Sunday, May 4, 2014

Port-o-call

I go in for my eighth ever surgical procedure tomorrow, my fifth in the last three years. I'm getting a port-o-cath installed, which was my choice, to save my veins from further wreckage.

I know the drill. I even know the hospital staff by name. But it's not a bus stop I'll ever get used to.

Waiting in a hospital bed in the pre-loading dock for an hour, sometimes two, no smartphone or Lainey Gossip to keep me busy, not even an old Stephen King or Reader's Digest to smirk over. Sleep is not possible. You have to time your bathroom trips so the other cattle don't get suspicious. And you have to tell your story to eight different nurses who are there to verify that you are who you say you are and that you're getting the right surgery that day. Your surgeon even has to mark the right spot with a pen and sign it with their initials to prove that they didn't cut off the wrong arm. Medieval.

Port surgery seems to be 50/50 whether you get it under general or local. I was pleased to get a surgeon, Dr. M, who only does locals and I was extra pleased when she turned out to be a woman about my age, telling me at the consultation, "you don't wanna get more nasty stuff pumped through your veins than you need to". But now I'm anxious about seeing and feeling everything in that room, on that cold operating table.

I had a check-in with another oncologist last Friday, and she seemed to think that beside the local, they'd also give me fentanyl, with is a nifty narcotic I got both times I gave birth. In the throes of labour it didn't exactly eliminate pain, but it put me into a slammin' heroin buzz between contractions, which was enough at the time. The idea for this surgery is that they don't want me watching all the hubbub and then giving them a poor rating on Yelp, so the fentanyl will put me into a lovely altered state. As long as I don't feel them messing with my jugular, I think I'll be okay.

I'm expected to get chemo tomorrow, too - the full three drug cocktail - but I finally got cold feet about this overkill of a day on Friday and asked the onc, "what would you do?" She said "move it". So we're trying.

I've been an asshole today to everyone around me, so I'd like to get this less-than-idyllic stop over with before our house becomes known as "the one where that woman yells a lot".

4 comments:

  1. thinking of you everyday but especially today, your determination to kick this fucker to the moon is awe inspiring. love you.

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  2. You are such an inspiration to me, and I'm your mother! Hear me brag, hear me brag! The surgery being over, it is on with the battle! See you tomorrow!

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  3. If you're interested in post-op drugs -- the kind you can't get at Shoppers -- I may or may not know someone. I also own an opium farm. Please don't tell the Mayor of Oak Bay. It's hush hush. In all seriousness, if you and Pete want us to take your goats this weekend to wrestle with our goats, we'd be delighted to relieve you and give them a field trip. (ps. we wouldn't take them to the opium farm)

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  4. Keep strong Carissa. We miss you dearly. I am always thinking about you and your strong recovery.

    Much love
    Amit

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