The fact that this is even a topic of debate is wild to me but let’s discuss it anyways. Ports: to get one or not to. Now, the fact that there are people in this universe that are hesitant to get a port installed when offered one is bananas to me. I mean, saying no to a port is roughly equivalent to saying “please stab me with an IV needle a billion more times. Make it as painful as possible too, I really want that fucker to burn and ruin my veins. Please make me look as much like a heroine addict as possible.” But I don’t want to sit here and just hate on anti-porters as there are legitimate reasons to be scared of getting one, so let me create a pros and cons list.
- Most obviously: They look dope. I have a double port (would recommend if you have the option) and it looks like I have the cherries from Pac-Man lodged in my chest.
- Get stabbed less. I’ve had a port for 3+ years now, and been accessed nearly every week of that time. My IV nurses have missed my port a grand total of 0 times. I’ve had IV nurses jam a needle into my arms/hands and miss the vein more times than I’ve had them hit one. There is nothing more frustrating for all parties involved than when a nurse keeps missing when trying to place an IV. Cut that shit out. Get a port.
- Easy installation. I understand a lot of people are hesitant to get a port because they’re afraid it’ll hurt getting placed, and I get that. Surgery can be scary. But this is different. Getting a port installed is an absolute cake walk down waffle lane. They put you under so you don’t feel anything, and you’re sore afterwards for like a day. I actually was awake when I got mine because of some issues involving anesthesia and a burrito, so all they did was put Novocaine in my chest and then shoved that shit in there like a fatty into some skinny jeans. It was a bit uncomfortable but even that wasn’t bad. So even in the worst case, it’s still a pretty easy procedure.
- Safer. I’m not sure of this as I’m not a doctor but when I was getting mine, my oncologist told me the process of accessing a port vs and IV is more sterile and provides a safer transfer of medication into your body. So that’s nice I guess.
- Saves your veins. Your veins can only go through getting ripped open with a needle so often, so using a port keeps those bad boys intact and prevents you from having to limit your chemo intake because your veins are getting punished and your arms look like you’ve been under an overpass ripping heroine til your eyes bleed.
- Can’t be unused for too long. You do need to get your port flushed at least once every 4 weeks so it doesn’t get clogged/infected/all gross and shit. For people going through treatment, sort of a non-issue. For people in remission, that means you have to either go back to the hospital once a month to get it flushed, or just get it removed.
- It’s a prosthetic. I don’t give a shit about this, in fact I think it’s rather cool and fun to play with, but there are definitely people who get grossed out by the idea of having something plastic embedded under their skin. You get used to it and forget it’s there after a pretty short time, but maybe that’s something that freaks you out.
I fucking love ports. I’ll get that tattooed on my forehead, I really mean it. I would never go through chemo without one now that I have one. It’s an absolute game-changer and unless you’re into S&M and pain gives you a dinger then I’d suggest getting one. You won’t regret it.