The Port From Hell


“It’s still under warranty,” I told Helaine. We were on our way to the hospital, my second doctor visit of the day, to have my port catheter checked out. At the moment it allows neither drawing or infusions.

Of course in medicine nothing comes with a warranty starting with the patient.

In the prep area I explained to anyone who’d listen my irrational port fears. Even if it doesn’t hurt it will seem to me like it did!

They wheeled me away down the hall and through two sharp rights to the procedure room. A large probe hovered over my chest, it’s x-ray image shown on a few large monitors. It didn’t take more than a few seconds to see a full loop had formed in the catheter.

imag0698While my Yale Medical School trained interventional radiologist watched a live fluoroscope of my chest he attempted to manually cajole the kinked catheter into place. You thought it would be that easy? Get real.

I’ll be in Newport Beach 8:00 AM Thursday where he’ll go in through my groin and pull the catheter taught from the far end.

All I wanted to do was avoid the pain of IVs. One yesterday. One today. One surely next week for the re-do. Shoot me now.

5 thoughts on “The Port From Hell”

  1. Dear Geoff-I’ve been reading your blog and praying for you. This is the daughter of the late Vera (the weatherwatcher) from Cheshire. So many people are pulling for you – sending along powerful and healing vibes. My mom, before she passed, had a port as well — she was a diminutive woman, and I had my doubts she could tolerate it and while she also had some setbacks with it, she hung in there like a trooper. You are doing the same and you will continue to do so. You are being so brave. They WILL fix it and you WILL come through this. Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you. Best to you and Helaine as you work this through together.

  2. Geoff, my sister has a rare autoimmune disorder, and has had several ports placed over the years in order to receive her IV treatments (not chemo). A few years ago she had bronchitis, and coughed so hard that the catheter moved out of place. The doctors fixed it by going up through her groin, and pulling it back into place. She said it was a pain (mentally) to have it done, but it was much better than having surgery to replace it again.

    I wish you the best, and will continue to keep you in my thoughts.

  3. Hi Geoff!! I grew up in CT watching you on Channel 8! You’re a huge part of my childhood as we would all sit down as a family and watch the news after dinner. I moved out to Rhode Island for college and am still here 16 years later. I just wanted to let you know I’m praying hard for you! You were always such a bright light on our tv and I know you can beat this!! We may be on completely different coasts, but know that thoughts, prayers and good wishes are headed your way from my whole family! God Bless!!!
    -Ashley Karstrom

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