Today was a long day at MDA. By 8:00p I was giving blood and from there I met with the anesthesiologist. As soon as the anesthesiologist found out I was diabetic and wore a pump they sent me to an internist because I was a high risk patient. The internist decided to call in a endocrinologist (a diabetic specialist) to discuss what to do with my pump while in surgery. I have had surgery before and knew what the doctors should do with my pump, but they thought they'd double check. Of course, I was right! After we made a written plan I had to visit the surgeon who will be placing the power port in my chest and his staff. From there I went back to the anesthesiologist and firmed up my plan with him. It was 5:30p before I left MDA.
I also thought I'd give you a little information about the power port that I will be getting tomorrow. The power port is a device placed under the skin in the upper chest below the collar bone. The port is used for chemo therapy and other IV treatments. This device is placed completely under the skin. When looking at the port you can only see a small raised bump.
The port has 2 parts to it. The first part is a reservoir disk. This is a small disc with a raised center which is made with a self-sealing material. The center of the disk is where the needle is inserted. The 2nd part is the catheter. This is a small flexible tube connected to the disk. The catheter may go into a large vein in your neck or your chest. Mine is going to a vein in my neck. The medication you receive will be delivered into the disk, carried through the catheter and into your bloodstream.
After the port is inserted it's ready to be used and can be left in your chest for years. Only special needles called a Huber Needle can be used in the port. One hour before a needle is put into the port you can use a topical anesthetic cream to numb the skin. To take care of the port you can't lift your arms over your head or lift more than 20 pounds for 3 weeks. You can't put it under water for 4 weeks but can shower within 48 hours. When the port is not in use you have to flush it every month with Heparin and Saline. You also have to flush it after each use. You are given a medical alert card you must keep on you at all times. This card includes information about the port, the brand name, type of port and lot number. After 6 weeks you are released to do all activities.
Tomorrow I have to be on the road by 4am to be at my 6 am appointment. My surgery is scheduled for 7:30a and will last about an hour. I should be in recovery for another hour and then I have an appointment with my oncologist. When I see her I'll review my blood work and receive chemo for 4 hours. Tomorrow they will also be taking out the PICC and using my new power port for chemo. It'll be a long day!
Here's a picture of the power port.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28