THE PORT COMES OUT
Today was a big day: I got my port out!
You only get the go ahead to do that when you’re done with treatments and all looks well. (As in there’s no reason to believe you’ll be needing anymore chemo any time soon.)
So, that’s a relief. I was worried about getting it out because when they put it in they ran the IV through my hand. I did not like that one bit.
Now, to be fair, that was also back during my needle freak out phobia phase. However, I’ve pretty much conquered that thanks to Chemo, my day-after-chemo belly shots, all the blood draws, IVs for CT scans…yeah, I don’t get that lightheaded-sweaty-tummy erupting-wanting to throw up-then having explosive diarrhea knee-jerk reaction I used to endure when faced with needles and shots. I’m past all that. I don’t even get myself stirred up days ahead of time thinking how I’ll have to do a blood draw or whatever.
But the thought of that IV in my hand again? Wasn’t sitting well with me. I have been thinking and worrying about how I can get myself through it.
Turns out, all I needed to do was ask if they could do the IV in my arm. There was no need to do it in my hand. Excellent.
Best of all Ken and Linda (he works in radiology and assisted with my lung biopsy, my port insertion, and today he did the removal; she’s the nurse anesthetists) were there. They are so nice and I feel completely comfortable with them. I was happy they got a chance to see me now. I first met them during my 5 day stay as I was learning I had cancer and was in that excruciating, debilitating pain. Then compared to now…I’m a very different person.
After the port was out, I saw images of my chest on screen. I asked if the blob I could see near my heart was what was left of my tumor. They call what’s left scar tissue. Yep, you can still see it.
Then I mentioned how I’d never even seen the other image. The one with the tumor.
“You want to see it? We can show you.”
I said I’d like to. I was absolutely stunned when I did.
THAT IS NOT GRAPEFRUIT-SIZED
The ER doc who admitted me to the hospital was the first one to describe my tumor as “grapefruit-sized.” So…that’s kind of the image I had and how I always described it to others.
I always thought it was kind of odd no one had ever shown me x-rays of my tumor. When I’d found the cyst in my breast they showed me that. But you know what? I think Spirit and my Angels had my best interest in mind.
My tumor was not the size or shape of a grapefruit. It was a mass that really had no shape. But it was the size of my lung…if my lung was all blown up and distorted. Basically, the entire left side of my chest was consumed with cancer.
It is a very good thing I didn’t see that image beforehand. I’m not sure I would have kept my positive spirit. I’m not sure I would have considered it a hitchhiker. I’m not sure I would have had all the optimism I had that I would be fine. Those times I felt hopeless and scared would definitely have been magnified. And a lot more prevalent.
I asked Wayne at dinner tonight, “Did you ever see it? Did anyone ever tell you maybe I shouldn’t see the x-ray? That it’d be better for my mental health if I didn’t?” (I’ve always had my suspicions about that, because every time I asked to see the x-rays there always seemed to be some excuse why I couldn’t right then.)
Anyway, Wayne kind of looked away and said, “No, but Dr. Thomas (she was the hospital doctor) did pull me aside and say it wasn’t good. That you had a very serious tumor, we had a rough road ahead of us and that you were going to need me more than ever. That my main job was going to be keeping you up to get you through it.”
I’m not sure he’s being entirely honest. I still think he saw it, knew how big it really was, but never told me to shelter me from it. If so, this is one of those times when I not only forgive him for lying to me, but love him for it.
Because in the end he did get me through it. And so did my doctors and nurses. And so did friends and loved ones and all their prayers. And so did Spirit and my Angels. They knew that seeing the x-rays back then would not have behooved me.
But finally seeing it today? Holy crumb. I feel absolutely humbled that the chemo, radiation and prayers all worked to shrink that mass and get me well again.
I always have a lot of be thankful for at Thanksgiving and the whole year through, but this year? Wow. Miracles top my list!