jenny's belly

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm having my port-a-cath taken out next friday. If you don't know what this is (and believe me, you have no reason to know) its this lovely device implanted under the muscle at the top of my chest, near my left shoulder. It was put there, not because I needed chemotherapy, but because this time last year I had chemotherapy 24/7. For 5 or 6 lovely weeks I had a pump that I slept/bathed/talked/ate/lived with. The port-a-cath enables nurses to put a needle into an area the size of a quarter (and I have 2 "ports") and be almost guaranteed they will be able to draw blood. The port-a-cath has tubes leading directly into one of my veins. I've gotten over the grossness of that concept. Honestly, I think I'll miss the little guy. It always made me feel just a little more of the "in crowd" at Dana Farber. "What, you have chemo in your arm? Childs-play." You see someone with a needle in their chest, that's hard-core. And if they used the cold spray and I inhaled as the needle went it, it really didn't hurt all that much.
I think my doctor sensed my hesitation with having it removed. "We can put it back in quite easily." Yes, well, that will mean I have cancer again, so that's not such a great way to put it.
I'm doing well but FREEZING. I don't remember being this cold this early in the season. I'm not going to make it through January. I have a usually warm, thick quilt on my bed PLUS a down comforter. And this is in my old room at my parents house, where my room gets the heat first, and used to be so warm in the winter I couldn't even use flannel sheets. I freeze at work. I've put my coat on at my desk several times. The sweaters I'm wearing don't seem to be thick enough.
I found out my vitamin D levels are crazy-low so I'm taking supplements. Did I mention that already? You know, I used to have a rock-solid memory. Really, it was one of the few things I truly loved about "being me". I can't remember crap. My mother mentioned we bought new christmas lights last year. I was with her when she bought them. NO memory whatsoever. I'm sort of getting used to this new shoddy mind. I'm learning to take it easy, but its hard. I used to be able to tell you what a person was wearing last time we had lunch, not just what we talked about. All gone. Now I can't remember either thing. I wish they'd include me in some of their studies for chemobrain.