Christmas for a kid with cancerOn December 27, 2017 by Michelle Love
Dec 27, 2013…BJ, 12 years old, had to arrive very early at Levine Children’s Hospital to have surgery. His original port-a-cath had developed a sheath over the end of the line, and it had to be replaced. He was just over a year into treatment at this point and had already been through hell and back. He was anxious several days leading up to the surgery. He was nervous. He was angry. It wasn’t how he wanted to be spending the holidays. He hated being put under anesthesia, and he had done it more than most people would in multiple lifetimes. He went back to the procedure room, and I watched him go under just like I had each and every time before. This one was scarier than usual for me. As usual I had to leave him for the waiting room until he was brought into recovery. The Waiting Place, where anger is abundant and tears and prayer free flow. The surgeons opened up the spot in BJ’s chest wall, inserted another tool into the space above his clavicle and retrieved the old line which is inserted into the subclavian vein. Then they put in a larger port, with a longer line. Again, it is inserted into the subclavian vein and the line is pushed into the vein until it ends in the super vena cava, where all the chemo can dump directly into the blood stream above his heart. (No wonder one of the many side effects of chemo is heart problems.) BJ was taken to recovery where I joined his side again and waited for him to wake up. When he did, he was in excruciating pain. The new port wasn’t placed exactly where the old one was and so his muscles were again making room for a larger
port. He was very upset because he was told that it wouldn’t hurt much. If this torture wasn’t enough, he had to go from the hospital, back over to the clinic, because he was due his next dose of chemo. I cringe when I remember what he went through on just this day alone. This is just one day of events for a child with cancer. This is why I stand up through hurt and pain, reliving everything to tell his story, the story of so many kids…. begging you to help us make a difference.