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Goodbye, our little friend…

Peyton will be having surgery to take out her port.

Last week at her clinic appointment, I was so excited to see her counts rebounding and to have that proof in my hand that her body was truly recovering from the treatment that I totally forgot to update about her non-fuctioning port.


That port.

For those that aren’t familiar, a mediport is a cathetar under her skin that has allowed her to have needles stuck into a little round “septum” instead of having to have IV’s in her hands or arms.  It’s been the way she’s gotten chemotherapy meds, antibiotics, pain meds, blood products and probably a thousand other things over the course of the past two and half years.

It was the first step in her treatment…we’d only known that she had cancer for a few hours before we found out she’d be going into surgery as soon as they filled her with enough blood and platelets to get her through a surgery…to put this strange thing inside her body.

“It makes it so much easier.”

Have you sent YOUR toddler off to have foreign objects stuck into their body, Mr. Doctor?  Then don’t comfort me on how easy it will be.

I could be a tad hostile.

I was so monumentally scared to send her off.

The fakest smile I’ve ever had on my face. E.V.E.R.

I remember seeing her come back with that tape on her chest and that lump of plastic surrounding the needle inbedded in her soft baby skin.  The band-aids where they cut into her flesh with their knives.

Needles.  Knives. In my baby. It was so wrong.

We got used to it.  She understood the ritual, she was comfortable with the numbing cream put on before they stuck her, she would watch carefully as they performed each step of the procedure…once even telling her nurse, “You need to put your glasses on first, Cindy”…she had a preferred kind of tape and she understood that her “tubie” was important and to be protected.

We came to appreciate the port for making the journey easier.  (HEH, they were right…whatever!) Peyton doesn’t even remember a time she didn’t have a port…I think she has a hard time believing me that not ever kid out there has one.  Certainly, a large number of her friends do…but she’ll figure it out.

The  port has now stopped working. Kaput! As if it knows it’s time is up and it’s exhausted.

But it’s done its job and a part of me is happy to see it go.

I thought I’d be more afraid of getting rid of it…never let it be said that cancer moms think rationally. I worried about having to make the decision of when to take it out, can’t we just leave it in forever?…again, with the rational? Not so much.

That choice is being taken away now.  Because the port is no longer working properly, they can’t flush it out or put meds in it to make sure the cathetar part doesn’t clot, which could be dangerous for her.

It’s coming out.

I met with the surgeon today and we chatted about the simplicity of the procedure…the potential risks…the freedoms that are going to be allowed her when it’s gone…she’s going to be able to participate in gymnastics and sports that have been off-limits.

It’ll truly be the last physical tie to her cancer.

It’s going to be gone.

I feel good about it.


Me too!  I can’t wait to see it gone. I actually want it out.

I asked the surgeon if we can have it and he smiled at me, it’s apparently not an unusual request.

He said that some have a big celebration and smash it with a hammer or they frame it as a memento of what they’ve survived.

I have other plans…prettier plans.

I can’t wait to show you….but you’ll have to wait to see.

26 Comments on “Goodbye, our little friend…”

  1. #1 Lucretia Pruitt
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 6:38 am

    I love this post.
    I well and truly love the fact that she no longer needs the port.
    This? Makes today seem very light indeed!!


  2. #2 Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 7:17 am

    What a wonderful thing – you had me crying in my coffee this morning, but a good cry…


  3. #3 threeundertwo
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Me? I’d be all over the hammer ceremony. Smash! Smash! Samsh!

  4. #4 Melisa
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Yaaaay! Can’t wait to see what you’re gonna do with it.

  5. #5 Niki
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    OMG! What exciting news! I must day that I too am curious to see what you will do with it 🙂

  6. #6 Awesome Mom
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I am so happy that your are happy that it is coming out. When Evan yanked his feeding tube out and it was decided that it would stay out I was rather upset. I had wanted it to be there for his last surgery but it was not worth the trouble since he was eating on his own finally. I got over it pretty quickly when I realized how much simpler life was with out it. I can’t wait to see what you do with the port.

