As far as John’s oncologist was concerned, there wasn’t any choice: if John was going to start chemo, then he needed to have a port installed. John’s normally reserved, minimally-talkative liver surgeon was remarkably animated on the subject of ports: he told John emphatically,
“You’ll look back on this and say that having a port installed was one of the best decisions you ever made.”
John himself was less sure about the wisdom of having a port: the idea of a device implanted in his jugular vein that was connected with the outer world of germs and microbes seemed fraught with peril.
Despite his misgivings, John’s conversion to a full-fledged port enthusiast occurred very quickly. He was absolutely, pathologically terrified of needles; every procedure that involved a needle provoked a full-on panic attack with dramatic physical manifestations. One of the unexpected benefits of having a port was that, somehow, having a needle inserted into the port was less traumatic than having a needle inserted into his hand or his arm. It was as though the port was an interface that made the insertion of the needle seem one step removed from his body. The location of the port near his clavicle also made the insertion of the needle harder for him to see, which also helped to reduce his trauma.
The advantages of having a port fell into two categories: the immediately apparent, and the subtle advantages that we became aware of later as we gained understanding through hard experience…
If you are reading this post, it is probably because you or someone you love is going through chemotherapy for colon cancer. If that is the case, then you have stumbled upon a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from another colon cancer patient’s four years of experience in navigating the colon cancer maze.
The rest of this chapter in Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey: Navigating the Colon Cancer Maze http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M explains how a powerport can greatly diminish the hassles of hospital stays , IF you understand how the hospital system works for port patients. I’ve detailed a list of all that we learned through trial and error regarding how to make the most of your port, make accessing it easier, and what you need to know to ensure that all nurses who utilize your port are following proper procedure.
You owe it to yourself and your loved one to benefit from all that we learned the hard way. This is the kind of information that, until the publication of this book, could only become part of your database by living through it and realizing in retrospect how all the pieces fit together: colon cancer from the patient’s and caregiver’s point of view. $9.99 seems like a very small price, considering the emotional and physical suffering you will likely be saved by learning from our experience.
Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey: Navigating the Colon Cancer Maze http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M can now be read on any computer or other reading device. The reader interface is available free from Amazon and is downloadable in seconds.
I will realize absolutely no profit from the sale of this book. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the support of the 400 monks, nuns and yogis in the seven Tibetan monasteries of Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, who have devoted their lives towards building the foundation for peace and freedom from suffering for all beings in this world.