Warning - more gross skin pictures in this post! So if this sort of stuff bothers you, close the page - fast! Otherwise, scroll down...
Ok, you're still with me. Here we go!
Today I got the port out. Here's what it looked like yesterday while still in my chest:
The black dot is not a scab - it's part of the port that's erupted through my skin. Think Sigourney Weaver and the Alien movies and you get a small sense of what this looks like. Although it's not infected and I haven't been running a temperature, the oncologist was pretty convinced that this was a risk that we no longer could tolerate. So out it came!
The procedure for removing it is pretty straightforward. Numb things up locally, dig around for a bit with some typical surgical tools (the thoracic surgeon had me turn my head the other way so I can't report on what tools he used ) but there was a fair amount of grinding, grunting and pulling while he got it to come off my pectoral muscle and out through the previous incision.
Here's a picture of my chest post removal:
I'm sure that will heal up nicely with no scaring. Right...
And here's the bad boy himself, safely ensconced in a biohazard bag.
I was a bit bummed leaving the surgeon's office. I've spent the last few months thinking about how cool it will be to get the port out as this would indicate I was done with chemo. But that's not the way it turned out. I'm only about 45% done. So I get 13 days without any funky hardware in my body and then I get the PICC line. It will be a bit of a PITA (Pain In The Ass). Needs to be flushed every day so another job for my awesome wing-woman to take on. I'm not sure how many activities I can do with my upper body with a PICC line installed but the chemo nurses tell me that they have some very active patients with PICC lines so I'm hopeful I'll still able to do most things.