I drink. I drink a lot. I assumed my blood was Kate Moss-thin. No such luck. I developed a blood clot in my left armpit because of the Power Port I had “installed” the week before.
A port is a little plastic device placed underneath the skin of my chest with a direct line to my vena cava. It is where they will administer the chemotherapy drugs.
I was adamantly opposed to such a thing at first. Pictures of them online varied from an obscenely repulsive alien trying to escape the chest wall to a door knob sticking out of one’s torso. I’m an aerial dancer. I live in sundresses. I can’t have strange stuff sticking out of me like a robot for all the world to pity. I demanded a talented surgeon and I’m glad I did.
It really isn’t that bad. I’m scrawny so, yes, it does stick out a bit, maybe a centimeter or so. But, it saves me from being jabbed and bruised by newbie nurses with needles in the arm. Apparently, mine is particularly pretty. I’ve even been asked to model mine around the chemo room.
Blood clots, however, are not pretty. My arm turned purple and felt tingly. It was a little swollen. I could tell it was vascular so it was back to the doctor for an ultrasound. I was terrified my pretty port would need to be removed or worse. Instead, I used a heating pad and was put on Xarelto, a blood thinner that doesn’t have alcohol restrictions.
The only thing that sucks is that is does restrict my exercise. I can’t lift much without aggravating the clot which means continuing my aerial silks classes is right out. I’m crushed by this, especially because I anticipate keeping the port for the full year of treatment. I miss being in the air a lot.
On the bright side, my boyfriend and I had an unforgettable moment at a folk music festival. A drunk bartender asked what the lump in my chest was and I was able to answer without crying. My man gave me a very precious compliment about answering the drunkard with grace.
Every day is an up and a down.