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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-12-08 17:56
Subject: [cancer] Paging Baron Harkonnen to the operating theatre
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Spoke today with the scheduler then the surgery nurse regarding the upcoming port implant surgery. We now have a date and plan.

The port is very helpful in following the chemo course, because it is effectively a permanent IV line. They install a catheter in my subclavian artery, with a port just beneath the skin below my collarbone. A special needle allows penetration of the skin and the port membrane for blood draws and IV infusions. I like to think of this as a Harkonnen heart plug, and consider it the next step toward my eventual instantiation as a cyborg.

I will be having the surgery as Day Surgery on Wednesday, 12/16. The usual rules apply — no aspirin or blood thinners effective immediately, NPO after midnight before the surgery, show up clean and dry with no makeup, etc. Exact timing will be unknown until Tuesday 12/15, when they will call me, but I assume from what was said that we'll shoot for the morning.

Surgery should last a couple of hours, followed by time in the recovery room until I'm well enough to be driven home. They'll be cutting into my neck and chest, implanting the port beneath my clavicle (hopefully on the right side), then sewing me back up. I can expect to be back to normal activity within 24 hours, reportedly, though some people do simply walk away from this.

In other news, I was at the physical therapist today for an assessment of the damage to my left rotator cuff arising from the stresses of the thoracic surgery. The physical therapist was very concerned that we not push too much on the healing skin of the incision, so I'm largely staying away from load bearing work in favor of passive manipulations and simple stretches. Looks like I've lost a fair amount of ground, but I'm not back to zero, and we're going to be careful not to aggravate the healing tissues. She'd also like to do "scar massage", which is apparently intended to help flexibility and tone of scars.

Because as you know, one can never have enough surgery...

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Book Universe
User: bookuniverse
Date: 2009-12-09 02:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ouch... :-(

Sorry to hear things are so rough for you. Between your situation and Jeanne Robinson's, if I were a believer I'd be pretty angry at God right now... Wish there was something I could do to help...

On a more positive note, I just posted a review of the "METAtropolis" audiobook to my LJ... It was my drive-time entertainment on the LosCon trip. GREAT stories... Any chance you'll do more in that shared universe?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-09 03:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. As for METAtropolis, watch this space...
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User: saoba
Date: 2009-12-09 06:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A friend of mine, during her rounds of chemo years ago, also had a port installed. She threatened to cut a hole in a t-shirt, wrap the port with mini Christmas lights and tell everyone it was her 'holiday corsage from hell. Isn't it festive?'

That said, it really made chemo less miserable to not have to get stuck over and over.

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User: manmela
Date: 2009-12-09 06:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Remember Jay - NO makeup!

Seriously though, best of luck with Day Surgery
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User: jenntheamazon
Date: 2009-12-09 06:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Maybe if you're lucky, they'll let you keep your port after they take it out. Just gotta know how to sweet talk the nurses. ;-P

And yay for physical therapy. It's a wonderful thing.
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Leah Cutter: Structure
User: lrcutter
Date: 2009-12-09 11:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Glad to hear the assimilation is moving along nicely.

But seriously -- you're in my thoughts. Chemo is a scary, scary thing. I wish you grace to move through it and beyond.

::massive hugs::
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User: rcloenen_ruiz
Date: 2009-12-09 11:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sending positive thoughts your way and hoping all goes well with the surgery.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-12-09 19:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope everything goes well. I think of you everyday.
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User: fledgist
Date: 2009-12-10 01:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Good luck, Jay!

Edited at 2009-12-10 01:06 am (UTC)
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