Fig 86b -
Borg Cortical Node. A portacath
What it is is basically a little chamber with a self-sealing rubber top connected to a catheter tube; it's implanted under the skin in my chest (just above my left moob) and the catheter is fed through a vein so that the entrance is just above my heart. When it comes to giving chemo all they do is pop a special needle into the chamber and all those lovely poisonous drugs get right into me. You may remember last year that I had something similar called a PICC line put in which similarly is used to give drugs and draw blood but the major disadvantage of those is that the end of the pipe is outside the body and needs to be kept covered and scrupulously clean to prevent infection, can't get wet and is prone to damage which to an outdoorsy dragon like me is a right royal pain in the arse. So this time I elected to go for the port. Being tiny and under the skin I should be able to keep riding and gardening without fear of yanking it out or it getting mucky.
So far so good but (and this is cancer, there's always a "but" remember) to insert this baby they need tunnel it under your skin so there's a tiny bit of surgery involved. And paperwork. So first you have to sign the consent form and they tell you all the stuff that can go wrong like you might get a blood clot right up to "If we balls this up we'll puncture a lung, don't worry too much about that as you have two of them."
Anyway I'm wheeled into theatre which had the world's smallest operating table in it which I only just fit on and I'm given a nice whack of Midazolam which belongs to the "wheee I'm floating in the air look at all the cute baby unicorns" class of drugs. Then they whack in the local anaesthetic and there's lots of pushing and tugging for a while, a quick x-ray to check everything's in the right place and then they superglue me shut.
Yes superglue. Just the same stuff you buy from B&Q but in a sterile tube. Originally it was invented for battlefield medical use during the Vietnamese war.
So I'm then wheeled out, given half an hour to make sure I'm ok and to let the woozy drugs wear off and I'm good to go. "You might need to take some painkillers" they said.
Bloody hell and then some. This is the most painful invasive thing they've done to me so far, Take a look at this (warning - view of my man boob, may not be safe for work, children, wives or servants)
Fig 52 - Ouchies
That's 48 hours later so starting to heal up but that was not a whole load of fun.
The good news is that you can keep these in for years if nothing goes wrong and they require minimal maintenance so with any luck I won't need to go through this malarkey again.
Now stop looking at by moob!