I’ve been de-ported.
It feels somewhat surreal. But very exciting. I so wanted to keep the little bastard. And I did everything I could to talk the surgeon into letting me take that port home. Didn’t seem like an unrealistic expectation. I’ve been taking it home with me for 9 months after all. No go. Turns out they won’t let anything out of the hospital THAT HAS TISSUE ON IT and that don’t mean Kleenex, my friend (all together now .. EWWWWW.) But even with my meat on it, I needed to have it. I’ve heard about soldiers bringing home “trophies” from war. Maybe this was the same thing. It was evidence of my own personal victory. My Japanese samurai. My scalp from a white man. My stage-tossed Tom Jones panties. I don’t know but I wanted it. Unfortunately, thanks to HIPPA, OSHA and about 9 laws, the surgeon just couldn’t let it happen but she tried desperately to get me a spare one to take home. She even looked in her office to see if she had one laying around. I’ve got a lot of things, she said. You know surgical type things just laying around in my office. And I silently vowed to never, ever meet her at her place for lunch.
But alas, I left without it. I did, however leave with a brochure usually given when the port is placed and it did not disappoint.
This diagram shows you what the port looks like
The surgeon showed me mine after she removed it. And it's true. It looks almost exactly like that. Except with tissue attached.
And this picture shows you were the port was inserted (I, of course, already had this information which is a good thing because if I was relying on this brochure I'd swear my port was being placed somewhere in St. Louis)
And this one … this one showing how the port will be accessed during treatment is clearly a still shot from Pulp Fiction.
Really? Do they really think this drawing is going to make someone feel good about having one of these put in? Just hold still there, little lady, this won’t hurt a bit. BLAMMO! I can remember all during treatment describing the nurses accessing my port as "being stabbed in the chest." NOW do you believe me??
The best part? The very very best part? We went to Chick-fil-a immediately after! Mmm mmmm … nothing says recovery like a Chicken biscuit with egg.
And now I sit here. Portless. I keep touching my chest where my port used to be. It is still tender from the surgery but I don’t care. I keep touching it. I’m in awe. I’m like one of those people on extreme makeovers looking at themselves for the first time. Is that me??? My chest feels so wonderfully flat. And who EVER thought I’d be happy about that? I just can’t get over it. My port is gone. My cancer is gone. My oncologist said in two more months all the rest of the lingering side effects should be gone.
Gone gone gone.
Remember that story I told about dropping my weights while snuba diving? That port couldn’t have weighed more than 2 or 3 ounces … but those were the heaviest freaking 2 or 3 ounces ever. I will never forget that feeling of that port being pulled from my chest. It was like a ripcord. And even though my head knows that port was nowhere near my lungs, I finally feel like I can exhale. I can really and truly breathe.
I can finally breathe.