Saturday, August 13, 2011

Four To Go

Told Annette yesterday, "You know, we only have four more of these bone marrow biopsies left over the next three years and that means we are well over halfway of the total number of them that you will have had to give me."

She seemed surprised that we were that far along, but I also now she was mostly relieved we at that point. Once again, she did a fantastic job of keeping the discomfort at a minimum. There were some "Ow's" that I recall from the past that I did not even experience yesterday.

I also told her, "I may do something really silly (not indecent, mind you) on the day of the final one in 2014." I have some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.

When it comes to that kind of thing, I don't think she has any fear.

Interesting medical fact......Every time she has performed a bone marrow biopsy on me, she comments about how strong my bones are and how tough it is for her to get through. Having a little of the "cancer paranoia," I asked what her take was on that. She explained that for older patients in their 60's-70's, as their bones are a little weaker, it is an easier process, but for patients in their 50's and younger, who are in relatively good health, the bone is a little harder to get through.

So I guess that's a good thing.

Ironically enough, I'm listening to the Mary Chapin Carpenter song, "I Feel Lucky," as I type this.

I would be even more excited to hear her singing "Passionate Kisses" to me in person.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Freshness Guaranteed

Now here's an idea you may never have thought of.....

If you ever have a friend who has surgery and will have a bandage covering the area where the surgery took place, and they want to be able to take a shower without getting the bandage wet.....

1) Buy them a handheld shower that will allow them to direct the water more precisely than a wall mounted shower head. You can get them at a starting cost of around $15.00 and up.

2) Here's the best thing you can do.....Buy them a roll or two of Glad Press and Seal. I'm breaking my own rule of inserting brand names, but it is the only product I've seen like it. In addition, the instructions that came from the hospital after I had my port removed, listed it by name. Tearing off a piece of it, larger than the bandaged area, and then applying it directly to your skin, allows you to take a shower without fear of soaking the dressing bandage. I've used it for the fourth time now since my "sabbatical" started and it works great! You shouldn't point the shower head directly at it, but it allows you to clean in the neighborhood.

Just throwing that out there.....

Monday, August 8, 2011

First MRSA And Now I'm A Biohazard

The port came out today, The Physician Assistant did a great job. No discomfort at all during the process. It probably took about 15-20 minutes. My question of, "Can I keep the port to show others what it looks like and how it works?," was answered with, "No, once it is removed it is considered medical waste and ultimately a bio hazard."

Somewhere in grade school I was probably accused of having "the cooties," but was never called a producer of bio hazard material. I consider it a promotion. Considering some of the stuff that traveled through the port, it is for the best that it now resides in a waste disposal facility at this moment.

Kudos, however, to how clean it looked after it was removed (they did let me look at it and say "goodbye."). I guess it speaks to the great shape of the neighborhood in which it resided since early November 2008. Seriously, I expected it to look like, well, like what the T-bone in a raw T-bone steak would look like after it had been eaten. Not so much. It looked as if it was brand new out of the package. The area where it was accessed (labeled as the "septum" in the picture below) was intact and I was unable to discern that any needles had ever penetrated it.

(actual size about the width of a quarter and about as thick as your thumbnail is wide)

One of the nurses asked me, "If you ever had a relapse, would you have another power port inserted?" "In a minute," I replied, "It sure beat getting stuck by an IV needle for every infusion, transfusion and collection."

However, for this port, it was time to let it go. The prime medical consideration for having it removed is that at any time, the body could reject it and create a "Graft vs. Host" situation.

So...........farewell my purple friend......thanks for helping me out........and for the members of your family that follow in the years to follow.....