Terrifying Port Removal Surgery

Have you ever seen the movie “Saw”?

About two weeks ago, I got a call from my surgeon’s office. “Would you like to come in and get your Port removed? We got a fax from your doctor and all we need is a date.” I made the appointment for November 2nd at 4:15pm. It was IN-OFFICE. As confused as I was, I just went on with it.

I walked in there with my best friend, Rachel, on one side and my dad on the other. Trying to keep my shit together, I signed the consent form and went on the get changed into my gown. The doctor came in, explained that all he was going to do was numb the site a little and I won’t feel a thing. Boy, was he wrong.

I felt the first needle go right into my scar and then the second and the third. “Do you feel anything? Is this sharp?” (While he was poking me with a knife) “YES”, I cried in pain. “That’s funny because I’m not touching you at all. You must be telling a story.” And then, before I even let out a breath, I felt the knife slowly cut along my already scared up chest. And again, I felt his drag the knife a second time, cutting deeper and deeper to find my port.

“I’m so lightheaded”, I screamed. Almost 2 minutes later, I felt them put a wet rag on my forehead. It helped for maybe 3 minutes.

All I could think about was how much I have been through. I kept replaying this past year in my head. Every surgery. Every hospital stay. Every infusion. It was all over.

Rachel squeezed my hand.

 I focused on the wall in front of me as I cried harder. I let out my pain and my tears on that table. I could hear the nurses crying, too.

A sheet was placed over my head. 

Gasping for air, trying to catch my breath, I could hear a “you’re fine!” and “It’s almost over!” from the man who was cutting me open. I swear, I could feel the scissors cut my insides. One of the nurses put pressure on my neck and they pulled the tube out.

Half way done, I heard a scrape -they found the port- he tugged and pulled but it was so stuck in there that it wouldn’t budge. I was screaming at them. Gasping for every breath I could catch. My eyes were filled with tears. I could hear Rachel crying just as hard as I was.

She squeezed my hand again. 

The port was out. I felt them throw it onto my chest, as If I had just given birth and they put the baby on me immediately after.

We’re not done yet. Next comes the stitches. I felt the internal stitches…my guess is that there are 2 on the right side.

I felt the thick needle puncture my skin over and over again. I felt the string slowly pull my body together.

The doctor covered it up and left the room.

The nurses pulled the sheet down from over my face and I couldn’t move.

Rachel took my mask off my face and looked at me. We were both sobbing. My legs were up to my chest, frozen in shock.

I let out another scream.

“I’m so sorry”, I hear from my sobbing nurse. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine”, I cry starring off at that wall. I could feel the emptiness in my voice. Rachel and I sat together for 5 more minutes just sobbing.

Right as the nurse came back in, Rachel and I were getting dressed. “Do you need anything?” my nurse said with sadness in her eyes.

I let out a smaller, more pulled together cry, “Can I just go home?”.

Dad, Rachel, and I went to the car. No one really said anything.

The only noise during the car ride home was my quiet sobbing.

What the hell was that? Why was I awake? Why didn’t he stop? Why did he place a sheet over my face when I cried harder?

I felt it all.

So I ask again.

Have you ever seen the movie “Saw”?