Thursday, July 11, 2013

Emerald City of getting some tough outta this catheter: day 0-8

Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to introduce you to my Hickman line:

If you look closely you can see where it threads under my skin and over my collar bone. From there it dips out of site into my jugular vein and down into the superior vena cava and ends just before the valve there. I was squeamish about having it put it and I am still a little nervous about when I will need to flush it with saline and heparin on my own every day, but for now it is pretty much under the jurisdiction of my transplant team. I wear an occlusive bandage over the port opening that has a rectangle of anti-infection gel that will need to be changed once a week, but this is another thing I can let my nurses do for me until I am released from the hospital. The two-prong ends are color-coded to determine the prong's proximity to my heart. I forgot to ask why. It reminds me of a snake's tongue, so I am considering naming it Harry after the famous parselmouth. 

Getting my line put in made me feel a bit more tough than I have been lately. My deep periodontal cleaning Wednesday went a much more smoothly than Monday's as a result. Thank goodness... it is mortifying to be a grown woman with a serious dental anxiety problem. 

After a couple weeks of non-stop clinic action and restless sleep, I finally get a single chill day today. Chill is relative, I guess. Today is Chemo Class. I have been taking my antibiotics and liver protector and tomorrow before class I will get my anti-seizure medication that I will need to take 30 minutes before I take my Busulfan and then we talk chemo with my team nurse. I'm pretty sure I get my first dose then, but it might not be until Friday morning. Friday is the start of crazy blood draw marathons, where I have a blood draw at 7am, take my Busulfan and then continue to have blood draws pretty much once an hour until 3:00 so they can track the my metabolism of the chemo drug. Saturday looks about the same, and I think Sunday. I check in to the hospital on the 16th and that is when I will switch from oral chemo to an infusion drug called Cytoxan. Wow, it just sounds dreadful! It makes me think of boutique rat poison for psychotic, murderous wives. 

I've been enjoying my time with my mom this week. She lets me be quiet and contemplative when I need it, makes sure I eat something healthy other than oatmeal all the time, encourages me when I am crying or feeling uncertain, supports my post-transplant life goals, and is quick to let my punchiness after a long day throw us both into giggle fits. It's too bad my transplant is the reason it is just the two of us for a little while, but I am really glad she is here. She is an important member of the support team that I have and treasure all my heart. Pretty soon, her partner, my brothers and their ladies, and my dad will all be here to support me and T, my amazing donor-bro. I am blessed to have these people! I have been receiving lovely texts, letters, and emails from all sorts of friends lately, so if you are one of those please know I hug you with my mind every time I hear from you. I can't wait to get back to you all for river floats, campfires, dress-up dining out, dinner parties, corn hole, deep chats, and next summer's Color Run!

525 Minor Ave N
Apt 311
Seattle, WA 98109

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