Yesterday I went into NYU and had my mediport removed. It was installed on the 3rd day of November, 2010, and I just went back and read my blog post from that day. It seems like so long ago!
The mediport is a device that is implanted into your chest and allows drugs to be administered without having to put in a new IV line every time. It sits just under the skin and your nurse accesses the port by using a little needle that kind of looks like a thumb tack. It’s somewhat disconcerting the first time they access it because rather than coming towards your skin at an oblique angle, you see the needle coming straight at your chest! It sounds worse than it is though. It became my favorite way to give blood or do anything. If they ever said they needed to put in an IV, I always urged them to just use the port. It was great… All things considered.
One other thing you should look into if you are getting a mediport is getting a double port. When I got my mediport I was unaware that I was getting a double port and was later told that they aren’t that common, but you should definitely request one! The great thing about a double port is that you can have chemo and fluids administered at the same time. With a single port, if you need fluids administered while you are getting chemo, you have to have an additional IV installed in your arm. However, if you have a double port you can have them both running at once into your chest. It is much more convenient than it sounds! So if you have to get a mediport definitely tell them to make it a double!
Having the mediport removed is a big day. It is the sign that your oncologist feels confident that your cancer treatment is complete. It shows that he thinks that you will not need any more chemo in the foreseeable future. It is a big day. After getting out of the surgery (which just used local anesthetic… I had a nice conversation with my doctor throughout the entire procedure) I had a message from a guy that I had met at the Cancer Center. He was up on the 16th floor for some chemo. We swung by later in the day and said hello. We talked about various things, but he told me that his port had been put in over 4 years ago and he was sitting there using it as we spoke. It really puts things in perspective when you talk to people who have been dealing with this type of thing for so long. Hopefully my cancer treatments will be done for good with this step and I can concentrate on pushing myself to continue getting better on my new leg!