22 February 2010
This morning I received an IV portacath in my chest. This is a small medical device placed under the skin in your chest vein directly under the collarbone. I’m serious – you cannot even see it. The “port” will save my arms and hands from the constant needle sticks associated with chemotherapy and blood tests/monitoring. It was a rather simple surgical procedure requiring only a few lidocaine injections, ending with a few stitches and some surgical glue. Then a few x-rays to make certain the port was inserted in the right place. Modern medicine is amazing.
My friend Melanie took me to UAMS early this morning for this procedure. Those of you who know Mom, well you know mornings are not her best time. Besides, she’s got lots of carpooling ahead of her getting me to my chemo treatments.
Mel and I observed a few significant things about the atmosphere at the UAMS Cancer Institute. First, the very lovely ladies at the reception desk, who had smiles on their faces, a skip in their voice and a little laughter among the two of them and other patients from time to time. Then there was Sammie, the Auxiliary volunteer in the waiting room, who embroiders little bags and pillowcases and other trinkets while working the guest services desk. Patients are invited to put their name in a bucket and at the end of the day, one lucky patient will win whatever Sammie makes that day. Then there was my young and handsome surgeon, Dr. Moore, and his able nurse Naomi (see photo below). They began our brief encounter with a clear description about everything that would happen, then some beautiful melodic music to create a relaxing mood. If I had been wearing a mood ring, it would have been totally blue as they helped get me in a complete state of calm. Then I moved on for x-rays with Gwen. Her sweet voice and constant arm pats and shoulder rubs reminded me of my favorite elementary school teacher Mrs. Reed. All of this is to say – I continue to read that attitude has much to do with fighting cancer. And I cannot imagine a hospital that understands this any more than everyone I have encountered at UAMS. They sure know how to create the right hospital attitude with much love and laughter for their patients. I feel so very fortunate to be under their care.
Tonight I’m looking forward to some yummy chicken and dumplings from my friend Angela. Anna-Lee and I will enjoy our dinner while we celebrate Allyson tonight, even though she is working herself silly at Mizzou. In this very terrible economy, Allyson has received a job offer from HEC-TV in St. Louis. They are Missouri’s leading producer of education, arts and cultural television programming. Cheers to Allyson!! And cheers to our many friends who continue to send prayers and good wishes our way. We love and appreciate you all!!
Posted by Stacy Sells at 1:29 PM