Getting the Portacath Removed!

Friday was a HUGE day in the cancer battle! It was the day I have been marking in my mind for a year—the day that a surgeon would remove my portacath. I had expected to keep it longer, but at my last appointment, my doctor said we could go ahead and take it out. This was a great blessing—primarily because I just hated having that thing in my body (while being grateful for it at the same time.)

In some ways this event marked a finish line. The cancer journey is still in progress, and will be for some time. There are still regular scans and tests, and considerations of recurrence. But getting the port removed (at least for now) was the crossing of a finish line of sorts. I’m eternally grateful that God has brought us to this point, and I’m prayerfully hopeful that I will not need to have it put back in.

The procedure was relatively simple. The prep for surgery took much longer than the procedure, and the worst part was the lidocaine shots that numbed my chest. After that, it was smooth sailing, and took only a few minutes for the doctor to remove the port and stitch me back up. After an hour in recovery, Dana drove me home.

My right chest has been a bit sore for the past two days, but it’s a wonderful soreness for sure. In a day or two, for the first time in a year, Dana will finally be able to lay her head on the right side of my chest without creating any discomfort.

One of the coolest moments of the morning was when the nurse was disconnecting my iv and other monitors. He reached over to cut my admitting bracelet off my arm and accidentally also cut my “LiveStrong” arm band given to me by my sons the week I was diagnosed. He felt terrible, and for a moment, I did too. I have worn that for a year, and treasured it. But then the Lord reminded me of the symbolism of watching that arm band drop from my wrist on the same day that my port was taken out. There was something special about it that I will never forget.

In closing, I want you to pray for some pretty special people in my life. First, a dear friend Tommy Burgess who has been battling cancer for three years now. I think of him and pray for him every day. He is a giant in my eyes and has taught me much. Second, another dear friend and mentor—Dr. Toby Weaver, the dean of men at West Coast Baptist College. He is in the middle of receiving a lymphoma diagnosis. And finally, a friend from church—Tony Brown—a great man who’s teens are in our youth group. He has also been battling cancer for a long time. Please pause, before you click off this page, and ask God to bless, strengthen, and heal these men.

Thanks for stopping by and for praying for these friends!

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6 Responses to Getting the Portacath Removed!

  1. Jim Chatham says:

    Cary;

    I am just half way through your book but had to tell you what a blessing it has been in my life. My situation is not near as dire as yours, I had a cancerous prostate removed 5 years ago, but the PSA is moving up again and I am going through radiation treatment. Although not as severe as other forms of cancer this is the one that took my Dad’s life some years ago so it becomes a little more real to me.

    God had been really working in my life during the time before the reoccurance of the cancer and I was given a copy of your book only a week or so ago and it has added so much to my life and I am so grateful to read of your experience and gain from your knowledge. I now know WHY I have cancer and am honesty rejoicing in the opportunity I have to make this journey hand in hand with the Creator of the Universe. What an awesome opportunity.

    I met a man named Oscar at the clinic the other day. He told me his history with his cancer and I asked if he minded if I prayed for him. He said yes and that he would pray for me, too. I gave him my copy of your book (I ordered and have received another) on Monday and asked him to read it. We only see each other a few minutes each day but I would ask that you pray that God will meet his spiritual needs whatever they might be and that I could possibly a help to him finding the Lord if that is, indeed, what he needs.

    Sorry to be so lengthy, but I just finished Chapter 5 and wanted to reach out and let you know what a blessing your book has been to me. I will try to keep up with you through your web site and promise to pray for you and your family that your faith might stay strong.

    In Him
    Jim Chatham

    • Daphne Johnson says:

      Hi my name is Daphne over 17 years ago i had AML i was treated at UCI Medical they got rid of it shorty after my treatment they sent me to have chest port removed will the doctor informed me that it couldn’t remove it cause it didn’t put it in. I told my cancer doctors and there response was does it hurt i said no ok than don’t worry about it now. Now after all these years i’m haveing problems that my primary care doctor can’t find she send me a referral before xmas . Now when i contacted this general surgeon to make appt. they informed me that it’s the wrong doctor they contacted my doctor so did i and i still have not got a response. NOW i’m not understanding how my problem is not a VERY SERIOUS ISSUE can somebody help me I’ve even ask can i please go get it flushed this is the third Doctor i’ve seen two primary care and one cancer Doctor the pain above my ankle it’s going on a year help HELP PLEASE

  2. MARILLINE says:

    DEAR FRIEND I REALLY LOVE YOU ALREADY !!!! BEFORE 2012 END I FOUND YOUR BOOK DONE THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PRESENT I RECEIVE FOR CHRITMAS I READ ALL AND I CALL A FRIEND OF MINE TO READ THE BOOK I HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER AND GET WELL SOON BUT IS NOT REMEMBER GOD HAVE A BEATIFULL PLACE FOR YOU IN HEAVEN WHERE THE PAIN DO NOT EXIST . BUT YOU KNOW WHAT GOD LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND HE KNOW WE NEED YOU RIGHT HERE FOR GUIDE US AND SHOWING US THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM SO I KNOW HE LET YOU STAY HERE FOR LONG TIME. THANKS FOR BEING YOU AND WRITE THAT BOOK IT HEAL MY HEART!!!!!!!!!

  3. I have just been googling portacath removal and your site came up.
    Tomorrow I go into hospital to have my port removed. I so identify with your sentiments. After 6 round of chemo followed by 18 rounds of Herceptin I am well and truly fed up of having hollow bore needles pushed into my chest whilst at the same time, feel grateful for the port and the treatment.
    Good luck to you and God Bless.

  4. ambika says:

    I just hit my one year remission mark for Hodgkin’s and am so excited to get my port removed! stumbled upon this post and loved it. I agree, even though it is a harmless device and I barely notice it, it is definitely a landmark to get it taken out and I am so grateful!! Like you, I also notice the blessings in this experience – a new perspective, and a new appreciation for life & health. I am excited to leave the cancer & treatment behind, but I hope to carry all of the life lessons with me.

    All the best to you!

  5. Vicki says:

    Tomorrow I get my porta at out I’m really scared

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