port, without worrying whether or not something is going to go wrong with it.

The Next Two Weeks Are Booked….

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Now things begin to get hectic for a bit.

On Monday, I am booked for a MUGA scan (heart scan).  I’ve been told it will take about two hours. It will be repeated every 3 months, since Herceptin may cause heart problems.

On Wednesday they will be inserting the port. It will take 60 minutes, followed by 2 hours in Recovery.

On Friday, I need to have everyday prescriptions renewed so that means a visit to the family doctor. In the afternoon, I have an appointment at a shop and spa which specializes in cancer patients. I will be fitted for, and purchase a wig. Our health care plan covers part of the cost. The salon also sells eyebrow kits, which I think is a great idea. If I am going to lose my eyebrows, may as well have a solution to that too.

The following week is a chemotherapy information class, and another appointment with the medical oncologist. She told me, at the first appointment, that I will get medications prescribed for nausea (and pain as well, I think).

Then – May 27th is the “Big Day”. The first of the 4 chemotherapy treatments.

And guess what? In the past few days, I’ve been working on getting a desktop computer ready to take to my retired mother-in-law. She’s been using a laptop which is too old to run her favorite email software, so I refurbished my old, old desktop computer for her. So this means an hour long drive one way, to deliver it to her. It will be good, though, to get away, and just visit for a while, before ‘it’ all starts.