Friday, April 8, 2016

April Is Beginning To Get Busy

Well, while getting my Opdivo treatments, it has been quiet around here.  I go every two weeks for bloodwork and my treatment the next day.

Unfortunately, yesterday when I went for my Opdivo, we had major problems accessing my port.  (My port is my central line under my skin which is used for IV's and Blood which is used for bloodwork).  The oncology nurses were not able to draw blood from it, which could mean a multitude of things.  They had to give me an old-fashioned IV for my treatment yesterday - which took 5 sticks before they could find a good vein.  (This really explains my need for a port - my veins are horrible since starting my cancer journey).

Today I went for a Venogram.  It's a type of radiologic test where they inject radioactive dye into the port and watch where it goes.  They determined my port is starting to grow into my chest tissue at the end.  So I have to have it replaced.

Next Thursday, April 14th, I will have surgery to remove the current port and place another in my chest.

This really couldn't have come at a worse time because I was awarded a Travel Grant to attend a nationwide Lung Cancer Summit in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month.  Totally paid for by the organization, Lungevity.

Our National HOPE Summit takes place the first week of May, Lung Cancer HOPE Month.  The goal of the weekend is to provide a summit for survivors with educational sessions covering topics like research, immunotherapy, ask the oncologist, pulmonary rehabilitation, communicating with your caregivers, managing your medical team, living with lung cancer, nutrition, writing and blogging, becoming an empowered advocate, and sharing lung cancer survivor stories.

I remember when I had my first port put in, I wouldn't say it was horrible, but it did hurt for a few days.  So I tried to make sure it is done next week so I have 2 weeks prior to my trip for it to heal and hopefully not be sore anymore.

April 14th just so happens to be my mom's birthday.  She would have been  89 years old if she were still with us.  So I know she will be watching over me that day (and everyday).

The picture above was from yesterday.  I had 3 nurses trying to access my port.  Finally, they wanted to recline my chair flat and when they pushed the headrest down, the headrest went flying to the ground.  I was fine.  But, we couldn't stop laughing.  One nurse screamed because she thought I was hurt.  4 or 5 others were laughing.  The other poor patients had no idea what was going on.

At least I can say I try to have fun at my Chemo!!


  1. I hope you get to go to the summit and that replacing your port goes according to plan. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Btw, your ability to laugh in the midst of your illness leaves me admiring your will, determination (even if you sometimes feel like giving up), your bravery (even if you don't feel brave), and your sense of humor. Watching you journey through this is a very valuable lesson in the things that matter most in this life. Take care of yourself.

  2. The Summit in Washington awaits you!! Sending prayers, strength, & hope as you continue your brave journey!! Keep the humor, it truely is good coping tool, that we all can use when live throws us curve balls! I had the honor of attending a Free To Breathe Lung Cancer Summit 2 yrs ago in Pittsburgh, it was one of the most wonderful experiences in my life & I met folks who we all share a wonderful bond to provide support,laughs,& friendship for each other! Stay positive & enjoy your Summit Experience!!