In My Shoes

My friends have asked that I express when I need something.  So here it goes…

My cancer is progressing, and now I must prepare myself for chemotherapy.  But no matter how I try, I feel like no one ‘gets’ what a big deal this is for me.  Specifically, I’ve been freaked out about having a port inserted.

I know it’s good to get one.  I know it’s a standard procedure.  But it’s still very… invasive.  I’ve never had anything implanted in my body, and even though it’s a “standard procedure,” it’s a really big deal to me.

I need my feelings validated.  I need to hear “yes, that would freak me out too.”

I know chemo will bring its own set of fears, but I’m trying to take this one step at a time.  And I just need to know that anyone in my position would be scared too.

19 responses to “In My Shoes

  • Sjoukje

    Well sweetie, anyone would freak out! I know I would…..If I ever have to go through what you are going through now, I can only hope Im half as strong and brave as you are.

    It is okay to freak out coz yes, it IS a big deal! But I guess there is no way to avoid it…..

    Thinking of you

  • readytotell

    Jessica, I can tell you being with all of your feelings. Really “being with them.” Allowing them to just be, will give you access to peace. Not sure why they have to put a port in you, my sister didn’t have one.
    The only thing I would ask you. Have you ever gotten more than one opoinion about your treatment? I know it occurs as tiring to do this. And perhaps you may feel you are not being loyal to your current doctors. I just believe after all I have read and experienced, that your perspective will broaden if you could be examned by another doctor/s. Going to a teaching hospital. I do believe Phiily has some great hospitals would be ideal. It is truly OK to be afraid. I think you are one of the strongest young women I have “met.”
    I look forward to your posts and pray with each one that you are having a good day and that your health is stable. Have you ever heard of Kris Carr’s book, “Crazy, Sexy Cancer.” If not, I highly recommend it. She has Stage 4 cancer in her kidneys or liver I believe . A rare form in that her tumors, while cancerous” have not changed in years. Different than lung cancer which affects every breath you take. What I like about her book is that she takes on Cancer like it’s a job or as a true consumer who is not a “patient” or “victim” of the disease. She “shopped” her doctors, for example. She has a lot of tips about chemo. She also has a website and she made a movie with the same title that I saw on Oprah. Truly inspiring, like you are. Keep smiling Jessica. You are alive. They are treating you. And all of us are living a stage of our lives.
    Have you had any physical therapy? Or massage? Or meditation? Kris’s book is filled with cool ideas to consider.

    • Jessica

      Thanks for writing, Linda. Yes, I’ve had a few different opinions. The port will help a lot, especially since my veins are crummy. Thanks for the recommendation on the book.

  • KBachrach

    Yes I would be freaked out as well. However you are a very brave and strong person who has so many people that love you and will help get through this next hurdle.

    • Jessica

      Thanks Kathy – I just hope I can work the schedule so we can still make it to the river this year. And I claim a bed downstairs. Steps are my enemy!

  • Rita Nauman

    i’ve never commented before because we’re not “friends” i just happened on your blog because i also have cancer. i’m lucky, mine is chronic, BUT, if i had to have a port put it i would completely and totally freak out. the thought of regular chemo (i’m on daily oral chemo) completely freaks me out as well. hugs.

  • Diane

    Standard does not mean no big deal. It is a big deal. Mine was not easy going on, and had issues the entire time I had it. Was it worth it? You bet – I’d do it again in a heartbeat and may need to one day. But if it wasn’t a big deal I don’t think Id have been so happy to have it out.

  • Lori


    I would freak out!!! I would be scared!!
    If someone else feels it’s “no big deal” good for them. But this is you & you are allowed to feel anyway you want. Unless someone else can do the treatment for you…their opinion really doesn’t matter. Stay Strong!!!

  • Bella's mom, Debbie

    Jessica – I had a port placed when I had chemo for ovarian cancer. I, too, freaked out. I called the hospital and cancelled the placement 3 times! When I finally went to have it placed, it was scary. The worst part really did turn out to be the anxiety I had over it. It is not as bad as you are envisioning. You will be thankful you have a port once chemo begins – without it, the infusions, the blood tests, etc. would all be so much harder. It sits just below the skin surface on the muscle, so, it isn’t totally invasive. Good luck my friend – you can do this!

  • Jessica Reigner

    You know that I am so touched by your posts. I look at your raw emotion with such admiration, and I look with incredible awe at your courage to face this with your feet squared, your jaw clenched, and your fists raised. Anyone would be terrified about any of it – particularly the parts of it that you’ve already faced but definitely about the port and the chemo and all the crap that comes with both of those. Don’t let the boxing gloves get too far from you. You fight for Blossom and you fight for you. And at the same time you inspire a hell of a lot of people!

  • Denise Rowell

    I am so glad I found this blog. My dad went through this exact same thing two months ago. Doctors made it sound like it would be a simple fifteen minute procedure when it was way more invasive than expected. Yes, it’s okay to be afraid! You are absolutely validated! But you will get through it. After the surgery, you will sleep most of the day and get good pain medication to help in your healing. God bless!!!!

  • Jennifer Scheps

    Hi Jessica. I am so sorry that you’re going through this. I was also diagnosed in November 2011 with Stage IV lung cancer. I’m 45 years old. I have Adenocarcinoma (non small cell). I have been having chemo treatments since December 2011. I just completed my 8th chemo session 2 weeks ago. I am currently receiving Carboplatin and Alimta. I’ll be having my 9th treatment on May 14th. Most people have no more than 6 of these treatments but because of how well I have been handling the chemo my doctor has pushed further with this treatment. Although he’s planning on changing the drugs after this 9th treatment.. My cancer had spread to my bones (hip, femur, ribs and lower spine) and to one lymph node in my neck when I was diagnosed. I’ve also had to go through radiation which was a nightmare and I hope that I never have to go through that again. The focus of the radiation was my lower spine and some damage was done to my small bowel. I was really sick for 2 weeks and didn’t think I was ever going to get better.

    I have not had a port placed, I have chemo every 21 days and I have blood drawn just about every week but I’ve been lucky to not need a port yet. I don’t know why but the thought of the port really bothers me. I totally understand your not wanting it. Once you find out what chemo drugs you’ll be receiving if you end up with the same thing I’ve been on I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have or offer any advice of what has helped me cope with chemo. Strangely I have not lost my hair with the chemo treatments. My doctor told me that I would see thinning but my hair has not been affected at all.

    I’ve done a pretty good job of staying very positive about beating this evil wench that has invaded my body. I have to beat it, I have a 4 year old son to raise. I do have down days but they are few and far between and really hit me when I’m feeling bad or in pain.

    Know that I’ll be saying prayers for you and will keep you in my thoughts. Stay strong and positive. We can beat this.


    • Jessica

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Jennifer. I’ll be on Carbo and Alimta, as well, with Avastin added in. I wish you the best, too!

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