Yesterday I finally succumbed to having a port put in. I arrived at the hospital at 8:30. I have to admit, I was filled with so much anxiety and fear. As I waited for the nurse the only magazine in the room was a People magazine and a picture of Joan Rivers on the cover!!! Are you kidding me?!!! I opted not to read the article and only looked at all the pictures. The nurse came in to stick the needle in my vein to prepare me for surgery. My veins are a mess but she was able to use a vein on my hand. Ouch!!! It hurt. Even worse was when they ran the saline through my veins. It sent pain all the way up my arm. Hence, that’s why I got a port. Today half of my hand is purple and blue. Lovely!!!!
Surgery always freaks me out. I often wonder what happens while I’m knocked out. Am I talking in my sleep revealing my inner most secrets? Am I acting silly? Who knows. All I know is I was taken in to the surgical room, the anesthesiologist was talking to me. I was crying from the pain in my veins. The last thing I remember is him telling me he was running some numbing medication to numb my veins and to relax, this is why I needed a port. The next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room. I was surrounded by 2 nurses who were consoling me as I cried uncontrollably for my kids. I kept telling them my kids were mad at me. They hated me and that I was so tired of all this. I wanted to give up. I remember seeing a picture of the beach along with plumeria’s on the ceiling and from then on, don’t ask. I don’t remember. I was told that I turned in to a real comedian. A real Joan Rivers. How embarrassing!! I wonder if the nurses kicked me out.
The surgical procedure for having the port implant is pretty easy. The procedure takes less than an hour. Is it painful? Absolutely!! But the positive is having the implant eliminates the struggle of finding a vein when you’re going through treatment. My chest hurts today as well as my shoulder, my arm and my back. I haven’t seen the incision. It’s covered but I can see the lump where the port is. Not very attractive. The nurses sent me home with a lovely rubber bracelet I have to wear while I have this port along with a tag to keep on my key chain. Luckily the bracelet is purple. I love the color purple. I was thinking this morning how I’m just so tired of having cancer. It’s been a hard journey. I’ve really tried to stay positive but it’s hard. My kids haven’t made it any easier. They haven’t even acknowledged my existence nor have they even bothered to reach out and ask how I’m doing. It hurts. My oncologist had given me a choice. I could choose treatment and hopefully live another 20 years or I could make the decision not to have treatment and live 5 years. I chose 20. I made that decision based on the love I have for my kids. Lately though, I wonder if I made the right choice. It’s hard to fight when you’re sad about your kids. Then there are the struggles that go along with chemo. The side effects suck. The scars of the surgical procedures. The financial burdens. The low self esteem. The list goes on. I know I’m strong but today I’m just so pooped!! I find myself reminded of the last night I spent with my dad. He was in the hospital. He had just had a delirious episode. My son and I had to calm him down. I was standing next to my dad and I’ll never forget him looking at me and saying “gordy….. I’m out of the steam. I’m tired”. I knew immediately he was ready to give up. I begged him not to give up. I begged him to keep fighting. I know I was selfish but I didn’t want to let him go. He passed away the following day. My dad fought the fight for 7 years. He never gave up regardless what challenges came his way and believe me, there were many. My dad taught me everything I know. Right or indifferent, I was always his best student. I got my sense of humor from him, he taught me how to tell a good story. No matter how boring the story was my dad could turn it in to a real comedy. I also have him to thank for the strength I’ve always had to keep on fighting. However, today I can understand how he felt that night when he said he was “out of steam”. I’m out of steam “but it ain’t over til the fat lady sings.” I haven’t heard her sing yet so I have no choice but to keep fighting! Although, sometimes I wish my dad was still here. Somehow no matter how bleak and hopeless the situation seemed, he always found the humor in it and not only had a way with making me laugh, he had a way with filling me up with just the right amount of “steam” to keep going. He’d be mad at me if I gave up so my only choice is to keep going. Cancer sucks but I’m looking forward to the day when this is all over and I can finally look back and say “I Made It!!!”