Yesterday morning, before the sun, we got up and drove to the local hospital (only a five minute drive) for my port surgery. This time, hubby just dropped me off – he came to pick me up in recovery, but there was no point in him waiting in prep as I was the first patient of the day (so much so that when the surgeon came to visit me for the pre-surgery discussion.consent, she didn’t have her scrubs on yet!).
I was able to be awake for the entire surgery – so twilight sedation. I could even participate in some of the conversation, however, that posed a challenge as I had an oxygen mask on. It now occurs to me that when I did try and talk they got concerned I was saying something about the surgery (like ouch) rather than joining the conversation.
Surgery went smoothly. The port was installed on the left because of my lymphedema on the right. She didn’t want to do anything that would further add to the lymphedema.
On the lymphedema front, on Tuesday I was measured for a custom sleeve. The person doing it was an LPN (licenced practical nurse). She measured various things and we talked about where more or less compression was needed. A custom sleeve was ordered. This is very different then in the US where I was fitted for off-the-shelf sleeves. My current sleeves (from the US) aren’t working particularly well – I’m finding that they are increasing the puffiness of my hand – since most of the fluid pressure is in my hand and lower arm rather than the entire arm. I’m hoping the custom compression helps.
With the surgery, I’m not allowed to swim for two weeks – assuming the wound heals. There are two cuts this time, but they are rather minimal, and the port feels smaller than I remember my other port feeling.
In other port news – as in teleported – we moved to Treehouse Village 🙂 I has been years in the making – literally. We have been part of this project since the fall of 2019, and are so delighted that we have finally gotten to a point where we can live here. It is especially important now, with my health challenges. Even last night, when I realized I didn’t have any tylenol, all I needed to do was text a neighbour and some showed up at my doorstep. Not that you couldn’t do that in other communities, just that it is a normal thing to do here, so it is so easy to ask for help. Another example, I mentioned at a welcoming gatherings that I forgot to pack dish towels. One of my neighbours dropped by and lent me some of hers. I didn’t even need to ask. That is what being part of an intentional community is all about. Begin there for each other.
I don’t yet have an appointment for my Muga scan. I was expecting it to be this week, but it doesn’t look like it. Hopefully they will be able to use my port for the scan (rather than having to do an IV) – but they might just do an injection. I need to do the scan before starting chemo, but I’m also OK with delaying chemo a week. I’m doing my flu and Covid vaccines next week and I’d rather not start chemo the same week as the vaccines, as I then I won’t be able to tell what the cause is for any symptoms I get.
And so I wait – I heal and I wait – and I unpack and try to make some sense of the disaster that is currently our home.