It may not seem like it’s been that long since treatment to your fine readers, but by this time, I had begun treatment over seventeen months ago and after all that time, I still had the Port-a-Cath (from which to draw blood) in my chest, you know, just in case. I had wondered for how long I would keep this third nipple, but the time had come where they deemed it ready for removal. This was a huge milestone for me. This symbolic moment told me that they were confident that I wouldn’t need the Port-A-Cath any longer.
Sure, I was nowhere near the five-year confidence threshold, but nevertheless, it was a cause for celebration. In an effort to commemorate such a moment, I wanted to get the removal on film. The procedure was to be conducted during an in-office visit and so, I knew the sterilization process wasn’t drastic enough to prohibit a camera.
The nurse pulled the needle out of my scarred mound of skin. Even the smallest of gauges stung when piercing the tough flesh adorning the Port-A-Cath. Needles never hurt me before, so I had no reason to fear them… That is until they punctured scar tissue, daily.
But today’s point was different. Today, the needle was being removed because I was finally going home. It was rather difficult to keep that secret from my Father and Brother the previous weekend. You would think I’d want to tell them of my escape, but it’s much more amusing to surprise them when they least expected it, in person no less.
The anticipation was rising… My counts were finally (once again), back on the climb. Round two of chemo was nearing its cycle and that meant… going outside.
Every blood test inched closer to a new hope: “cleared for take off.” Back in 851 after the week and a half of that medical sidestep, things changed outside. It was nearing October. People weren’t wearing summer clothing anymore. Older folks had near-winter jackets; others had windbreakers and sweaters. The cold crept its way into our typically rapid autumn commencement.
Eventually everyone had to get back to his or her job (or in my brother’s case: high school), and the fervor died down. It was back to my Mom and Stepdad for the most part, as it was the majority of the weekdays. At any rate, it was amazing to consistently have family there when able, for their company made the harder days just that much easier.
A few days into my chemo, I had expected my hair to hop off of my head like rats off of a sinking ship, but surprisingly these follicles were holding strong. Every morning I’d take a shower, and every morning there was maybe a few, but nothing more than a normal Monday. Will I even lose my hair? Maybe I have some rare resistance to the popular side effect– a key within my DNA! Perhaps not.
Saturday approached faster than I had expected. The future always seems so far away until it sticks you right in your android chest receptacle, er– Port-a-cath.
They had to hydrate my blood first, so I had been on a steady drip of saline for the past few days. It is true what they say: when they first push the saline through it goes right to your taste buds. It’s disgusting, like gargling seawater laced with a medical “after smell.” At least it was for me.
At that moment I was reminded that I had never been hospitalized before; no pneumonia, bad fever, or any broken legs for that matter–
Well, I did break my wrist once in third grade, but I wasn’t hospitalized. It was a stupid mistake…