Posted by: healingseeker | January 15, 2010

Sub Q Port aka Subcutaneous Port

Sub Q Port aka Subcutaneous Port

Sub Q Port aka Subcutaneous Port

15 January 2010

My Sub Q port was surgically implanted this morning by my surgeon, Dr. Mark Patterson.

My husband got me to the hospital at 7 am. I had to strip down and put on one of those very becoming hospital gowns. The admission people had neglected to tell me that I should have only worn 100% cotton underpants. Since mine was nylon, I had to take it off as there was the risk of being burned. They did allow me to keep my socks on as they were cotton socks.

I was not allowed to wear jewelry, deodorant, lotions, etc. I was not allowed to eat or drink after midnight as there would be the risk of aspirating during the operation. I was allowed to only drink enough water to swallow pills. My husband and I both got less than four hours sleep. I took a couple of Tylenol.

They ran an IV in my arm. It took four tries before they found a vein. The first try, she missed. The second try, she blew a vein. Apparently, that will heal. She asked another nurse to take over. She missed the first time too, but succeeded on her second try. Fortunately, I am not squeamish when it comes to needles.

They rolled me back to the operating room around 8:30 am. They put me to sleep. The operation took about 45 minutes. Prior to falling to sleep, I kept stating in my head, “The glory of God. The glory of God.” That soothed all feelings of anxiety. All the personnel who dealt with me today were extremely kind with a great bedside manner. I felt like I was in very good hands. There are so many good people in this wonderful world of ours.

What is a Sub Q Port?

Sub Q Port aka Subcutaneous Port created with Powerpoint and Art Explosion Publisher Pro Silver by Debbie Dunn. The Sub Q port is implanted underneath the collar bone above the healthy breast. It is about the size of a quarter. The narrow tubing, called a catheter, is implanted into the Subcutaneous vein near the lung. Using a Huber Needle, chemo will be inserted directly into the Sub Q Port. The chemo will run through the Sub Q Port, through the catheter tube, and into the veins. This saves your arm from being stuck over and over again with a needle.

Am I feeling any pain? After the numbness wore off, on a scale of 1 to 10, I was feeling at about a 4.5 to 5. I took two pain pills that have worked their magic. I am feeling a bit sleepy and fine. I have been directed to be careful not to lift heavy objects. I noticed that I need to stop pointing with my right arm as that causes me a few twinges.

Right after I woke up from my sedation, the only thing that hurt was the inside of my nose. They had given me oxygen through my nose. It was totally dried out. After a few minutes, my nose started running like crazy. I used up probably a third of a box of tissue. It is now mid afternoon. My nose is back to normal.

They kept me in the recovery area monitored by a nurse for about thirty minutes. Then they wheeled me back to my original examination room where my sleepy husband was waiting. He only got about two hours sleep due to he still has the residue of his bronchial condition that sometimes flares up when lying down. They kept me in there for one hour. Afterward, they brought me a can of Diet Coke and allowed me three packets of Saltine Crackers. My stomach was audibly growling. I never did get queasy. That was a real plus.

At about 11:15, they removed my IV and allowed me to go to the bathroom and get dressed. Afterward, they placed me in a wheelchair to take me down to the lobby. My husband went and got the car. Then they rolled me right up to the door.

They strongly suggested that I not have anything too much to eat or too fatty. I somewhat ignored their suggestion as my stomach felt totally fine. I enjoyed what I ate very much.

I think I am savoring food more as I am told that I will lose my sense of taste when I start getting chemo. One woman said she only could taste ice cream. Another woman could only taste ice tea. Everything else will be tasteless. I hold out the hope that I will be able to still taste a few things. I also have been informed my oncologist will give me a list of foods that I can no longer eat. I am a bit nervous about that. Oh, well! It will be for a good cause as I am determined to do what I can to be a breast cancer survivor.

I meet with my Oncologist for the first time, Dr. Darmen Patel, on 21 January 2010. He will begin chemo soon after that.

Due to the size, location, and firmness of my 3×5 inch lump on the left side of my left breast, this is the order of operations:

1. Chemo

2. Surgery that will most likely be a Mastectomy

3. Cocktail of Chemo and Radiation

My mantra: I am looking good, feeling good, healthy and whole. I am a breast cancer survivor aka thriver.

If you know someone with breast cancer, I’m sure you would reach out and say, “What can I do?”

I have told all my family and dear friends the following: “The way you can help me the most is to help me hold that positive vision that my mantra comes true. I am a breast cancer survivor aka thriver. Also, all prayers will be appreciated.”

My wonderful husband has me on as many prayer circles and prayer chains as he can get his hands on. He and I both are strong believers in the power of prayer.

Much love and blessings to you all,

Healing Seeker aka Debbie


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