First Annual Friday Flashback

May 06, 2005
I think I’ll start writing memory entries on Friday – you know – just to change it up a bit and be a little more creative (before the rest of my mind slips away.)

I suppose I’ll tell a humorous chemo story. (How’s that for an oxymoron?)

It was a Friday afternoon in November. I’d already had my first chemo 2 weeks earlier, intravenously through my hand, which was the equivalent of being stung up the arm by thousands of wasps – not to mention it took SEVEN hours!!! It was quickly decided that I needed a mediport. I didn’t like the idea of this at all – but the seven hour wasp session didn’t seem like an option either.

The port was surgically “installed” in my left vena cava. The port looks something like this:

And it’s installed in this area:

Here’s a photo where you can see the scar pretty well:

It was under my skin and stuck out a bit. It freaked me every now and again. I’d think about it being in there and I’d get the willies and the backs of my thighs would tingle.

Anyway – about three days after this port insertion surgery, I had to have my second round of chemo. So that meant that they had to “access” the port for the first time.

So I’m sitting in the chemo recliner with my freshly cut hair (because it had already started to fall out and it’s easier seeing short hair fall out than long) when the nurse came to begin the process.

They attempted to “access” the port and it hurt LIKE HELL!!! First of all, for whatever reason, my stupidassed surgeon had made the incision right over the access point. There’s only a little circle (about the size of a penny) that you can stick the needle into. So they had to literally stick the needle into the incision.

I know that you’re thinking to yourself - Is this supposed to be funny? This is not funny. When will this get funny? Just wait a sec. . .

So – they have me properly stuck – or so they assume – and decide to pump saline instead of the drugs – just in case they’ve missed the access point.

Well – it’s hurting so bad that I can’t stop crying. I mean – tears are just streaming and streaming down my face. My mom is there along with Kathleen and they’re like “Does it really hurt that bad?”

I keep thinking that usually when you get stuck and they’ve accessd a vein – it stops hurting after 5 seconds. Anyway – I’d been under a blanket the entire time – because they keep this room morgue temperature (which is creepy) and I remove the blanket to see what the hell is going on with this damn needle.

The looks on my Mother’s and Kathleen’s face say quite a bit. A mixture of shock, horror and a smirk.

I have a GIGANTIC left boob!

I’m talking – Pamela Anderson before she had her first set taken out boob.

We cannot help but laugh. I mean – I was a comfortable C anyway – but . . .

By that time, the nurse rushes over and gasps and calls over other nurses.

“Oh sweetie! Oh darlin! No wonder it was hurtin!” (That’s always how these South Louisiana nurses sound – nothing against them God bless their hearts) “Your tissues have been pumped with about a half gallon of saline!!!”


I’m sitting there introducing the left one to the right one “Anna Nicole Smith meet Ginger Smith” (my maiden name).

So – in order to prove I’m “such a little trooper” I say the only thing a person could say at this point:

“Could you do the other one?”

1:53 p.m. ::
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