Posted by: Ken Wheatley | March 12, 2009

Port-A-Cath Day

It’s 11:40am and nurse Mooney just took Sheila into surgery. Dr. Rivera will be installing the port-a-cath in a 1/4″ “pocket” on the upper right side of her chest. Then he will fish the line under her skin, over her collar bone and into a smaller incision in her neck so that he can ultimately fish the line into her jugular vein and down to her heart.

We didn’t know the ports came in colors and Sheila got momentarily excited when she heard that they might have it in purple – her favorite color. Unfortunately, they were all out, so she’ll probably be getting a blue one.

The port itself is about the size of a quarter and is as thick as a stack of three or four quarters. It has three “feet” with a fairly thick plastic top where they will inject any future contrast solutions or IV drugs, such as her chemo drugs. Sheila said that other patients that she’s talked with have “raved” about having one. It’ll make a big difference from having to go through the pain of repeated attempts to find a workable vein.

Sheila should be in there for about two hours before I get to take her home. She’s being sedated of course, so that’s good, as she hasn’t slept much recently, and this will give her a chance to have a deep sleep and be relaxed for a good part of the day.

She woke up at 5 this morning in pain again. Her jaw and ear continue to hurt, and they’re going to do an MRI to see if by remote chance she is having necropsy of the jawbone – one of the side effects of the Zometa she’s been getting for the tumors on her rib and spine. Not sure when the MRI is going to happen, but we’ve got to get to the bottom of what’s causing the pain. It’s daily and at times quite painful. On top of the pain she’s already dealing with in her chest it’s frustrating to have this prolonged mystery.

So I’m sitting in the lobby of the hospital waiting for the call to get my sweetie and take her home.



  1. hopefully this implant will take some of the stress and frustration out of Sheila’s treatments.

    you’re both amazing. continue to stay strong and have faith.

  2. Thanks, as always, Barry.

  3. I love the courage you both have. I also have to get a port put in as i am out of vains now.
    God bless you both.

  4. Thanks Jean…

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