Back on the port...

I'm back on the port - porta cath that is! I had a porta cath fitted on 31 July but by 10 September I had a raging infection in it so the port came out on 12 September.  This meant it took an anaesthetist and an ultra sound to find a vein to cannulate me.  I then had a PICC line put back in on 24 September.

While the PICC line requires a simple procedure to put it in, it involves a whole load of maintenance and I'm actually a low maintenance kinda gal.  Firstly it sticks out on your arm and is supposed to be covered at all times as it's semi exposed and prone to infection.  It needs to be cleaned, flushed and redressed weekly and quite frankly, that's a faff.  However, it's a whole lot better than being stuck with needles trying to find a vein.

Last time, I was on a wait list for a port for about 6 weeks so I asked my lovely breast care nurse, Alison, if I could be put on the list to have a port put back in after radiotherapy, in December.  Blow me down, I had a call on 31 October saying they could potentially put my port back in next week!  I went in for a pre op - to assess whether I was fit for sedation and then they found a space for me at Guy's Hospital Interventional Radiology on Tuesday 6 November.  I wasn't looking forward to it given the traumatic experiences of having it in and out last time just under a local anaesthetic.

This time, the lovely Ben did the procedure and it was a totally different experience.  Same process but different person and it made all the difference and I only had a tiny bit of sedation.  It didn't hurt as much, he talked me through the process, let me know when to expect the sting of the local, and there wasn't the aggressive pulling and tugging that there was last time.

Then there was the issue of finding someone to take me home and stay with me overnight.  Yet again I curse Matthew Chadwick for leaving me - this was never an issue for him, we were a team and I was his carer and chauffeur.  It's moment like these that I feel alone and vulnerable.  I've got an incredible support network but I feel there's only so much I can ask of people - it's a work day, it's annoying to stay over at someone's house and disrupt the work week routine...   It took me until the weekend to summon up the courage to ask people to put themselves out for me and yet again they came through for me.  Thank you NZBWN social media girls, I really really appreciate you babysitting me and for what turned out to be a good old catch up!

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