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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


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