Steps to becoming a bionic woman…

I thought when I got this whole cancer thing, that stuff would be removed from my body, but it just seems to keep getting added. Step 1 was getting these tissue expanders, which now that I have gotten filled once, appear to be migrating towards my chin. Soon I’ll be able to rest my head on them at night to sleep, much like an old fat cat of ours did on her neck rolls. Step 2 is getting my port in T minus 22 hours. For those of you who may not be familiar with this (most of you, thank god), here’s what that is:

Through a port (sometimes called by brand names such as Port-a-cath or Mediport) inserted in your chest during a short outpatient surgery. A port is a small disc made of plastic or metal about the size of a quarter that sits just under the skin. A soft thin tube called a catheter connects the port to a large vein. Your chemotherapy medicines are given through a special needle that fits right into the port. You also can have blood drawn through the port. When all your cycles of chemotherapy are done, the port is removed during another short outpatient procedure.” http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/chemotherapy/process/how

port_chemotherapy_tcm8-326792

*breasts pictured above are not my own

Getting this is a double edged sword. It means that I won’t have to endure endless needle sticks via IV for all the blood draws and chemo infusions over the next 4-5 months. Instead, I am told I will be given a prescription for a numbing cream to put on the port site prior to access so that it will be as painless as possible. What it also means is that I will have another scar to add to the map of sadness that is becoming my body, and a visible lump that looks to me like something laid an egg about to hatch disgusting insects through my skin at any moment. How pronounced it is seems to vary, so I won’t lift a picture from someone else’s personal blog to show you, but if you are interested you can google image search “chemo port” and get lots of examples assaulting your eyes. If you are keeping track, the scar tally includes 2 incisions across my chest and into my underarm area, will include tattoos of tiny blue dots to mark where the radiation will happen (these cannot be my first tattoos. I can’t let that happen. TBD how I will rectify that.), and now an incision on my upper chest for the port.

I have just in the last few days started feeling physically not in pain for most of the day, even with being more active, so it stands to reason that tomorrow brings another surgery. I think that’s what’s ahead of me for the next section of time with chemo. I will feel better just in time to feel worse again. But I will keep repeating to myself, “cancer can suck it, I am stronger than this” until this is over.

I am breaking up with you, cancer. Get the hell out.

 

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