Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[cancer] The port removal

Yesterday morning I got up at my usual hour (4 am), exercised, blogged, then hit the Day Jobbe earlier than normal (5:30 am) for some critical meetings. I finally got myself over to the Witchnest about 7:30 am, where I promptly popped two Lorazepam (a/k/a Ativan) to deal with my deep anxiety about the port removal procedure.

My fear was based on the fact that this would be done in office with anaesthesia but no sedation. I didn't really want to watch a doctor go fishing inside my chest just below my line of sight.

By the time calendula_witch got me to the clinic, I couldn't walk in a straight line and my balance was wonky. In a word, I was looped. This was the first time I'd taken two of those at once, and I'm not sure I'd care to repeat the experience.

The procedure happened in an oversized exam room while calendula_witch watched. I couldn't see anything, they'd put surgical drapes around the site and besides, my eyes don't bend down that far. Thanks to the Lorazepam, I didn't much care.

Everything took about forty minutes, and involved a surgeon and nurse fishing around in my chest with four hands and a cluster of instruments. Though they had anaesthetized the area with a local, I could still feel pressure, tissues being shifted, and the occasional crackle-pop of the electric cauterizer, along with a lovely barbecue smell. calendula_witch reports being able to see wisps of smoke during the procedure.

Basically, it felt like they trenched my chest and went digging. At least one of the anchor stitches had been overgrown with a caul of tissue, and so took some work to free. When the port finally came out, they showed it to me, though despite repeated requests I was not permitted to keep it for a souvenir. Once I was closed up, the dressing was about the size of a band-aid.

My question at that point was what the heck happened to that trench in my chest big enough for four hands and instruments.

calendula_witch bundled me back to the Witchnest where I passed out for over two hours, sleeping off the stress of the procedure and the double dose of Lorazepam. We still managed to make OryCon by 2 or 2:30, and I lasted til almost 10:30, with little more than a dull ache in my chest.

So, well, I'm no longer a cyborg, nor a Harkonnen techno-serf. For now, I am free.

And shortly, back to OryCon. See some, all or none of you there.

Tags: calendula, cancer, conventions, food, funny, health

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