07 October 2007


Bandages and partners

Big nasty bandages at Flickr.comOn Thursday, I spent a few hours at Vancouver Hospital in order to have a portacath inserted. It was a relatively minor surgical procedure, involving only some local anaesthetic and a bit of tranquilizer. Dr. Chen the vascular surgeon (coincidentally, the same guy who was supposed to treat my varicose veins in February, before my cancer diagnosis derailed things) put the port under my skin so that when I start chemotherapy in a couple of weeks, the nurses won't have to start a fresh IV every time I go to the cancer clinic.

Now I have a couple of big nasty bandages and the red stain from surgical disinfectant on the shaved right portion of my chest for a few days—I'm not allowed to shower or get the area wet until it's healed up. Compared to the major surgery and other things I've gone through in the past few months, this procedure was barely a blip.

Of course, as always, my lovely wife picked me up at the hospital. She has been amazing this year, shuttling me around and keeping the house running and the kids clean and clothed and fed and loved, as well as working and podcasting and helping out her friends too, while I've bounced from cranky chemoradiation victim to emaciated hospital patient to cane-toting recovery guy (with chemo coming again soon). And she still loves me, even as my treatments turn me into a half-mechanical cyborg.

She's the biggest reason I want to fight this disease and win. When we got married twelve years ago, I planned to grow old with her, and that's still what I so desperately want to do. Our kids, my parents and relatives, my friends and colleagues—they are all important too. But my wife, my partner, is the person I love and need the most.

I may not show that or say it as much as she deserves, but having her here with me is keeping me alive as much as any of the drugs or surgeries or blasts of charged particles. She's The One, and always will be.

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We are fighting here too! My dad has also got a port about 8 months ago. It's really convenient.

It's so touching, what you write. You are so lucky to have such a person as your wife next to you. Unfortunately my dad isn't that lucky, and my mum is not that supportive. It must be easier to fight when u have such a strong reason to live as yours. Good luck to you!
Ok, you got me, I actually teared up on that one! Reading about you and Airdrie (sp?) and your family really helps keep my faith alive on the whole love front.

Congrats on the weight gain, by the way, aside from the bandages, you're looking pretty good! I finally gained a pound and a half! Doesn't sound like much, but after six months stuck at 93, it's a big deal! I guess doubling my granola bar intake to 3-4 a day on workdays, and adding a second snack of potato chips in between meals has helped. ;-)

Will be reading and sending good vibes your way through the next round. Hope you're having some good eating and good time with the loved ones this weekend.

Derek I think you got us all on this last one, I certainly needed my tissue. Beautifully said, beautifully written. How fortunate you both are to have found each other. You have all the best reasons for beating this disease and you will.... I remember a wonderful saying "come grow old with me, the best is yet to be." You both will look back on all this one day, and it will be "just" a memory, so much better is yet to come. Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your day at your Aunts with family and friends....Barbra
Keep this strong attitude, you'll make it though a winner.
There is no such thing an an anonymous Internet!

Thanks for your comment - I completely agree. Mostly, just musings from a single twenty-something in a big city. Your story has inspired me.