I'll Never Forget The Day I Got My Port Removed

I remember the day clearly. My head was still rapidly spinning. I had finished weekly chemotherapy after six and a half months and my picc-line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was about to be removed.

The reality was, I was terrified of this change. A number of what-if's filled my mind and uncertainties quarantined my body. So soon? I wasn't ready for this, yet it was an oncology order. I had learned to adjust to this being in my arm; it had been part of my arm as I learned to deal with the pain and minimal use that seeing it off was too much to grasp. I needed a little more time!

The thought of my cancer returning and having another one put in was horrid. The picc-line RN that put it in my arm had made the experience absolutely horrific for me. I had just been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive choriocarcinoma (placental cancer) not even 24 hours earlier, and I didn't understand the whole concept of my journey yet. Hearing of my new restrictions was a nightmare even more for me, although what was spoken was true. Everything was a rush of urgency. I had just had a baby 4 months prior (she was the surviving twin of my complete twin molar pregnancy). I also had three other children, all under 14 years of age at home. From the moment I signed the consent papers, I was punctually confined in my sterile room for the procedure.

Back at the oncology office, six and a half months later, my RN asked if I was ready as her face filled with delight. She saw my uncertainty as she reassured me that this was only a "good thing" to have this order from the oncologist. I remember asking her if this was going to hurt. "Nah. Maybe just a little tickle," she said. It took literally seconds to pull it out! I was so relieved! Prep time and clean up time went fairly quickly, too. I went home with a free arm and a cotton swab band-aid.

Now I hear that some name their port or PICC-line. I did not nor did I even think to do so. I did, however, think to keep the dainty white plastic line with its 3 colored ports dangling at the end, but I figured that may be a tad peculiar. I absorbed every moment, even snapped pictures along the way. I posted this immense milestone on social media and tried to retain positive vibes to new beginnings. This was two and a half years ago. I have a very tiny, almost perfect round scar in remembrance of my peripheral. Leftover nerve damage is another commemoration. Do I dare look back? No, not really. This memory is gently tucked away for safekeeping.

Do you remember the day you got your port removed? What was it like? Share in the comments below and sign up here.