Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Teal Tender Hears For Ovarian Cancer Awareness

My friend and fellow ovarian cancer survivor, Tina Rangel founded an ovarian cancer awareness organization called Teal Tender Hearts for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. You can read her story on the #gyncsm blog.

I am happy to see another organization raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer in New Jersey. Teal Tender Hearts for Ovarian Cancer Awareness can also be found on Facebook. Thank you Tina for all you and your family do to raise awareness.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ending a long term relationship

Today was a big day for me. After 9 years and 57 days I had my port removed.

My husband drove me up to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), I registered for the procedure and went downstairs to Interventional Radiology (IR) . This was the exact place where my port was inserted on August 9, 2005. It seemed like ages ago.

The IR nurse checked my history and confirmed my meds. All my previous surgeries have taken place at RWJUH so most of the information was already available so all I had to do was confirm it. (BTW: I was asked if I had traveled outside the US in the past 3 months.)  I then dressed in one of those stylish gowns with the wide open backs and got ready to be taken in. The PA who was doing the procedure also came to see me and went over exactly what she would be doing and asked if I had any questions.

As other patients were being treated I laid there thinking about what was actually taking place. I was giving up my port. I was ready. In the past I have been fearful to get the port removed. Afraid that if I took out the port my cancer would return . My veins are not the best and I have always been concerned about having to have IVs through my veins. But now that I am down to one CT scan a year I am ok with the uncomfortable sensation and pain I get when an IV is inserted. And now that I am 5 years from my recurrence  I am ready to say that I might not recur any time soon. 

 My nephew's friend, a nurse in that area, rolled me into the procedure room and stayed with me during the procedure. As I was moved onto the table and being covered with a warm blanket in walked the doctor who had inserted the double port 9+ years ago. He was happy to see that I was getting the port out and wished me luck.

As the PA injected the anesthetic into the area where my port has resided for the past few years she apologized for causing me discomfort. I told her that compared to accessing my port without any lidocaine cream this wasn't painful at all. She continued with the procedure asking me how I was diagnosed, who was my gyn-onc and who did my spleen and liver surgery. We chatted while my nephew's friend held my hand. I felt pulls and tugs and then she said it is out. WOW! She then asked one of the techs to clean it so I could take it home. Yes, I had asked to take this part of me home.

She stitched me up, put on the dermabond and I thanked her for doing the procedure with such care.

Back in the recovery room I was given my discharge instructions and my port in a small plastic container. As I left the nurse turned to say goodbye and told me she hopes she doesn't ever have to see me again. I hope so too.

Every Day is a Blessing! Blessed to be treated at RWJUH.