To Port Out or to Not Port Out, That is the Question

A year ago today I was in surgery for cancer staging and to have a hysterectomy.  Today I made my way up to the oncology floor for a port flush.  I found so much comfort in just the routine of things that I smile when I walk through those hospital revolving doors.  I am instantly met with an overwhelming peace and comfort almost to the point that it’s like a gentle hug.  Strange I know.  Today I had an extra 10 minutes before the port flush that I took advantage of the new Starbucks in the hospital.  Venti park place roast coming up to warm the soul on a chilly day, but seriously where the heck was the Starbucks when I was here for an extended stay?  I saw the guy wheeling a cart back into the Starbucks and asked him if they delivered to the rooms, “sure do” he replied.  “The guests have no clue just how good they have it nowadays,” was my humorous thought as I smiled back at him.

Saw one of the infusion nurses on the main floor, we chatted about my hair for a moment and then I told her I would see her upstairs.  Up on the sixth floor I hit that button to open the double doors to the infusion room where a cool brisk of air stream greets me, the stench of saline welcomes me, the port access recliner snuggles me, and I begin my monthly catch up with the infusion nurses.  Today was just a little different though.  We chatted today that I have been thinking about getting my port out.  Saying peace out, adios, au revoir, bon voyage, sayonara to the port.

Truth be told, the port is kind of like a security blanket for me.  I don’t want to part ways with it and then sometimes I do.  I thanked the good Lord above multiple times in the journey for the inventor of the port, that person deserves a Noble Peace Prize or something of that magnitude.  The port is a lifesaver, however, I have this fear that if I get the port out that somehow that will be the time I relapse.  It’s almost like a superstition for me.   Silly I know.  I often times have joked with the girls that I am bionic like Iron Man or The Bionic Woman, can you just hear the theme songs now?  There is just so much security in the port and comfort in the routine.  I had one song on repeat play before any port access, still do to this day TobyMac is my main man for the song Move.  I then added TobyMac’s Til the Day I Die to the repeat play and sometime well after chemo I added Reckless Love by Cory Asbury and then Rise Up by Andra Day.  I always begin and end though with Move by TobyMac.  The port and the routine of it is almost like a religion for me at this point.

I did say out loud to my husband the other day that I have been thinking about scheduling the surgery to “port out” as we put it.  I love that he doesn’t push me, try to convince me, nor does he try to influence me.  Likely, it’s because after almost 16 years together he knows just how freaking stubborn I am and will always be.  It was a BIG step for me to actually say it out loud to another living human being.  I always thought I would keep it for at least a year after chemo.  That would be the end of May for me, May 31st to be exact.  I will at the very least keep it through February as I have labs next month.  I loathe blood tests in the arm, likely what made the port such an easy decision for me.  I have a pretty awesome debate going in my head whether I can be alright with getting a stick in the arm once every three months or not, hence the security of the port.  I am really not sure which side is winning in my head but the side that says, “port out” is starting to have a voice when it had none prior.  Of course the other dominate side that has said, “port stays” for the longest time might just win until August when I have scans again, who knows.

Until I make that decision one day likely sooner rather than later I will bask in the comfort of the port, my security blanket.  We all know that it wards off the boogie man, danger, ghosts, evil, and cancer, LOL.  At least in my head it does!  The only thing I wish is that it was a lot cooler like Iron Man’s device in his chest, I could totally rock something like that!  I mean, if I can rock head scarves, a bald head, and a wig it would be easy peasy to accessorize an Iron Man Arc Reactor in my chest, just sayin’.  For at least a little while longer you will know what is on playlist repeat at least once a month.  I will bask in that comfort and savor the moments, the reflection, and my “port stay” voice while I try to listen a little more to my “port out” voice.

Raise those Cabernet glasses for a year ago days, for ports, routines, and for “port out” voices!  It’s a journey for sure!

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