Blood test and catheter update

August 8, 2010

Friday was blood test day. I was pretty sure my blood count wasn’t going to be good enough so tried to persuade my husband to agree to a bet with me! Unfortunately he was also sure it wasn’t going to be good enough so refused….. But somehow he changed his mind at the last minute…….

Now, I should add here that I can’t really decide on blood-test-Fridays whether I want the blood count to be good enough to go ahead with Monday’s chemo or not. My head says “yes, yes, yes, I want this whole chemo episode to be over as quickly as possible and every week of delay means a week longer before I get my life back.” But a little voice inside me keeps screaming “give me a week’s reprieve – I don’t want that poison on Monday”. So, if you are inclined to positive thinking (which I normally am) it is a win-win whatever way you look at it!

Well, my husband won this time, so it was a detour on the way home to procure his winnings and tomorrow I’m off to Herlev for my 4th lot of chemo (soon half way – yippee!).

I also FINALLY got the stitches taken out of my catheter on Friday – an even bigger YIPPEE! Because it takes longer than usual to heal when you are on chemo AND because of the added risk of infection – the stitches need to be in for minimum 3 weeks. However because my first catheter didn’t work and I got the second one in before the 3 weeks of the first one were over, I have now had stitches for 5 weeks. Actually, it wasn’t really the stitches that annoyed me but the fact that they were covered by a big dressing, which I had to change every 3 days under sterile conditions.  My chest looks quite naked now without it!

I’ve had a few questions about the catheter – exactly where it is located and what it looks like, so thought I would post a photo.

As in the photo, I usually tape the end up – otherwise it dangles down to my waist, which in itself isn’t a problem, but I’m worried that it gets caught on something and gets yanked. In theory, it shouldn’t be able to fall out though. There is apparently a bigger spongy thing on the inside so that it doesn’t. You can probably just see it in the picture, but the tube runs up under my skin to my neck (you can probably see a red mark where there has been a stitch) where it the end goes into a deep vein.

I think I mentioned it before, but they use the catheter both to give my chemo AND to take blood. They can just screw the drip or the syringe into the end of it. No needles! By the way, I don’t think everyone who gets chemo has one of these. I have it because one of the chemicals in my chemo cocktail (ABVD) is pretty toxic and is very hard on the veins (the vein in my arm where I got it the first time round before I had my catheter was sore for 14 days afterwards and still gives me a twinge now and then).

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3 Responses to “Blood test and catheter update”

  1. Kerry Says:

    Hmm, I’m curious, is that you or did you hire a body double? I also want to know what you “procured” for Eric or is that too obscene? I know, very nosey.

    Good luck tomorrow!

    • Kirsten Says:

      Hi Kerry, It is definately me – if I had been going to hire a body double I would found a much more glam one! But suspect it would be hard to convince someone to get the catheter in just to get their picture taken for my blog… I wish I could tell you that E’s winnings were something really raunchy. The truth is that – at his suggestion – the bet was for a bunch of flowers. I reckon this is a sign that his heart really wasn’t in it and he expected me to win! I actually got him a plant, though. Reckoned it was much more macho!

  2. R. Hunja Says:

    K., Actually, somehow, your “spirited self” really comes thru’ in your posts. keep it up; all will be over soon enough and we shall allow ourselves to then laugh about it.

    R.

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