I have some people in my life who have the ability to open up a direct portal to my very core. With a word, a touch, a facial expression, they’ve crossed the politeness boundary, the professionalism boundary, the affected self boundary.
My surgeon said to me earlier this month, I have this neat trick where I can put a port under your arm. I don’t think women should have to have a big scar on their chest; besides you’re not going to want us to stick a needle in your hand every week so think about it.
I won’t share the images here for a port-a-cath, but the internet is full of images. It’s pretty wild imagining this valve that goes directly from your heart’s central artery to the outside world.
My first feeling was deep fear of a port leading right to my heart. It seemed that there shouldn’t be that direct outside access to the core of my very medical being.
And yet, when my friend recently responded with so much love in so few words in response to learning of my cancer diagnosis, I was grateful for the portal of our friendship, that a few words from this individual could deliver such a direct dose of love.
Eventually I did decide to schedule the surgery for the port to be placed under my arm. Not quite the direct valve to my heart as is normally done in US medical practice for patients needing regular infusions, but I think it will do the trick for me. I’ll leave that central port open to my friends and family who have that way jumping directly into my heart with their loving presence.