Sunday, April 3, 2011

an imPORTant day

Guess what guys????......  I'm PORT FREE!!!!

Last Tuesday I went back to the radiology department at St. Mary's to have my "purple heart" removed.  It was a little bitter-sweet for me (does that sound weird??)  It was sweet for obvious reasons.  Mostly because that is one more thing that is "cancer related" that I can put behind me.  But it was bitter because I can't imagine having all of the blood tests / chemo / antibiotic injections / etc.  without having a port.  I was so scared to have a port to begin with, but then it ended up being so nice to have throughout the last few months.  Will I miss it though??? Heck no!

The procedure to have it removed was basically the same as having it put in.  It was done in a surgery room, and I was given the same conscience sedation.  But the overall procedure only took about 25 minutes as opposed to the 2 hour procedure to put it in.

Right before I went back to the surgery room, the radiologist came out to talk to me and see if I had any questions.  He also asked me if I would like to keep the port after it was removed.  My first thought was..."Oh gross!  NO I don't want it".  But then I thought how awesome my kids would think it was to see it. So I said yes,  I would like to have it.

After the procedure the nurse handed me a little plastic cup with a cute little purple port inside. I took it home, and my kids did think it was cool to see exactly what the port looked like.  When a friend of ours came over he mentioned how he would not want to keep something like that because of all the bad things it represented. All the poison that has passed through it.  And that is all true.  If you have a port, it means you probably have cancer.  It means you probably have had to go through some pretty rough things physically and emotionally.
But to me, it represents good things.  It represents advancement in medical equipment.  I feel very fortunate to have gone through chemo and not had to have all my veins destroyed.  It also represents life.  Because on the day I had that port put in I had stage 4 cancer that had turned aggressive and spread to part of the bone in my spine.   The day I had it removed I was cancer free and in remission.  I have my life back.  To me, my port represents good things.  Plus, as I've said before.... it's super cute!!!

So the last thing I have that is "cancer related" is my wig.  Once I have enough hair to feel like I can be done with my wig, is the day I will feel like I can move on.  Even though I will still be going to the cancer center, and I will still have an oncologist (or 3), I want to move on from this time in my life.  I am so fortunate to have my life, I want to be able to focus on the wonderful things in my life.
The plan for now is for me to go in every other month and have a Rituxin treatment.  I've found the main side effect of these treatments is that I'm a little tired the day of the treatment, and that's pretty much it. I'm back to normal by the next day.

I'm going to continue to update this blog.  It started out as my "cancer blog" to journal everything I was going through as I started chemotherapy.  It's nice to be able to look back a couple of months and read.  There are already things I don't remember the details of, so it's nice to have them in writing.

It's also nice to be able to look back and see what I've been through so I can remember to be so thankful for where I'm at now.   I want to continue to update with things going on in my life, because as I've said before....
It's a GOOD life!!