I forgot to mention yesterday that I had to get two needle sticks as part of my lab work. My portacath still has a little swelling around it. No one is saying that’s unusual, but they do always ask how long I’ve had it. Can you believe it’s only been two weeks? When we used the port for my chemo, it “worked like a charm”, so I wasn’t really worried about my labs. There are two entry points on the port and they like to alternate, inside versus outside. The nurse confirmed which side had been used for chemo and inserted the “needle” on the other side.
For those of you who are squeamish, please skip this paragraph. The “needle” reminds me of a nail, or at the very least a big push pin. And they do literally push it in as such. During chemo, it is held in place with a clear bandage. I now know what a corkboard feels like, and while I know the port is a good thing, it does hurt going in and I already dread the next one. The nurses keep saying it’s because of the swelling that is still there, but I know I will cringe with each and every nail.
They do give you the option of using a cold spray to numb the site before sticking you. The first time I used it, it got painfully cold, but didn’t really help the stick. It still hurt (see above comment on swelling). So this second time, I opted to go “sans spray”. And it hurt as much as with spray. Not sure what I’ll opt for next time.
So the nurse inserts the needle and, alas, no blood (well insufficient blood) came out. So we tried deep breathing and we changed positions and we moved arms around and I stood on my head. (Figuratively. I knew if we couldn’t get this to work, I would need another nail.) But I did try everything. The nurse then gave me my options: draw the blood via my arm, or try the other side of the port. Now, I knew a second stab at the portacath would hurt, and if it didn’t work, I would need a third stick. However, I wasn’t comfortable leaving there without knowing that my port was still working. And so I decided to try the other side and it “worked like a charm”.
I still didn’t get my labs from yesterday; I forgot to call them today. I guess yesterday’s report on white counts were the big story anyway. Day 2 of antibiotic. Check.
Sleep is elusive once again. Last night I slept beautifully from 9-12. And then I was up for hours. Heartburn, bathroom, snack, emails, dozing sleep and weird dreams filled the rest of the night. Tylenol PM, I hear you calling my name tonight! But seriously, there has to be a happy medium between chemo-induced coma and this totally disruptive sleep.