Friday, June 29th, was my port surgery appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Susan Good was my chauffeur due to me having to be sedated for the procedure. I had to arrive at 9 a.m. for a blood draw and IV placement prior to surgery.
While being prepped for surgery, I developed an itchy rash which turned out to be an allergic reaction to the IV antibiotic I was being given. It was not a fun combination to be nervous and itchy at the same time! They promptly began a Benadryl drip which soon relieved the problem.
After that, the surgeon who was to perform the port placement came in to talk to me. He soon began discussing his concerns about doing the procedure on someone with my history of having had a port in the same exact area six years prior and the fact that my anatomy is rather compact. I have a lot of scar tissue in that area and there is not much room between my collarbone and the implant. He was really trying to talk me out of doing a port at all! He obviously did not feel comfortable doing the surgery on me and was afraid of rupturing the implant in the process. He mentioned a couple of other options besides having a port, which are a chest catheter or a picc line. I immediately said absolutely NO to both options. I explained that my mom had had a chest catheter and it had been uncomfortable and difficult to maintain. The other option he presented was to not have anything placed and just get an IV in my arm each time I go in for treatment. That presents a risk of "blowing out" my veins from repeated IV use. He asked me to try to make a quick decision due to their full schedule of patients that day. I , (of course) was shocked, scared, teary, angry, and unsure of what to do. I wished that Eli could have been there to help me decide. I finally brushed the tears away with some Kleenex and told the surgeon to just go ahead and try it since I had already fasted, gotten a driver and a babysitter, and was prepped and ready. I signed a paper which stated that I had been informed of all possible complications to the surgery, and they wheeled me into the operating room.
When all was said and done and I was in recovery several hours later, the surgeon informed me that he thought things went well during surgery. What. A. Day.