Yesterday I got my port, or as someone who has gone through chemo will say, my new best friend. I didn't feel that way at all when Bruce, Janet and I were led to my little room to prepare me for the surgery. When the nurse was verifying my health history, he said, "You have thyroid disease and a history of cancer." Hearing that was such a shock, I blurted out, "WHAT?" Then it hit me, yes I do, now every time I have to fill out a health history sheet, that box has to be checked. Will it always hit me like this or will I eventually be able to check it just like my thyroid and high cholesterol? At some point will I stop thinking my body has betrayed me?
Bruce helped me change into their lovely hospital gown and then I had a major meltdown, I couldn't stop the sobs and bless Janet's heart, she totally understood. She said, "This makes it all so real." Instead of smacking me and telling me to get a grip, she took our hands and prayed for strength to calm my fears. She also told me that crying is like a check valve, if I'd been a pressure canner full of tomatoes, the ceiling would have been coated about then.
When I woke up, I was being tucked under a warm blanket and that started the tears again so the nurse held my hand and told me it was good to cry, don't hold it in. Fat chance of that happening. She offered me toast and juice but all I wanted was water and finally to get dressed and go find Janet and Bruce. We had to stop at the pharmacy to pick up a pain medication and a lidocaine cream that I will use on the port site before I go for a treatment. In the bag was another bottle of pills I didn't know about, they are for extreme nausea, that set me off again. That has been one of my biggest fears about chemo, I've often wondered how people stood it.
I laid low all evening, the port was beginning to hurt but I didn't want to take a pain pill till I went to bed so hopefully would sleep all night. They worked great, right now hydrocodone is my new best friend, it wasn't long until I was 'floating' and didn't wake up until 3 am for another dose. I didn't know what to expect from the surgery but I didn't expect it to be quite this painful and that was depressing. Bruce has been wonderful, trying to cater to my every whim mostly I just want to lay on the couch, under my flannel quilt and not move. I know people have wondered how yesterday went but I've not felt like emailing anyone.
Then my friend, Becky, called and said she was bringing dinner so Bruce didn't have to cook and that just goes to show the mysterious ways that God works. Just a year ago her daughter in law, Brooke, was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation and now is cancer free. Becky just got back from seeing them and she showed Brooke my first blog. She said when Brooke finished reading it, she said that was exactly how she felt the first trip she made to the oncologist. Brooke also said that getting the port put in was the worst part and that I would not get sick from the chemo. After sharing tears and fears (and chocolate, chips and other junk food) with Becky for the last 3 1/2 hours, a couple of text messages and a phone call from Brooke, I'm feeling as though I will make it through this after all.
I'm not writing this to make you feel sorry for me, I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to tell this chapter. I have found it's very cathartic to write about my journey and I'm even thinking about changing out of my pj's now! I'm also finding out if you want to know how much you are loved, come down with a serious illness. So many people are praying for me and tell me I'm not fighting this alone, my friend, Paula, put it very succinctly in a card, "They always say that hard times and bad things happen for a reason and only makes you stronger. What a load of crap!"
The first chemo was set for Monday but the hospital called today to say they are getting the run around from insurance so we are on a wait and see right now. So stay tuned and hopefully I will find out for myself that the worst is behind me.