I feel a mighty urge to write about my 7th chemo session that I had yesterday. For lack of a more elegant word, it sucked, and therefore I am compelled to vent.
To make sense of the following events, it's crucial that you understand what a chemo port is. A port is a surgical device with a tube that connects to a large vein, and it is implanted in the upper chest. A port can be used to draw blood and infuse strong chemotherapy drugs. Without a port, a new IV needle needs to be placed in your arm each time you have chemo. To prevent my precious veins from becoming destroyed, I decided to get a port before my first chemo treatment.
Before my premeds and chemo drugs can be injected through my port, the nurse has to check for a good 'blood return.' Blood return is the ability to draw back blood. Having a good blood return basically means that my port is working properly. Unfortunately, yesterday it was not cooperating. Sometimes an easy fix like switching positions or taking deep breaths can create good blood return. After laying down, standing up, and taking many deep breaths, my nurse decided to administer a medication to help to unclog my port. Because it is urgent that I stick to my chemo schedule, the last resort was to give the drugs through an IV in my arm. I was not a happy camper. What was the point of going through the trouble of getting a port implanted?
However, by some stroke of luck, my port decided to work right before the nurse administered the chemo through my arm. I was finally able to get my chemo drugs through my handy dandy port. To make my day even more exciting, I had a wonderful time throwing up in the hospital bathroom after receiving my first chemo drug, Adriamycin. #thriving
Enough with the medical jargon. The week leading up to this last treatment was awesome. I spent it with Brian's family down in Lavallette. I relaxed and spent time playing in the salty ocean water. I am blessed to have found my second family. It is also worth mentioning that I am proud of myself for embracing my body at the beach. I have gone this whole summer without wearing a bikini because it exposes my port. Nonetheless, I said f*** it, and I wore one with spunk. It was time to seize control. Why do we spend time worrying about how others may think?
In general, the week before chemo is always a tease because I feel healthy and strong just to have that stripped away from me with another chemo session. I'm thankful to have these memories to hold onto, though. Until next week, when I'm feeling like myself again, I will sleep, eat Kraft mac n' cheese, and watch Queer Eye on Netflix. Please comment Netflix suggestions in the article comments. I need a distraction. Thank you.
All my love,
Hi, I'm Lia. I have Hodgkin's lymphoma, but Hodgkin's lymphoma does not have me.