My beloved port has been acting up for a couple of weeks. Crazy slow blood return, perfect blood return, and then yesterday absolutely no blood return.
Blood return is when the nurse uses the port to pull blood out of me.
A port is a small medical device implanted under the skin in the upper chest so that drugs can be injected directly into the jugular vein, which is a lot easier than getting an IV every time I go for chemo. My port, which I love love love, is a Bard Power Port.
Yesterday was so bad, the nurse could neither get blood return nor flush (which is to push saline into me). Now that is bad! Till yesterday, they could always flush.
So when I got up to the chemo treatment room, I knew that they would have to TPA my port. That's when they inject some nasty cleaning fluid to melt away whatever blood clot was blocking the port from working. Then they draw out that nasty cleaning fluid and discard it. While the cleaning fluid is in there, they hang a note on me that says "Do not flush!" so no one flushes the cleaning fluid into me, although one nurse told me once that it would not kill me. Nice.
Two weeks ago, the nurse TPA'ed me, but only for 30 minutes and resulting only in a tiny improvement. So yesterday we knew we were in for a much longer wait. It took an hour and a half, but then my port was running perfectly again.
As a result, Lou and I didn't get outa Duke till 2pm. We went to lunch at Elmo's Diner in Durham, and finally got home at 4pm. I collapsed on the couch. I was exhausted. I guess it's a combination of chemo and stress, but I am completely wiped out on chemo day.
So, I am headed to work, but I am going to be late. I slept ten hours last night, on top of dozing on the couch in the late afternoon.