Sometimes, it’s the little things

Getting a cancer diagnosis either at the early stage or the advanced stage is a massive deal. There are the big things you worry about; would I be here to watch my kid(s) grow up? would I have a great quality of life? Would the treatment hurt? Would the side effects be minimal? Eventually, you start to come to terms with the situation and even though you breakdown ever so often, you learn how to deal with the big things.

However, sometimes it’s the little things that tend to throw you off and get you mega frustrated with the situation. I’ve had a few of those little things in the last few years but today was super hard at my CT scan appointment.

If there’s anything I’ve learnt in the last five years, it’s that I apparently have terrible veins. It’s always a pain when I go for blood works or anything that involves finding a vein. I had a port inserted during chemo as my veins were no good. You recall the bone scan on Tuesday? I completely forgot to moan about the fact that it took two technicians and three needle pricks to find a vein to pass the radioactive substance through. I’ve come to realize that I basically have one good vein! And that one vein took most of the bashing on Tuesday.

I had my CT scan appointment today and I was taken to a room and asked to lie down a few minutes after arriving at the appointment. As this was my third CT scan in less than 5 months, I knew the drill. The plan was to inject some contrast dye into my veins before the images for the scan were taken. And so began the process that would last an hour!

The first nurse tried twice and had no luck. She asked why I didn’t opt to leave the port I had inserted for chemo in! Ehrrm, maybe because that was five years ago and I thought I could actually proceed with having a life that didn’t revolve around cancer! She eventually gave up and proceeded to wrap my arms in some warm blanket to help the veins dilate.

Ten minutes later, another nurse came in and said she was told I had ‘terrible’ veins – thanks for that! She started on the same arm – failed twice. Moved to the other arm, two painful attempts later she gave up and said she had to have a word with the radiologist. She explained that she got in the vein both times but the valve won’t let the fluid in – boo! Fifteen minutes and more warm blankets later, a third nurse came in and her first comment was on how shocked she was at my age. Apparently, she thought I was an old lady with pretty non-existent veins when she was told they were struggling to find my veins. She finally found a potent vein, passed the contrast dye through the vein and I was finally able to proceed with the scan.

In the grand scheme of things, the fact that they had to try so hard to find a vein wasn’t that big a deal. But for some reason, that really got to me. I hated the comment about not leaving the port in. I hated the fact they couldn’t find my veins. I hated the comment about my age. None of these things in itself is big enough to get me upset but sometimes when the big things are out of your control, you just wish the little things would fall in place! And when they don’t, it gets to you and you end up being more upset about the little things than the big ones, today was one of those days 😦

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3 thoughts on “Sometimes, it’s the little things

  1. I completely understand this. It’s as if we can cope with incredible amounts of bad news, pain, anxiety and heartache, but sometimes it’s the little things that set us off…the straws that break the camel’s back so to speak. I remember coping quite well with the barrage of scans & tests I had to endure after diagnosis, but having a port inserted nearly sent me over the edge! I do think your nurses could’ve been a bit more tactful with their words though. A small amount of kindness goes a long way!

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  2. I know Kate! I can completely relate with your experience with getting the port inserted. Mine was a super traumatic experience and the removal was even worse! I had it removed a few weeks after chemo and the wound refused to close up forever! I hate those little things that make a terrible experience even worse!

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  3. It is not unreasonable to feel that way. In the job try do you would think they would be more sensitive and have manners. The fact that all of this isn’t your doing, you have no control over this neither do you have any control over your veins so they can like to shove their comments in their back side and share it with their cats!

    Sorry you had to go through that!

    Like

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