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  1. #1
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    6-14-11 Catheter and Eyes that Smolder

    Well, I'm an hour and a half from the next round of chemo. I'm so looking forward to it. Now, I'm not complaining, or not too much, in fact I've debated many times with myself about posting anything at all, but I've decided today that not only should I, but some good may come of it; and not just for me.

    City of Hope is a hellofa place. If one must make a choice on where to go through this crap, this is a good place to choose.

    Of course if your veins insist on not cooperating it doesn't much matter where you go. Yup, there's a little story there. Let me relate.

    Seems the Amazons are not the only ones my tubes of rubyred goodness are opposed to. Nope, not the only ones at all. Part of this stay, which is sort of like College level compared to my previous kindergarden rounds of chemo, involves putting a catheter into my jugular vein.

    Normally, from what I was told by the poor Doc who had to stick me, it's a pretty easy procedure. Normally. Sigh. Sometimes being out of the norm is not so much fun.

    This Doc, who actually is a nice guy, first tried to find vein by going under my collar bone with this neat little tool that has a wire in it so it can be place directly in the vein. He tried because my vein, naturally, was not where it was supposed to be.

    Let me back up a bit.

    Before this process begins, the actual sticking of things in me, there is the obligatory and necessary sterilization of the procedure area. No biggie, you get swabbed, in my case for about a square foot, with betadine and some other anti-bacterial liquids. After that the nice man in the mask, the ALL wear masks now, says, "you'll feel a little stick, like a bee sting then it should go numb."

    It happened just like he said. Bee sting, numb. About half a dozen times and we're ready to go. Have I ever mentioned that I seem to be very tolerant of all the caine family of drugs? Novacaine, lidocaine, and all their cousins, seem to be needed in larger than normal quantities to have the desired affect on me. Needless to say, though I will, after the hymenopteran penetrations I was mostly numb. The thing is, I'm also kind of thick, as in not some skinny thing ready to blow away on the next errant gust of wind. This is significant because the spot the Doc was planning his initial gouging was under the proverbial pound of flesh. Fortunately after probing around in there, under my collar bone (and doesn't it feel wonderful having a pool stick shoved into your chest, rocked around, withdrawn, shoved in again, searching like a sand boa for a place to burrow, nosing with far greater, or so it seemed at the time, force than was needed, even though it was, needed that is, in a vane attempt to succor purchase and entrance to my tubular parts. Fricking hurt too.

    After those failures, sigh, the Doc decides to go for the neck. Not as good a placement as under the collar bone, but not out of the ordinary at all. Less convenient, rougher on movement, but not bad all in all.

    With visions of Amazons dancing like sugar plums in my head, he sterilizes another square foot of my pincushioned parts, and inserts another needle into the vein so readily available. He can not only feel it, he can see it. It's a slam dunk. I've never been much for basketball. Neither has my jugular it seems.

    Like the Lovely Amazon Ladies this poor guy hit the bullseye, center punched the ticket, shoved that bloody, er darn (the blood was soon to come) needle right in that big blue bugger and started my blood flowing.

    For about three seconds. Yup. No bueno. Vein closed up.

    "No problem Chief," he says, "we'll get it on the next one," I hear through his gaily coloured mask.

    Wanna guess how many next ones there were? Wanna guess who was told that even WITH the ultrasound to show him what he knew, that the needle was indeed in my vein, if he didn't get good flow he'd have to place the catheter in my groin? If you guessed anyone but me you're skipping entire paragraphs.

    In goes the needle, guided by years of experience, an ultra sound machine and my willingness to get this over with. Again the target has been successfully acquired and again good blood flow has been achieved. Oh yeah, and again, blood flow has ceased as though a spigot were turned off. It was that fast.

    "Sorry Boss," the Doc, who is actually a surgeon tells me, "we'll get it on the next one. I've never had this happen. Your skin is so tough I'm having a hard time getting in. I've done surgeries that lasted three or four hours were less difficult."

    Being the ever optimistic fellow that I am, I agree with him from under my covering (yup, my entire upper body was covered, head and all, I think in part so I couldn't SEE all the blood I could hear gushing out for those first few precious seconds of every successful sticking or the mess it made of the floor, the sterile cover I was under or his shoes) that the twelfth time is the charm.

