Thursday, May 1, 2014

Port(ed) Elizabeth

Well, it's official.  The Port Elizabeths (South Africa and NJ) that you knew have been joined by another, my Port(ed) Elizabeth.

Beth's port surgery went well today.  As with most hospital/medical experiences, it consisted largely of waiting, answering questions she'd been asked before (what procedure are you here for, what allergies, what diagnosis, how many times have you had chemo, any allergies, current medications, etc. etc.), waiting more in a different room, being asked the same questions again by someone else, and then about 30 minutes of medicine crammed in there in the middle, with after-effects much worse than she was led to expect, after which she was sore and groggy.

The port itself is an implanted device which lets them get blood and give infusions without having to find a vein every time - it's implanted under the skin and gives them something else to aim for, with significantly less discomfort.  Beth's veins were getting pretty scarred and hard to get with one stick, so with the expectation that there's a lot more testing and infusions to come she was really looking forward to getting it.  Funny how leukemia changes what you're looking forward to...  The port looks like a half of a superball got implanted under her skin next to her collarbone, but  once the incision is fully healed after a month or so she should be able to swim and pretty much go about her normal life, and all the bloodwork should be easier immediately.

Beth has been resting since she got home - the pain at the incision site is definitely worse than we expected, but hopefully that will decline quickly.  I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up her medication and got a big smile from the pharmacy tech - he may have been hoping I would share Beth's percocet...  But we're not going to have a big party - just try to be quiet and let Beth rest.

Will cut this short as homework calls, but it was net a successful day.  Beth is well and resting and we are both looking forward (if that's the right word) to her starting treatment on Monday. 

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