I returned to Miami Valley Hospital this morning to get my port installed.
This was done as an out-patient procedure under “twilight” sleep — so it wasn’t so bad.
From the brochure they gave me (heavy on market-speak):
“Your Bard PowerPort device is a small device (about the size of a quarter) used to carry medicine into the bloodstream. It has one or two small basins that are sealed with a soft silicone top, called a septum. The port is placed under the skin on your chest or arm. The port connects to a small, soft tube called a catheter. The catheter is placed inside one of the large central veins that take blood to your heart. When a special needle is put into the septum, it creates “access” to your bloodstream. Medicine and fluids can be given through the needle and blood samples can be withdrawn.”
“Because the port places medicines into a large central vein, the medicines mix better in the blood. The medicines are also diluted so they are less harmful to your veins.”
(Sometimes I have to remind my self that chemo is my alley, not my enemy.)
“The port has a special triangle shape and three bumps on top of the septum. The bumps are called palpation bumps. Your doctor or nurse can feel these bumps and the triangle port shape to know that you have a Bard PowerPort device”
I’m guessing that finding those bumps also helps them to aim the needle.
“Your doctor or nurse will use the port when they need to give medicine or fluids or withdraw blood samples. To do this, they will access the port by placing a special needle, called a Huber needle, into the port. You may feel a mile pricking when they put the needle into the port. This sensation often gets milder over time.”
Ugh! That’s one big-ass needle!
“After your port is placed, your doctor will place a small bandage over the wound. For the first few days, you should avoid heavy exertion and follow any special guidance from your doctor or nurse to care for the small wound. Once the wound has healed, it will not take any special care and you can resume normal activities.”
So now I look a little bit like a vampire snacked on me. This photo looks much worse then the reality — the steri-strip looks like jagged edges when it’s really simply getting wrinkly as the swelling goes down.
I want to give a shout-out to the folks at Miami Valley, and to my surgeon and her team. They’re all top-notch professionals. So nice. So willing to spend time and answer my questions. They really made me feel safe as I went through this procedure.
And when they wheeled me into the operating room, they turned up the music so we could all dance to Bruno Mars. Of course, I had to dance in a supine position from the gurney.
Going home to lunch.
NOTE: Portions of this post originally appeared elsewhere. Also, I have backdated this post to preserve chronological order.