Wow...time has flown by. I can't believe it's been almost 8 months since my diagnosis.
From what I remember, my last post on this subject was just before I went in for my PICC line. I won't sugar coat it, my experience with having the PICC put in was horrible. Normally this is a ten minute procedure. I was on the table for 30 minutes (with only local numbing of the arm), covered in blankets to keep me "protected" from the xray machine they used to guide the line through the veins. The doctor, who I am sure had done this procedure hundreds of times, had a hard time getting the guide into my tiny vein, and once that was in, he had an even harder time fishing it up over my shoulder. After about ten minutes and using quite a bit of force, he did it. Hopefully, almost done, I thought. Well, he had a hard time feeding it into the right vein in my chest, I could actually feel it moving around in different veins in my chest. A truly strange and disturbing sensation!! Finally, after 30 minutes and a hundred apologies from the doctor, we were done! My arm was covered in blood and the insertion site was a mess...lots of bruising. They cleaned me up and put on a dressing. My arm, shoulder and chest were throbbing. I met my husband, Greg, in the waiting area. He could tell right away that things hadn't gone well, he said I was white as a sheet. We held hands the whole way home and cried. When was all of this going to end, I kept thinking.
I did everything I was supposed to with regards to care of my PICC line. I made sure I kept it dry, had the dressings changed and line flushed once a week (which meant a one hour drive each way to the hospital every week). I noticed during the second week that my elbow was starting to swell and feel a little hot and itchy. I mentioned it to my PICC nurse who immediately sent me up for ultrasounds on my arm. More bad news, I had a blood clot in my shoulder where the PICC line was inserted, due to the trauma. I started on daily self-administered Fragmin (blood thinner) injections that afternoon, and continued them for a total of 6 weeks.
I want to let anyone know who may be getting a PICC line put in, not to panic. I was told that my experience was very rare, and that normally this procedure goes off without a hitch.
I finished my chemotherapy on June 10th and had the PICC removed the same day (we could see the TINY clot clinging to the line). It was freedom!!
It has taken me a long time, but I am finally starting to feel like I have my strength back. I have been trying my best to look after ME, eating better, taking my vitamins and greens and by exercising every day. The only two visible signs of my experience are the hair thinning (which is slowly starting to grow in) and the chemo burn on my left lower arm (which is permanent). Emotionally, I think I have done pretty well. I have come to terms with the fact that we won't be having any more kids, which was probably the hardest decision we've ever had to make. Actually, our would be due date recently came and went and I (very surprisingly) didn't notice. I think that must be a sign that I am moving forward and making the best of what I already have...a loving husband, a perfect son and the unwavering support and love of my family and friends.
And that's what makes life so amazing!!
See my first Molar pregnancy post or my 2nd Update post for more details on my diagnosis and treatment. If anyone out there needs to talk or wants to comment...please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know how lonely and scary a molar pregnancy and GTD can be.