    More bee stings, more shoving of pool sticks into my neck, more blood, more mess and finally, at long last and on the last attempt he's willing to make on my thick neck, he breathes a sigh of relief and says, "Whew, we're finally in Cheif. Damn that was tough, pardon me for swearing. I've never had to, and hear I can't recall his exact wording but it was to this effect, stick some one so many time just to place one of these catheters."

    Gosh oh gollygee I felt special. And talk about a PAIN in the neck. Holy Mackeral, literally a pain in my neck. But, finally and at long last, this took about 45 minutes for a 5 minute process, we were done, my catheter was placed and my sweaty self was allowed to once again breathe the sweet, yech, air of hospital sterility. Better than being all hot and bothered under the cloth and plastic protector though, by a loooooong shot.

    There is tremendous benefit to this hitchhiker on my neck. I will no longer be subject to the Amazonian Ministrations necessary to treat me. No more needle sticks to draw blood, no more needle sticks to administer the chemical compounds that will extend my life, no more no more no more. But it is a pain in the neck. lol

    It's bizarre to hear your blood whistling out a narrow tube, bubbling as it were, in its efforts to flow where pressure is least, to escape the narrow confines of it's pipeline life. It's just weird to hear that wire guide being pulled out of your neck, feeling the rasp of that miniature cable against the hard plastic of the attachment in the IV line, it literally vibrates the collar bone, jaw bone and maybe even my ear bones. Not too sure about the ear bones as I was feeling it coming out as much as hearing it coming out, but it sure felt/sounded like it did.

    And now I wait, the final 30 minutes of life before the last round of chemo starts. Minus 7 days to transplant. I heard my nurse say that just now. Gotta love a countdown. Wonder what the blast off will be like.

    On a more positive note, though this was not meant or written to be negative in any way, my spirit is still strong and I have no real worries, oddly, I have now seen eyes that actually smolder.

    EVERYONE I come in contact with now is masked. No faces. Were I prone to bad dreams, this is the stuff they're made of. However, peoples eyes, which I have always looked at as well as into, are exposed. Brown, green, blue, hazel, they're all here. Happy, stressed, worried, putting on a good front, genuinely cheerful and full of hope, nobility, they're all there in the eyes of those who help those like me. Maybe I read more into things than are actually there. A product of not only my overactive imagination but my tendency to over think simple things.

    However, all reading and thinking aside, my eye-looking has had an interesting benefit. There's this nurse here, not doubt quite pretty though I've only glimpsed her face once for a few seconds before she masked up to come in my room, who's eyes actually smolder. It's pretty neat. They seem to give off heat, radiate something I've never seen in eyes before. It's not a sexual thing, though I am pretty sure she's pretty hot, but her eyes have lives all of their own. I've always been a face guy. Sure I like boobs and butts and all the other fancy parts women have, but faces have always been what drew me. If you've ever had a conversation with me you know that while my eyes my wonder (I am a male), I do not dwell on protruding parts of the female anatomy over long. As a rule. Being a male, I do occasionally slip up, but I also strive to correct such mistakes, should such corrections be warranted.

    This woman though, she's got some really neat eyeballs. Silver lining; you just have to look to find it.

    To wrap it up neatly and succinctly, as is ever the Wilomn way, this whole thing sucks but it's not as bad as it could be. I'd also like to thank those who are praying (I may not have your faith, but I also don't know that you're wrong), sending good thoughts, just wishing me well. I've been rather surprised by how many of you there are. I don't know if I'll be around much in the next few days/weeks, but rest assured I too am thinking of you, in general and specifically.

    Go and be nice to someone for no reason. The world needs more nice. You've given me far more than I ever expected, but I suspect you, the in general you, have more that you'd like to use, to give, but may not know how or where. It's like parachuting. Once you're in the door of the plane you either jump, or you don't. Don't don't. Jump. Make someones day better, brighter, more gooder. There's a buttpile of good folks here, and in my life. Everyone should have such a pile. Make it so.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
    Stinky says, "Women should be obscene but not heard." Stinky is one smart man.
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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Ham's Avatar
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    Re: 6-14-11 Catheter and Eyes that Smolder

    Good Luck! Stay positive! We'll be thinkin about you!

  3. #3
    Reptiles EVERYWHERE! Foschi Exotic Serpents's Avatar
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    I've always wondered why I have never seen your name as the author on a book..

    I'm sure this is all pretty much torture for you. I can relate in a way. Having been in a debilitating and life changing car accident not too many years ago, I understand the constant poking and prodding. Eventually you just have to turn your body off and keep your mind wide awake and lost somewhere else. It isn't too hard to turn off or greatly numb the physical senses with a bit of practice and meditation. You should give it try.

