Thursday, September 5, 2013

WANTED: Port Authority

Yippee!  My dream job was posted on Career Builders!

Wait. What?  my mistake.  I thought they were looking for an Interventional Radiologist.  Damn.  What a great job that would be.

I have been known to spend many hours with my nose buried up to my frontal sinus in a medical book, like the Merck Manual or the Physicians Desk Reference...yum!  However, I became a WebMD when Al Gore invented the Internet.  Wow! My career took off!  Then I was able to fulfill my interest (and make money) in medicine by becoming a radiology transcriptionist, providing me with an endless supply of fascinating cases to read. 

On Tuesday, the day I had my port-a-cath implanted, I had an upclose and personal exposure to the Interventional Radiology Department of UVa.  To say that I thoroughly enjoyed the process is indeed an understatement.  I know, I'm sick (and I mean in the I-love-this-stuff kind of way.) The department runs like clockwork - as I wish all departments did.  They hooked me up to the mandatory IV and even drew my labs that were necessary for the next day's chemo - damn efficient. 

At about 11 am, I said toodles to Chuck, who was eager to get to the cafeteria, and off I went with Nurse Debby to the surgical room, which was lit up like High Mass, as Mom used to say.  I think it actually had stadium lights in the ceiling, along with a gigantic move-around-able x-ray machine.  I had to wear a mask and have my head and face covered so I couldn't see a damn thing!  I so wanted to watch, but they prefer the patient to keep her nosey little face and grubby hands out of the sterile field.  Nurse Debby asked how "in or out" I wanted to be.  Well, since I can't watch, I'd like to listen!   She pushed in just the right amount of  the ever-appreciated conscious sedation cocktail to keep me happy and fascinated.  It was so cool!  

An ultrasound was performed over my neck, which, according to the tech, demonstrated a "garden hose of a jugular!"  Well, I do aim to please.  At about that time, the interventional radiologist, Dr. A, made his appearance and got busy! An incision was made in my neck for the guidewire, and a larger incision was made in my pretty chest to accommodate the port, which looks this:
The thing is threaded through a vein to a point just above my ever-loving heart.  I could have made this much more gruesome, but I just realized not everyone shares my enthusiasm for ooginess. 
This is what I looked right after the procedure:
Nurse Debby suggested that I might want to stop by the cosmetic surgery department and order some breast implants.  At my age, girlie, we don't need implants, we need a staple gun!  Just pull 'em up and chagunck, chagunck (staple gun sound effects) right below the shoulders.  $14.95 at Home Depot.


  1. Have not seen those boobs since 1973 when your top fell off at BIG SURF in Phoenix and you walked around for 5 minute before you realized it was gone. Those were the days. Glad your having FUN!! Thom

  2. I love the blog and your no-hold-barred description of getting your port. I will check in often so please keep me updated. Attitude is everything and yours is inspirational! Love you cuz!!

  3. Oh Kate I love your blog...I check it everyday and send prayers up for you everyday...GOD I MISS YOU GIRL...KEEP UP THE GOOD SPIRITS AND BLOGGING..PEGGY

  4. I have sent your resume' to the Ellen show...While you fight cancer I think you should be writing jokes for her can keep busy in your down time