In Sickness and in Health

Battling cancer with love, medicine, and the Giver of both.

Good-bye Medi-port

on May 12, 2014

A little over a week ago Josh and I walked into the hospital for an appointment to remove my medi-port.


Before we went in, they told me I would receive only local anesthesia for the procedure.  I was a little leery of that idea.  When they put my port in they at least put me in twilight zone.  But it was actually fun being wheeled into an OR and being awake the whole time.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  The procedure didn’t take long, maybe 20-30 minutes.  I felt him tugging and pushing and pulling.  At one point something squirted into the air but I have no idea what it was.  It didn’t seem like blood.

A year ago, a simple procedure like this would have had me in a panic.  I was so exhausted from transplant and things as simple as CT’s made me feel anxious.  No matter how unreasonable the anxiety was, it was real!  Anxiety has been an issue for me all my life and I learned to deal with it to some degree.  But when I hit rock bottom physically I no longer had the capacity to ‘deal with it.’  I won’t go into all the details here.  But I wanted to write this part of my story and share it with whoever might be helped or encouraged by it.  The long and the short is that for several months after the transplant, I had an ‘as needed’ anti-anxiety medication called Ativan.  It helped a lot for those times I was too weak to hold things together.  When that ran out last December, I was getting better but knew I still needed something.  Because Ativan is a narcotic they didn’t want me continuing on it.  I discussed with my doctor the possibility of going on a daily medication explaining that I think I need something more.  He agreed and started me on Paxil and I’ve been on it ever since.

It was a journey to adjust to the idea of being on an anti-anxiety medication.  Before deciding to go on it for sure, I was in a turmoil.  At times I wasn’t at all convinced I needed it.  I was getting better.  I thought I’d be fine.  I wasn’t suicidal for Pete’s sake.  Other times I saw how weak (physically and emotionally) I still was.  I sought the counsel of friends and family over this time.  I will never forget what one friend told me.  She said, “Jean, you don’t have to be a hero!”  Thanks to the advice of friends and the support and leading of my wonderful husband, who knows me best, I took the plunge and have been thankful ever since.  It was a slow change, but once my body was fully adjusted, I could tell a world of difference.  I was much more happy and peaceful, often catching myself singing around the house.  And guess what?  My white-coat problems are basically nil.  I can walk into a hospital and finally have a normal pulse.  I didn’t know if that was ever going to be possible.

I’m not one to enjoy cure-all proclamations and I don’t get excited when people start naming all the benefits of whatever they’re on (sorry, I guess I just did).  I have a lot of cynicism and can smell a placebo from a mile away. 🙂  Some of my own benefits from this medication may be in my head, but when things improve without me even thinking about it, I’m pretty convinced.

Believe me, I’m not proud to be on a medication like this.  Neither am I ashamed.  I needed it and I took it.  And that’s just the way it is.

8 responses to “Good-bye Medi-port

  1. mom coblentz says:

    I’M PROUD OF YOU! ! For taking it and for posting this!

  2. Rose Eby says:

    Good for you Jean. Good continues to work in you and bring you healing!

  3. Kelly says:

    “I love you, Aunt Jean. I miss you. I love you and miss you. I love my board you gave me. I’m sorry for your shot. Be brave.”
    – Your niece

  4. Debbie Overholt says:

    Blessings to you, Jean, as you continue on, after another milestone!!!! Hugs!

  5. GrandmaKitty Brown says:

    Never, EVER be ashamed of doing what you need to do.

  6. Ruth Anna says:

    Yes, I take an anti-anxiety med as well. I have for the last 4+ years. So it was good for me to hear your thoughts on this subject. What can I say? It keeps me functional and happy. I can enjoy life. Yes, it’s a narcotic but IT WORKS! Would love to discuss this more with you! Love and blessings!

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