    Being nice is a great request. I wish more people were more tolerant of others. You'll get through all this super fun treatment. I'd say stay strong but knowing you, that shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm sure you're in the thoughts of many more who simply don't say so. Hang in there!

  4. #4
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    Re: 6-14-11 Catheter and Eyes that Smolder

    Quote Originally Posted by Foschi Exotic Serpents View Post

    I'm sure you're in the thoughts of many more who simply don't say so. Hang in there!
    Thank you.

    I too am sure of this about people.

    Who'd a thunk it?

    Taking into consideration what I am and how I do what do, or behave more like, my surprise is quite well founded though, apparently seriously misplaced. One of the very few times I was wrong, HA, but it's a good thing to be wrong about.

    Should things shake out well for me, as I suspect they will, you may get your wish for a book. There's this lady writer I know who may just be willing to let me tag along on one of her writing journeys. There is also, should there be anyone willing to read my bunk, the possibility of gathering all these little ditties I've written , polish them up a bit, almost everything in here was not rewritten more than once or twice, and see if some ...... intersted, yeah, that's the woid, intrestinated, in putting my words between two tightly bound, handsomely made finely stitched fully embossed, tremendously heavy tomes of great value.

    Maybe.
    Last edited by wilomn; 06-14-2011 at 02:12 PM.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
    Stinky says, "Women should be obscene but not heard." Stinky is one smart man.
    www.humanewatch.org

  5. #5
    Registered User JamieH's Avatar
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    I must say that after reading (almost) all of this forum, that you are one awesome man.

    It can't be easy.
    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you come out of this on top.
    ~Jamie~

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  6. #6
    BPnet Veteran llovelace's Avatar
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    Keep up the positive tude, we'll keep sending the positive vibes
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  7. #7
    Registered User VicShell's Avatar
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    Re: 6-14-11 Catheter and Eyes that Smolder

    I hope everything works out for you. I wish it was easier for you but at least you have a positive attitude and that is half the battle. I guess in some strange way it must be that time of year for life altering news as i was just informed that my father in law has cancer and i can only hope he has half teh fight in him that you do. Good luck and my prayers are with you.
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  8. #8
    BPnet Lifer mainbutter's Avatar
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    I'm not a praying man, but I've definitely given more than one thought your way. Just in case crossing fingers does in fact help shove statistics one way or another, I've got all my digits on my hands and feet doubled over one another.

  9. #9
    Registered User Amon Ra Reptiles's Avatar
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    I know you have been told this a lot, but stay positive. Sounds like you have some good odds on the stem cells being affective. There isn't a lot that have those odds.
    On another note. It's people like you ( not saying this in a bad way ) that make starting IVs absolutely horrible.... lmao If we can't get one in the arms or hand ect.... the EJ ( jugular ) is our last resort and usually always works. A bloody mess but works non the less. So it really sucks that even an EJ won't work for you.... Sorry you have to get stuck so much. Not all nurses,emt,docs ect are the easiest on you lol.
    Hope all goes well for you through the rest of you treatment .

  10. #10
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    Curiouser and Curiouser

    The further in you go, the deeper it gets.

    Granted the cocktail of chemicals I'm getting now is different from the lovely mixture I was getting previously, but man oh man, what a difference. I didn't throw up once today. Didn't have liquified poo screaming for release, heck, I even at lunch while wrapping up today's chemo and then ate dinner this evening. My past rounds of chemo have had me shunning food for a couple of days, puking with great regularity and feeling like my perfectly formed backside was home to a ring of burbling lava.

    So, either the Sisters Three who seem to take such interest in me are just f'ing around, the thoughts and prayers are working, or I just got a well deserved break. Shoot, this morning before treatment I figured I'd be down and out for at least a couple of days. Of course, tomorrow may well bring disharmony with her sister discord to take up residence in my shell of flesh. Hopefully they don't know my room number.

    VERY curious to see if tomorrow goes as well as today. I will be getting a different mix on Friday that has cytoxin in it which today, tomorrow and the day after do not. Perhaps that's the difference. The first 6 treatments all contained cytoxin.

    Or maybe it isn't.

    Anyway, all is well, better than I thought it would be in fact.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
    Stinky says, "Women should be obscene but not heard." Stinky is one smart man.
    www.humanewatch.org

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