The End of the Port Saga

The port saga is over. It was surgically removed in mid-March and I'm very glad the saga is over.

My wife and I met with a vascular surgeon in February. He described the process and said that I'd be knocked out using fentanyl.

Will this procedure be safe?

When he said that, my brain went into overdrive. Fentanyl?! I questioned him about safety. He said, if I wanted, they could do a more serious surgery where I'm really knocked out.

Umm...nope.I've had my fair share of procedures over the past 11 years. (I'm including foot surgery - that was pre-diagnosis and is a whole other story on its own.)

Freaking myself out

I've never been too worried or concerned leading up to any of these procedures or surgeries. But leading up to port removal, I managed to freak myself out. I wondered if my luck had run out. Honestly, when diagnosed in 2011, I didn't expect to still be alive in 2022. So, there's a part of me that is waiting for that other shoe to drop. I've been really fortunate up to this point.

Time for an apology tour?

Because I had talked myself into being worried about the minor surgery, leading up to my port removal, I reached out to some folks to let them know I love them and appreciate them. I pondered making apology calls to people I may have wronged.

Note, when I was diagnosed, I reached out to a couple of friends to apologize for minor infractions, including one friend to say I'm sorry for not admitting to losing a life preserver when on his boat, way back in 1988 and a childhood friend who's football book I never returned when we were 13. These apologies might have made me feel better but didn't really accomplish much.

And so, prior to the port removal, I thought about again contacting certain people to apologize. But did I truly want to do this? And really, was I just being over dramatic?

Before being diagnosed I hadn’t had any exposure to cancer. My pre-conceived perceptions of a cancer journey were shaped by tv and movies. And as we all know, in real life, cancer is nothing like a movie. I decided that I’d hold off on the apology tour for now and instead would use my own regrets and mistakes as life lessons. This seems sufficient.

The surgery went fine

The surgery was straightforward. I was wheeled into a very white and very bright room. The team was all there, waiting on the surgeon. The anesthesiologist actually seemed annoyed that the surgeon kept him waiting.

My right arm was placed on a platform at a 90-degree angle from my body and strapped down. Strange. I was asked to turn my head so they could shave my chest. And that's the last thing I remember, until I woke up in the recovery room.

I hung out there for a couple of hours and then I was released. I got in a wheelchair and was wheeled to the hospital lobby where my wife was waiting for me.

And that's it. It's out!

I now have just one port. It's on my left side and works great. A week later I had a small skin cancer removed from my forehead. The scars are accumulating. But I'm still here and most likely I'll have other opportunities to apologize to folks...or not.

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