You may have heard of a port that chemo patients have placed in their chests. Or you may not have heard of it or know what it is. So I’m here to explain what this weird looking button is and what it does.
Port placement requires surgery. I had two incisions and it was placed opposite side of my bigger tumor. I was numb but awake for the surgery which I had done early Friday morning after Thanksgiving, not the Black Friday I was hoping for. I was 24 weeks pregnant and lying flat on my back for the procedure was not comfortable, neither was the heavy blanket I was wrapped up in, but it did keep me warm.
I’m not sure how long the procedure took but it didn’t seem that long and the surgeon and nurses were great. I was able to leave shortly after spending some time in a recovery room. And that was it.
I had my first chemo treatment that Monday. The port is used in place of IVs. So while I’m not a fan of surgery, getting pricked over and over with IVs would be pretty awful so I’ve become a fan of this port thing.
Chemo begins with bloodwork which can also be taken through the port. When you get your infusions, the nurses can just change out the medications through the port. So much easier than IVs.
Prior to arriving to chemo I must apply Lidocaine to the port and place a large clear bandage over it. This numbs the area for the needle that will enter it. You fill a slight pinch when the initial one is put in but that’s it.
Initially it was very uncomfortable to sleep on my right side where the port was put in but it got much better and is fine to sleep on now. The hardest thing is making sure the kids don’t hit the port. With a two year old who has flailing tantrums particularly during diaper changes, this is a challenge and I’ve been hit a few times. It stings for a little but goes away.
When I first had the port put in the kids were confused and fascinated by it. Reese still looks for it and asks when I will feel better which is very cute. When she saw the port she said that is where you get medicine to make you feel better. And she’s exactly right.
Chris and I joke and think the port looks like a button you can press. But the not funny part is you can’t push the button as it would hurt quite a bit.
That’s when one of my kids’ favorite books came to mind, called Don’t Push the Button. It’s a funny book with the monster either saying don’t push the button or go ahead and push the button but silly things start to happen to the monster when you push the button. Since silly things would not happen to me, I tell my kids don’t push the button!
As I’ve learned through this process, you have to laugh and find things to make you happy even when undergoing difficult stuff. This book is always funny for me to read to the kids and now I find it even more amusing as I think of my port aka my button.
So if you see me with a weird button looking bump in my chest that’s what it is, my port and now you know what it does. Just remember Don’t Push the Button!
#port #chemo #portplacement #chemotherapy #dontpushthebutton