Of PETS and PORTS

Good news on the health front.

Yesterday, I learned that my PET scan was fine. At least for now, the lymphoma is in remission. Another scan will be done in six months.

The infection that hit my kidneys is still there despite multiple courses of antibiotics. I am now on a good old sulfa antibiotic. Yet nobody is sure how or why I have this persistent infection. My kidneys are functioning at about half speed. While I can live with it, and I don’t need dialysis, we need to know the source of the infection to avoid another renal failure.

Here’s the interesting part: Yesterday, my oncologist said that my BioFlow PASV Valve (port), that was installed in my chest (under the skin) and hooked to a major blood vessel to allow infusion of chemo and blood testing, can harbor bacteria that causes infection.

 

My port is the third one on the right.

My port is the third one on the right.

 

Later this month, near the end of my course of antibiotics, the port will be removed and then cultured to see if it is the source of the infection. Removal requires minor surgery, just like the installation. An interventional radiologist will remove the port in the hospital. The procedure is short, but I will be kept at the hospital during the afternoon to insure I don’t bleed out. In total, I will be at the hospital for a half-day.

Here is a simple diagram. It shows where the port is at presently.

 

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Here’s hoping that the port is the source of the infection and that removal will eliminate it. I will know more in mid-June when my oncologist will do further blood testing and review the results of the culture of any bacteria found on the port.

I am tempted to make a risqué joke about “any port in a storm.” See the Urban Dictionary. Some other time, perhaps.

RGK

 

 

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