Friday was our visit to the Dent Doctor for my check up before the next chemo treatment. My bloods were low according to the results of the tests I did on Thursday. I have been fighting a cold all this week, which is either the reason for low bloods or low bloods are a reason for my cold…. regardless of the hows or whys, I’m back to the lab on Monday to repeat the tests.
Chemo is scheduled for Tuesday, (yes Christmas Eve!), blood results dependant; so today, despite the fab weather, is a bed and rest day.
Doctor Dent went through the new chemo treatment with us: Taxol apparently is made from plant extracts which can trigger allergic reactions in human people, although he reassured me, as he touched his wooden desk, he has not seen an allergic reaction in any of his patients on this drug. But just to be sure I have been given steroids and antihistamines to take the day before treatment which is followed by an injection in the bum on treatment day! He has also given me a prescription for anti inflams as another side effect is joint pain, especially in the hips and lower back. Did I also mention the pins and needles in the fingers and feet?!
However the most awful thing he said was, was I ready to have a port inserted?! The first time we met him and the subject came up he said he would prefer not inserting a port as he didn’t want to interfere any further with my chest area after my surgery. A decision I was more than happy to hear!
I have spoken to people who have had ports during chemo and they swear by them, no battling to find veins for chemo and no hassle. But I have rejected the idea for a number of reasons. I am a bit freaked out about having something else inserted under my skin, especially anywhere near my neck…don’t ask, it’s a bit of a phobia, crazy when I think of what I have already been through! I am also really concerned about introducing any further areas of infection, especially with my track record. The port is inserted into the jugular, subclavian or superior vena cava vein under local anesthetic, under surgical conditions and takes about an hour (according to Google)… so apparently although it’s relatively easily done, it’s still a medical procedure with cutting, sutures and discomfort!
I have done enough toe curling research to know this is not something I would ever choose. Another reason is that I don’t think I would like to have another scar, another reminder of this disease.
So my heart stopped when he said that…I responded very quickly with a resounding “no thank you” (I think I was that polite!). But for someone who has gone along with everything suggested by her GP, Surgeons and Oncologists thus far, to say “no” felt great! He was actually supportive with my decision and said he was happy for us to give it a good go without the port as it was a personal choice.
I suspect the next 12 weekly chemo sessions may be extremely uncomfortable on my veins, but I am determined to get through it any way I can without a port. I got them to take blood from my foot on Thursday, even before the port discussion; I wanted to keep my left arm for chemo only. Believe me, it wasn’t pleasant and I know it’s not going to get any easier.
“I’m sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you’re afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.” Edmund Hillary
“Family isn’t just about whose blood runs through your veins. It’s about who never left your side stood up for you and believed in you.” Adrian Body