MRI Results – My port is broken – Staycation

Hi Everyone,

I received a call from Dr Pedley on Wednesday night that he had received the MRI results and that it is all normal.
More specifically:-

No focal parenchymal abnormalities were demonstrated, the ventricular system was normal in size and configuration, no abnormalities of the major intracranial vasculature were shown and that my craniocervical junction is unremarkable.

Or in English, no metastatic cancers found in your brain.

Phew! Like, mega phew!

When your oncologist gets worried and wants to do a scan “just to be sure” you are entitled to a bit of scanxiety, course you are. but between the Monday and Wednesday evening, I can’t say I thought of much else. I know I have already covered it in the previous blog, but putting your head inside an MRI scanner is a loud and scary thing to do. However, for now, lets just close this chapter of my cancer journey. I’m lucky, my cancer has only spread to my lungs and that’s it for now. I am one of the lucky ones, my fellow bloggers and cancer fighters aren’t as lucky as I and I hope that they get through their treatments and have the strength to pull through it. My thoughts and hopes as always are with them.

I am still having my CT full body scan on the 25th because Dr Pedley moved it forwards.We shall see if the chemo has made a difference enough to push forwards with SABR/Cyberknife or as we have the go-ahead from Aviva my insurance company to have up to 12 sessions in this treatment plan.


Now, the eagle eyed of you may notice that I am blogging right after chemotherapy…

Except, I didn’t have chemotherapy on Wednesday, no I did not. Would you like to know why?
Well, my chemo port decided to be a knob and stop working. On Monday when my blood tests were drawn through the port it wasn’t playing nicely and took two attempts to connect it, then we had to flush it before it would give any blood. Even then it was royal pain before it gave the 3 phials required for the tests. Sadly, one of the phials coagulated en route to Leeds for the test.

Sidenote:
Now this is something that needs to be sorted out. My nurses have complained about it on my behalf and Healthcare at Home have listened (apparently) and time will tell if it made a difference but doesn’t it seem asinine that my blood test results are sent all the way to Leeds for testing rather than the Spire in Washington. That’s 15 minutes away or 8.5 miles versus 1 hour 44 minutes away or 93 miles away. Surely my bloods have more chance of coagulating or spoiling for another reason on the longer journey. I talked this through with the nurses and they seem to have sorted it out.

Why did I bring that up? Well when your blood test results don’t come out correctly you have to have them done again. Now when Amie my nurse called me Monday night to give me the news, she told me on the phone she knew I wouldn’t want my port used 3 days in a row, it’d be all bruised and battered for chemo. She’s right and knowing this, would it be okay to give me a cannula when she arrived. Now we all know how much I hate needles at the best of times but hey ho. Just get it done.

So Tuesday middle of the day Amie arrives for 5 minutes, jabs me with a needle and takes the missing phial of blood and a courier arrives to take my blood urgently to the Nuffield hospital in Newcastle to make sure chemo can go ahead.

Wednesday morning arrives, Amie is back to deliver chemo and right from the off she could tell it was going to be a nightmare. My right side feels destroyed right now after having a huge cannula for the contrast on Monday, the cannula from Amie on Tuesday and my port has already had two needles from the blood tests on Monday too.
Amie tries the first time with the gripper needles she usually uses and cannot get blood out of it. (You may not know this but before you can receive treatment via the port, it has to give them 10 ml of blood first.)
Nothing.
So she tries to flush it with saline solution and it won’t take it either, I can see her knuckles go white as she’s trying to press the syringe plunger. So she disconnects the gripper needle and tries again with another one. It connects fine but again it won’t give her a thing.

So in this circumstance, nurses call head office and discuss options, there was luckily another Healthcare at home nurse on her way to County Durham in the vicinity. The two of them discuss it and she offers to call in and have a go. So I now have two nurses in my house trying to resolve the issue. I discuss with them that although we usually use the smaller of the gripper needles would they like to use the larger sized needle to see if it would make a difference. Now, they’re still the same gauge but they’re slightly longer in length and they agreed that it would actually be worth trying.

Attempt #3 fails straight away, I can see that although I feel it’s connected correctly, it’s neither supplying more than a small splatter of blood into the syringe, it won’t flush with saline either.
Attempt #4 fails shortly afterwards, at this point, I am not sure I could actually deal with another needle in my chest wall. The thing is, although the chemo port does save your veins at this point, I have had some 6 needles into my chest in 48 hours and I’m really starting to get pissed off but I just grin and bear it.

So what do you do in this circumstance? apparently, you call Dr Pedley. Only, guess who’s doing interviews today? So Amie calls and calls and calls him to no avail. She even calls his secretary who tells her to text him. (I should have known, because he immediately answers you when you text him but hey ho)
Anyways, she and Dr Pedley discuss the issue, he said he’s going to need to bring me into hospital to see the interventional radiologist, he’ll fix the issue. They may need to inject me with dye and find out if there’s a clot or blockage fix or even replace the port.
Frank is the guys name I only met him the once, but he’s the nice Irish fella who fit my port some 30 months ago.
I won’t be able to see him till Friday at the earliest, or Monday next week. Dr Pedley told Amie to tell Cam, sorry but we are going to have to cancel doing chemotherapy for this week.

Shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!

*NOT!*

So this guy gets a 7 day staycation off Chemo, and you know what? I couldn’t give an effling monkies! I am going to enjoy this week off and I really do mean it. I got all but a day and a half of ‘Normal’ this fortnight, so upping that to a week and a bit of normal is living the dream for me right now. The hospital did phone me Friday to ask if I had any gripper needles at home, however I don’t so they can’t see me today. I’ve had a total of about 8 needles this week so that’s enough for this needle phobic guy so bollocks. I’m having a week off.

So it’s not all doom and gloom, I’ll take my good news and staycation when I can get them.

As always, I hope you’re all okay and staying safe. I know Boris the twat is opening the UK up but still all the same. I hope everyone is well and keeping okay.

-Cam

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