  7. #7 Ami Czorapinski
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    The port coming out is such a big moment. I think it is the finality of it. When Joshua finished chemo it was great. But when the port came out it was like a huge load was lifted from my shoulders. I can’t wait to have that opportunity again. Way to go Peyton!

  8. #8 Jen W
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Yeah! I can’t wait to see your plans.

  9. #9 always home and uncool
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Thing 1 went through two ports. The second came out 18 months ago, no issues.

    The best part is how goofy she got under the sleep meds. She’s a giggler.

    Best of luck. It’s a sign of progress!

  10. #10 chris
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Wonderful news! I’ll continue to keep Peyton – all of you – in my thoughts and prayers. I hope the procedure/surgery goes smoothly…

  11. #11 D's Mommy
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    So happy to hear that the port is coming out! Are you going to have it bronzed like baby shoes? Do people still do that anymore? The bronzing of the shoes and not the port I mean:) Oooh! Make a plaster mold of it and let Peyton decorate it!!

  12. #12 Brittany
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    What an amazing day! And I think keeping it is so very fitting, i can’t wait to see what becomes of it!

  13. #13 Beverly
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    This is wonderful news!

    I’m interested to see what sort of pretty thing you will make with a port…

  14. #14 katherynei
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I’m so happy for you girls! You should celebrate with some chocolate!

  15. #15 Karl
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Wow, marvelous news. I can’t imagine everything Peyton (and your family) have endured. This is truly a milestone moment.

  16. #16 Jennifer
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I’m happy to see that thing go too! I’d be all about taking the hammer to it, but I bet you have a grand idea! I’m interested to hear what you have in store for it.

  17. #17 Queen of the Mayhem
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Good riddance! I am so happy for you and her! What a blessing! Here’s to a PORT FREE life for Peyton! WOO-HOO!

    PS: Your comment MADE my day…..tell your friend I heart her!

    But NOT as much as I do you….of course! 🙂

  18. #18 Karalyn
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Bye-bye port. Yay Peyton!!!
    Can’t wait to see your project Anissa.

  19. #19 Heather
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Wow…you mean they will let you have the old port? That thought of asking them for it didn’t even occur to me. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.
    When Mr. K. had his port out he got to take a nice long bubble bath….that lasted for about 3 hours. 🙂

  20. #20 Tanya Hoven
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I was kind of scared to have them take out Lily’s port, so I had them keep it in for her 3 month checkup. Once it was time, though, we were so ready!! My husband kept it on his keychain for awhile. It made for interesting discussions with strangers, at least! What a great milestone you hit. I’m so excited for all of you! Has it hit you that life is “normal” yet? (whatever that means!?!)

  21. #21 Dan Cohen
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    I am glad to see it gone.

    I am glad that it is no longer needed.

    Way to go Peyton!

    Sending hugs and more hugs.

    Dan Cohen
    North Miami Beach, FL

  22. #22 Teri
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Oh, how wonderful! I can’t wait to see what you do with it! 😉

  23. #23 maggie, dammit
    on Dec 4th, 2008 at 11:15 pm


  24. #24 heather...
    on Dec 5th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    YIPPEE!!! I felt the same way when Maddie’s PICC line was taken out. This is WAY better!!! Yay for Payton!

  25. #25 Her Bad Mother
    on Dec 5th, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Awesome. AWESOME.

  26. #26 Double Agent Girl
    on Dec 10th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Oh you guys make me tear up everytime I visit. Congratulations little girl for beating the big bad monster with so much courage. I’m so excited that you will finally be rid of all that goes along with it, and begin to live truly free. Anissa – you are so courageous. You’ve done so much – for your family, for Peyton, for hundreds of other children suffering with disease. You need a medal girl. A big, shiny, chocolate medal.