Monday, November 26, 2018

PICCs, Ports and Problems

Well, once again this post was meant to be about my first cycle with ABVD chemotherapy, but however cancer decided I needed another long weekend away in hospital…great. 

On Saturday morning I had to go into hospital, after I passed out on my parents bathroom floor in the early hours of that morning. I was okay and felt completely normal but my doctor wanted to check me over just to be on the safe side. I had a CT scan and some blood tests taken, my doctor then told me he wanted to keep me in overnight for observation. They were worried I had a blood clot that had formed around my PICC line which had now become dislodged and was floating around my body from the previous day when the doctor pulled 9cm of my line out, as it was touching my heart. They think this is what may have caused me to black out. To say I was annoyed to be back in hospital would be an understatement. I’d managed 5 days before I was back and all I wanted was a normal weekend. 

Sunday came and my doctor told me he wanted to do a scan of my heart, he wanted to make sure that the blood clot hadn’t gone into my heart…bloody fantastic (no pun intended!) The scan really was quite amazing, watching your heart pump away on the screen was so strange but fascinating. The results came back and everything was fine, thank god. I was put on blood thinners just to be on the safe side and had to stay in another night for observation. By this point I didn’t really mind, I was on a ward with three other ladies who have to be some of the nicest people I’ve met. Pauline, Christine and Margaret made it their mission to look after me whilst in hospital when my parents weren’t there and they definitely did and to top it off my parents promised me a MacDonalds for my tea :) 

My doctor came to see me in the morning and told me he wanted to take my PICC line out. My picc has given me nothing but trouble since having it fitted. The line had to be pulled out twice as it was touching my heart, something that shouldn’t happen, resulting in heart palpations for me and it also can be very damaging for my heart too. He explained how he wanted me to have a port fitted instead of the line the following week as this would be safer for me with a smaller risk of infection and blood clots. I got to go home Monday night and to say I was pleased would be an understatement. Spending two weekends in a row in hospital was enough for me. What they don’t tell you when you’re diagnosed with cancer, is everything else that comes with it. The infections, the risks, the hospital stays and in my case the blackouts. The chemo itself hasn’t been too bad to me so far but I have been told it does get worse. 

life/hair Update - 
Apart from hospital, life has been okay. The biggest challenge for me so far has been losing my hair. My hair has been falling out gradually for a couple of weeks but on Monday it was awful. I had a shower and started to brush my hair and it started to come out in clumps. For the majority of Monday and Tuesday I just cried, as if fighting cancer alone wasn’t enough, it also wanted to take away one of the things I treasured the most and probably what any 19 year old girl treasures. But I am determined to be positive, I know that the chemo is working because of the hair loss and I know that after all this, it will grow back. It might take a long time but it will come back. One of the hardest parts so far is looking in the mirror and not recognising yourself anymore, but this has taught me that looks aren’t everything. My personality is still the same and I still have my wicked sense of humour so it’s not all bad… 

Hopefully my next blog post will finally be about my experience with chemotherapy and not another post about hospital! (lots of emphasis on hopefully!!) 

Grace xo 



  1. your sense of humour will sustain you Grace, you are amazing and we send you lots of hugs. Jane and Rob xx

    1. Thank you Jane and Rob! love to you both, your support means a lot!
      Grace xx

  2. Dear Grace, I don't know you, only your Mum, at the hairdresser's, where I have followed Audra over 20 years.
    I am a former Convent girl, and have heard about you over the years.
    When I knew of your diagnosis I told Audra I will pray for you and your family, and I am.
    You are an inspiration in your honesty but forthright courage.
    Well done.May the road rise to meet you in your journey.God bless and love Viv

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