Skip to main content


I have officially been assimilated.  Last month, I was outfitted with the fantastic, amazingly ultra-modern, super-high-tech, state-of-the-art "Port-a-cath".  I didn't delve into too much detail at the time because, well, I was apprehensive about becoming a Borg.  But now that I've seen it in action, I'm ok with it and feel it is an important part of are they calling it now? "cancer journey".  Plus, as has always been the intent of my blog, I'm hoping that sharing my experiences will put some fears to rest.

In case you are not familiar, the Port-a-cath is the newest technology in administering chemotherapy.  Instead of receiving chemo drugs via a traditional intravenous in your arm, the intravenous is connected to a little silicone stopper that has been implanted below the skin a few centimetres below your collarbone.  Attached to the stopper is a tube that is routed directly to your jugular vein.  When you go for chemo, the intravenous needle is simply poked through the stopper (painless) which means you do not have to be poked in the arm (owey) repeatedly each time.  And the best part is that the port can be accessed over and over again until your entire treatment cycle is completed.  Sounds nice and tidy, right?  It certainly is, and the convenience factor greatly outweighs the Borg factor.  But let's be serious.  It is truly creepy having an implant.  I try not to think about it too much, in fact, I often try to pretend it isn't there.  But then my 2-year-old head butts me in the chest and I'm jerked back to reality. 

My second round of chemo went off without a hitch.  I'm starting to wonder if it's just me or if chemo really has come a long way and is no longer the awful ordeal I had presumed it would be.  As the administration via port-a-cath is essentially no-fuss, the actual treatment session was a little bit, um, boring actually!  I didn't even feel it going in this time; I actually had to ask if the machine was on.
Is this thing on?
To entertain ourselves and keep things light, my mum and I passed the hour snapping photos of me striking various poses, much to the chagrin (I fear) of my fellow pod-mates, who all appeared deep in concentration/meditation/distraction while they received treatment.  I received my share of curious, but well-meaning looks, however I likened this to the fact that all of the other patients had at least 30+ years on me.  I couldn't help but admire the lot of them, dealing with cancer on top of their age-related and other pre-existing medical conditions.  How very different our stories are.  What must it be like for them to have to call upon their sons and daughters (if they are fortunate to have any) for support, and how available are they to accompany them to treatment?  What friends, if any, remain, and would themselves be well enough to lend them the support they need?  I glanced over at my mum and once again, counted my blessings.
The days following treatment have gone surprisingly well, again.  I did feel some nausea this time, and although it lingered around for a few days, it was fairly mild and didn't really affect my day-to-day activities.  One night I was forced to take an afternoon nap (what are those?) and then turn in early (come again?) while my husband tended to all three kids during the crazed dinnertime/bedtime window.  Yah, that was a tough day, poor me!  I spent a lot of time outdoors over the beautiful long weekend, watching the kids enjoy their wading pool and trying in vain to pull the ever-multiplying dandelions from our front yard.  And speaking of our yard, can you believe that my "hair loss fertilizer" did the trick?  No further sightings of pesky ground hogs/crows and our lawn has remained untouched!

My attention has now turned to the lovely summer which beckons, and I have a bevy of camping trips in store, the first of which is in June.  I'd booked them all before I had my chemo schedule, and as luck would have it, all of them fall on the weekend following a treatment.  I'm going to truck on with business as usual, and if I encounter any hiccups along the way we'll take them in stride.  After all, if I'm going to be under the weather, why not do it by a roaring campfire staring out at a majestic lake and starry sky?     

Blessings report of the weekend
(listed bullet style as there are too many to elaborate on):

2 chemo rounds done, 6 to go!
Unprecedented naptime.
Baby sleeping through the night...going on 3 weeks now.
Inflatable kiddie pools.
Newly discovered Chinese take-out gem.
Splash pad open.
Income-tax refund.
Gorgeous, sunny, hot weather.
Solar eclipse.
Friend who celebrated a birthday but will have a do-over next weekend so I can attend.
Long weekend.
Extra day spent with the kids due to long weekend.

What is on your list?


  1. You are on my list! xo
    Karen :)

  2. you amaze me! i think of you when i feel overwhelmed with my 2 kids. thank you for the inspiration - i am truly in awe of you! love and hugs - Auramarina


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Wishes do come true. But only if you make them happen. 
It was late evening on March 21, 2012. I was standing on my front porch, surrounded by the chill night air, and listening to the melting creek bed whispering notes of spring. I had just left the hospital and my MRI and there was nothing to do now but wait, and live in this moment. 
I stared up at our second storey windows. Inside, my children slept soundly, oblivious to the turmoil in their mother's mind. I turned my head to the baby's window. She stirred. There would be no nursing tonight, the MRI's contrast agent coursing through me had nixed that. At 15 days old, she was already getting used to my not being around. I wondered if this was to become a pattern. Would I be there to hear her first words, to see her first steps, and to watch her enter kindergarten? I was angry and determined to do away with most, if not all of these unknowns. I didn't know how I would do it, but I was going to give it my all.
Of course,…

Thankful for another school year

This morning was as glum as they come. While tomorrow we will be celebrating the first of many days of summer ahead, this morning the air was rife with mixed emotions - those of celebration, of sadness, and of impending farewells. It was the last day of school, and no amount of Canada-themed spirit day hype or paraphernalia was going to mask that. 
I couldn't quite wrap my head around my children's thinking, I mean, summer holidays were about to begin! It was only after I left them at school and walked back home that I realized I had forgotten what it's like to be in my kids' shoes on this joyous day. 
I remember the celebratory cheers at the final bell and the rushing out of school to the tune of 'no more homework' and 'swimming pools here we come!" But as I carefully thought back to my fourth grader's face at the breakfast table, I dug deeper and started remembering all of the other bigger thoughts that came with this day. The joy at having found t…

Tongue-tied and tasteless in the tenacious land of Taxotere

Now that 12 days have passed since my first Taxotere infusion, I feel as though I can provide a fulsome report on the drug’s side effects and their affect on my life thus far.Taxotere round one differed drastically from my first AC treatment, in both positive and negative ways.Before I attempt to humour you with a little compare and contrast, I give you the final instalment of my short segment, entitled:

Neulasta, the wonder drug
As it turns out, Neulasta is some serious medicine.I had my first injection the day after my last AC treatment, administered in my thigh, not in my stomach, as I’d been warned would be the case (read: Don’t believe everything you’re told!). For someone who neither enjoys nor fears needles, I can report that it did sting a fair bit going in, but the pain quickly subsided.It took about 12 hours before I had any kind of reaction to the drug.I was warned it could cause bone pain in some individuals, and this time the warnings rang true.It began in my hips the day …