Accessing a PowerPort for the First Time

Today was hyper Mandi. I think steroids contribute to hyper Mandi status. I caught myself yammering at work to one of my teams yesterday and realized I was on a pre-chemo-steroid energy binge. I will take energy. It is lovely after last week being an exhausted ball of worn out.


I was apparently “adorable” as noted by the pharmacist telling someone on the breast cancer team that saw me on the elevator. I was rocking my eggplant purple leggings and a cute scarf I bought. I found a bunch of pretty pre-fitted scarves for $12(Amazon affiliate link, you click on it and buy something and I get a few cents to buy more scarves) on I was trying to find a variety of pretty scarves for a reasonable price. These have been my favorite so far (I think the one I had on I bought elsewhere).

I was talking a million miles a minute when we saw my oncologist. Painful spots were going down in my stomach and ribs, but there is a worrisome painful spot on my actual liver my oncologist found with her poking. We won’t know anything until my scan and nothing showed up on the ultrasound 3 weeks ago (I am on the treatment I would be on if they did see something new :-/). She was checking my spine and definitely wacked my worst spine spot good (and mentioned we would now find her palm print on my next scan, teehee, I am going to be looking for this palm print). We planned my next PET-CT in early April. They are working on getting it scheduled around my apparently super popular schedule (I am going to the LBBC Metastatic conference in the middle of April and may try to go to another one for work in the same month). Jet-set chemo-Mandi is on the road? We will see how all of that works out.

My liver count went down! The 20% drop in chemo did cause my liver counts to go down (rather than compound effect of them going up). This is good! This is happy! I was able to get the full amount of chemo today (and I miss wine). It was much shorter, so I guess when we approve my counts and get things ordered I can be out of there in a reasonable amount of time (plus I verified with the nurse that this is a faster process because they know I don’t turn purple and explode).

I’ll find out my tumor count most likely on Monday.

I decided that since this was my first time accessing my port (I have a power port, I have a special notification bracelet for it, but I didn’t wear it), that I would videotape it and share. I didn’t know what to expect. I had my mom stop when I saw blood, but then I realized that you can’t really see it very well on the video, so we turned it back on. The awesome nurse working in the lab was willing to help out with the video since she had to give me the info anyway:


Lessons learned:

  • PutĀ  on your numbing cream 30-60 min before rather than putting it on in a rush in the car squirting everywhere and realizing you didn’t have plastic wrap, but luckily had a zip lock baggy in your purse.
  • Numbing cream just needs to go on the very top of your port where they access it.
  • It is hard to understand what I am saying wearing a surgical mask.

I have been working on building what I call “The List” I don’t want to call it a bucket list or anything crazy like that,just small goals or goofy things to challenge me to do things, try things, and just enjoy life a little more. I will report my successes as they come up here (I found a simple butter maker, so #21 is happening soon if it works out and tastes good). I am thinking honey homemade butter with cornbread… now I never probably would have bought a butter maker until I had created my list. Feel free to give goofy/fun ideas and I will add them to the list if they fit!.

Author: Mandi

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