Port Placement

This is what the port looks like.

The port is in.  This afternoon I had the port placed in my chest.  I have not been looking forward to it, but had to do it, and see it as the start of the journey in beating this cancer.  I have been assured a number of times that I will be happy I chose to have a port versus having them have to administer treatments through an IV each and every time.  Plus, they can do all blood work from the port too.  I get the feeling I will have blood work every time I am in that doctor’s office (which will be a lot).

Wonder what the port looks like?  It’s a small device, actually about the size of a quarter, which is used to carry medicine into the bloodstream.  The port is shaped like a triangle and is placed under the skin on your chest.  So, it’s all underneath the skin.  It’s primarily plastic but does have a little bit of titanium on it.  Great.  They tell me I will not sound off the alarm at the airport, but patients have reported that their ports have set off alarms at some retail stores.  They gave me a card to put in my wallet  to show the type of port I have if necessary.  Lovely.  Gracie will love that!  “Mommy you are setting off the alarm again!”

The procedure today was actually pretty painless thanks to the “happy” anesthesia that they gave me.  I was completely awake and coherent, just very relaxed.  While the actual procedure lasted about 45 minutes, with prep and instructions we were there for 2 hours.  It was done at the doctor’s office vs. the hospital.  Sounds like it will be sore for a few days and I will bruise – but not a big deal in the whole scheme of things.

Tomorrow we have the day off i.e. no doctors appointments.  Yippee!  Wednesday is when treatment will actually start and will be a 3 hour appointment.  Then we are back in on Thursday for another 3 hours.  For the first treatment cycle, they divide it up into two days.  Going forward, for the five remaining treatment cycles, they will combine it all into one visit.  And then on Friday I have a follow-up appointment for a shot of Neulasta – which is a medicine given post chemo to stimulate the growth of “healthy” white blood cells.  It’s going to be a long week, but we are happy to get this show on the road and I am personally anxious to see what the side effects are going to look like for me.

Ed did a little better on round 2 with the waiting room window

On another note, Ed and I did tell Gracie yesterday about “mommy’s boo boo”.  I have to say it was tougher than I thought it would be.   I did shed tears (and even more after she was in bed), but Ed and Gracie held it together.  I did some research before we talked to her and also had the help of a book that a friend gave us titled “Mom and the Polka-Dot Boo-Boo“.  It is absolutely perfect for a 4 year old and is a very gentle story explaining breast cancer to a young child.  It was written by a mom and illustrated by a child.  It’s adorable and has been and will be very helpful resource or tool in communicating this mess to Gracie.  As any 4 year old, she was very inquisitive.  Her biggest worry seemed to be around mommy losing her hair.  So we talked about scarf and hat shopping!  We read the book a number of times last night and she wanted me to read it to her again this morning.  When she woke up this a.m., she ran to our room and crawled into bed.  The first thing she said to me was “remember that you have a polka-dot boo-boo.”  Sad, but too cute.  She is clearly still processing it and will for days or weeks or months to come.  But, kids are resilient.  I know she will be fine and a huge helper to both me and Ed.  She has already told me she is going to make me breakfast in bed when I am too tired to get up.  Now that’s what I am talking about!

Ed and I continue to be overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I personally enjoy reading all of the comments on the web site, emails, texts, and voice mails.  When I am having a bad day or just a bad moment, they really do lift me up.  So for that, I thank you!

 

 

Comments

  1. Mary Johnson says:

    Meredith,
    So glad all went well today and the journey has begun… the sooner it starts, the sooner it will be over! Yay! And I will be right there celebrating with you! I hope you get some good rest today and tomorrow. I/we continue to pray for you! Amelia likes praying for you too!!!! We will specifically be praying for your treatment to go well this week with minimal side effects. I have heard some encouraging stories lately — a friend of mine knows a girl on her tennis team that was on the tennis court the day after treatment! Saying many prayers that you will feel that good too!!!!

    Love,
    M.

  2. Mary Johnson says:

    Hahahahaha!!!! Just read the caption under the window picture… glad to hear Mr. Clipboard redeemed himself today :)!!!!!

  3. Ashley from Heyman's! says:

    Sweet Gracie….. You know just one look at her sweet smile will brighten your day–anyone’s day for that matter. So, I’m thankful you have her bouncing around the house. And Ed — well, all you have to do is look at that glamour shot from his white t-shirt days and you’re guaranteed a laugh! hahahahaaa
    Much Love!

  4. Stacey Shekerow says:

    Meredith – I’m so glad to hear that today went well – step 1 is over with – Hooray! Wanted you to know that Mark and I are thinking of you constantly, and will check in with you guys this week. We are determined to help in whatever way we can, so hugs and kisses to you all, and we’ll look forward to speaking with you soon!

  5. Lynn DeBlois Lawrence says:

    Hi Meredith,
    Just got the message from Cousin Chip, and your Dad & Mom, about this huge challenge ahead!!!
    I want you (and Ed and Gracie too ) to know YOUR Canadian Family is rooting for you, sending you our daily prayers, love , strength, energy and COURAGE for the days ahead… This record you’re doing is AMAZING … I hope to follow you on your Journey to Wellness once more!!! Love and hugs to you Meredith!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX Lynn 🙂

  6. You are AMAZING! MOM and DAD

  7. Meredith, I agree with your Mom—you ARE amazing. Lots of love for all of you…now thinking of Gracie a lot…sweet thing!

  8. Dawn Ellingson says:

    Meredith –
    Our prayers are with you as you get moving on beating this! Spoke with Aunt Phyllis tonight and the prayer line continues for you….good energy coming your way from Ohio!

  9. Rock on Lady! Alex and I are thinking about you today and hoping for the best. I admire your strength and willingness to let us all in on your journey. We love you guys very much and are here for whatever you may need.
    Smooches!!!!

  10. Meredith,
    Thinking of you. Hope today went well and that you feel OK. You are in my prayers and if you need ANYTHING don’t hesitate to ask.
    Much Love and Prayers!!
    Lisa and Nelson

  11. Meredith-
    I have been bugging Ed with texts instead of you, but just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you….you are without a doubt an inspiration for courage and strength. Talk to you soon.

    Love, Alpa

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