I remember the day clearly. My head was still rapidly spinning. I had finished weekly chemotherapy after six and a half months and my picc-line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was about to be removed.
The reality was, I was terrified of this change. A number of what-if's filled my mind and uncertainties quarantined my body. So soon? I wasn't ready for this, yet it was an oncology order. I had learned to adjust to this being in my arm; it had been part of my arm as I learned to deal with the pain and minimal use that seeing it off was too much to grasp. I needed a little more time!
The thought of my cancer returning and having another one put in was horrid. The picc-line RN that put it
in my arm had made the experience absolutely horrific with her uncouth mannerism. I had just been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive choriocarcinoma (placental cancer) not even 24 hours earlier, and I didn't understand the whole concept of my journey yet. Everything was a rush of urgency. I had just had a baby 4 months prior (she was the surviving twin of my complete twin molar pregnancy). I also had three other children, all under 14 years of age at home. From the moment I signed the consent papers, I was punctually confined in my sterile room for the procedure.
Back at the oncology office, six and a half months later, my RN asked if I was ready as her face filled with delight. She saw my uncertainty as she reassured me that this was only a "good thing" to have this order from the oncologist. I remember asking her if this was going to hurt. "Nah. Maybe just a little tickle," she said. It took literally seconds to pull it out! I was so relieved! Prep time and clean up time went fairly quickly, too. I went home with a free arm and a cotton swab band-aid.
Now I hear that some name their port or PICC-line. I did not nor did I even think to do so. I did, however, think to keep the dainty white plastic line with its 3 colored ports dangling at the end, but I figured that may be a tad peculiar. I absorbed every moment, even snapped pictures along the way. I posted this immense milestone on social media and tried to retain positive vibes to new beginnings. This was two and a half years ago. I have a very tiny, almost perfect round scar in remembrance of my peripheral. Leftover nerve damage is another commemoration. Do I dare look back? No, not really. This memory is gently tucked away for safekeeping.