I pull back my shirt collar and proudly ask, “What’d you think?”
“It looks like a giant pimple.”
Oh. My. God. They did not just say that out loud to me. I start to question my decision to show off my implanted chemo port. My “check this out!” moment has backfired on me.
“No, it doesn’t!”
I run for the closest mirror and look at the port with fresh eyes. It only takes a moment before I realize, it does!
“Whatever!” I give my best ‘talk-to-the-hand’ motion.
And then we’re laughing. Real, belly laughing – because we both know it’s true and it’s suddenly hilarious.
It’s wonderful that those who love me are treating me like my old self. No one is whispering in the other room about my illness, or looking at me with sadness in their eyes. I’ve made it past the ‘imminent danger of death’ stage, and into the ‘she’s well enough to be teased’ stage.
* * *
My PowerPort® is healing nicely, although it’s bruised from the needle that I keep inserted Mon. – Fri. and the blood thinners I’m taking. It feels hard to the touch and has created a mound under my skin. I can feel the tiny tube that travels up and over my collarbone before entering a large central vein at the base of my neck. During treatment the chemo is slowly pumped into my port where it’s immediately diluted by the blood stream and delivered to my entire body. Weekends are nice because the needle is removed making it easier to sleep and bathe.
Reading the PowerPort® website, you’d think I’d been outfitted with a new car. Words like: “Power injectable” and “Titanium port body” are used often. No where do they say, “… and once installed, it’ll look like a massive zit!”
* * *
My middle school mentality comes out again as I crack a joke about not PICC-ing at it. We break into more peels of laughter and my smile muscles get sore as we enjoy cancer humor at it’s worst.
* * *
You see… a PICC is what they took out of my arm before placing the port. It had been inserted in the hospital for my infusions, but after 5 weeks, unbeknownst to me and my medical team, it caused a large blood clot from my neck to my elbow. The PICC was removed and my port put in. I was told that two weeks of Lovenox shots in my belly and then 6-9 months of blood thinning pills (Warfarin) should do the trick. At first I worried constantly about part of the clot breaking off and causing a pulmonary embolism. A very real threat. But as time has passed, I know the risks are far less, and I’m able to let go of that fear.
So much of this journey is out of my control but my body is serving me well; fighting the good fight. And my spirit is doing its best to find the humor in it all. Even if it’s childish, pimple talking humor.