Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Learning about Chemo Ports

Today we got a lesson in ports.  This little purple thing is a port.  It is surgically inserted under the skin on the right side of the chest.  The little white tube is inserted into the Subclavian vein, which returns blood from the body and the drugs inserted into the port directly to the heart.  The heart then can pump the drugs to the entire body. Notice the three bumps around the circle. The back is solid and when the needle is inserted, the nurse will feel the back of the port, insuring that it is in far enough so that the medicine is inserted into the port alone and not the surrounding tissue.

This is a visual of what a port ideally looks like when under the skin. Sometimes if put in too deep, the nurse has to palpate to feel the bumps, but they are good at this and always hit their target.  This circle between the bumps is where the needle is inserted each time to deliver the drugs.

This is an example of the needle that is inserted with each treatment.  That is one big needle.  It also has a very small hook on the bottom so that it can not pull out accidently during treatment. Each treatment requires a poke with that needle through the skin and into the silicone port.  The IV meds are attached to the white connector at the other end of the needle.
After all that, we had a beautiful ride home.  Fog, snow and sunshine through the low clouds made for a lovely ride.
Still no moose sighting.
A long morning meant we were hungry and when in Anchorage, this is the place to eat.  
My sister and our new friend, Debbie, outside the Bear Tooth Grill.

We came at the right time because no one was there.  Usually it is packed.
Hamburger with goat cheese on homemade bun with garlic, cilantro fries.  I never eat french fries, but when at the Bear Tooth Grill, it is a sin not to.
These beautiful trees lined the street on the way home. They had no leaves, just bunches of red berries capped with snow.
Turning the corner, the sky completely changed appearance. The landscape is beautiful, but the sky equally so.  Clouds, fog, mountain peaks, spruce, and brilliant sun all in one day. Twilight seems to last hours.  Alaska is a beautiful place and I have only seen a sliver of it. 

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name: Amos 5:8


  1. Thanks for all the info. My friend still has her port in months after her last treatment.
    Your sister looks great and the food from the Bear Tooth Grill looks so good.
    Love this picture filled post. I feel a good blog must have lots of pictures.
    You know what they say a picture is worth....

  2. Very interesting to know and understand how the chemo port looks and works. The lunch looks delicious!


  3. Debbie my son had a pic line instead of a port for his cancer. Also understand those dreaded hepercetin shots... Kim and my son James are walking miracles of God.... He lost over 100 lbs when on the chemo diet as he put it.


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