Monday, February 27, 2012

My Power Port

A port like the one I have in my chest
 Happy to report I am now the proud new owner of an Xcela Power Injectable Port.  Its a super cool thing, really.  No more IVs and, at Vanderbilt, they use it to draw blood too.  And, because I have a "power" port, then it can be used for contrast for MRI and CT scan as well.  Nice.

A room like the one I was in today
 The procedure to place it was actually really neat.  They have a whole radiology care unit like a pre & post op area.  I had great nurses once again.  Got an IV and an EKG, signed the consent, and then got wheeled down the hall to the procedure room.  The procedure room was like a space center.  Lots of monitors and big machines, cabinets full of catheters of various sizes; they were hanging in these cabinets like pants in Nordstrom. 

I got to do my famous "crawl" from the wheelie bed to the table in the room.  I'm pretty good at that now, only show my hiney to half the room in the process, instead of the whole room.  The nurses and radiology techs in the room were fabulous; it was freakin frigid in there!  They actually had a radiology tech student with them today so I got to learn a lot in there too.  They ultrasounded my neck on the right side to make sure the vessel was good.  It was so they prepped the area, draped it with the sterile towels then gave me the versed.  I recall bits & pieces of it - like the Dr telling me they were injecting lidocaine or telling me they were almost done, etc.  I remember them taking the drain out - which hurt but only for a second & I am so glad that thing is gone!  Anyway after all that, I climbed back onto the wheelie bed & off to recovery.

They let Kendall come to the pre-op & recovery area which was really really nice.  The procedure itself took about 90 minutes but the prep & stuff took another hour or two.  We were home a little after 1.00.  It didn't really hurt at all until about an hour ago.  Now its pretty tender & very bruised.  My neck, right arm & shoulder are stiff too.  Hopefully I will be able to sleep okay tonight & go to work in the morning.  I can't do any vigorous exercise or lift anything more than a gallon of milk for 2 weeks!  Not that I'm able to exercise vigorously anyway.  They say the scar tissue that develops around the port actually helps hold it in place & doing too much with your right side before the scar tissue is fully formed may make it tilt which makes accessing it difficult.

So I'm happy this step in the journey is complete.  One step closer to a cure!!  It was another beautiful day here today - mid 60s, bright blue sunny sky.   This week Emilia & I need to sit down & figure out her plan for the summer - camps, etc. 

Photo therapy for today...  One of my dearest friends - Corina, her adorable daughter, Marissa, and Emilia & I in Washington DC last May.  Cori & I were roommates for most of our last 2 years at West Point.  We went thru some things together that will bind us together forever; memories and shared experiences like we have are superglue that has dried between us & created an impenetrable bond.  We don't get to see each other all that often these days; Cori is in Germany for a while where her husband, Eric, is stationed.  You know how it is with friends that you don't see that often -- when you do see them its like you haven't missed a second.  And when you don't see them, you can still feel every second that they are thinking about you.  Whenever I think about Cori, I can feel her long thin arms hugging me & feel her unconditional sisterly love.  I love you, Corina!



  1. how are you today, J? thinking of you...abrazos y besos, Cori

  2. oh, and I double love you for saying I have thin arms! ha!

  3. Hi Judy! I have been following your blog and I just had to let you know that I think about you and pray for you and your family daily! I remember when you watched Ethan for us while my mom and I went out for dinner. (seems like that was forever ago) That was so sweet of you and Ethan loved it over there! You have a big heart and are so strong. I will continue to pray for you and your family!

    Jamie Smith
    (Pams daughter)


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