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"You are now entering the twilight zone."

Dr. R recommends installing a port to save my veins from the numerous weekly pokes I will receive. A port is an implantable device placed above my heart under my clavicle bone that leads to my jugular vein, where the chemo can infuse easily. I research what people say about ports, and so many complain about how unsightly they are. I could not care less about how it looks; I hate getting an IV. Bring on the port, please! I've completed my City of Hope chemo teaching, and all that prevents me from my first chemo is the port.


When I arrive at San Antonio Regional Hospital (SARH) for the outpatient procedure, I am greeted by Andres, the nurse who will set me up. Andres looks and acts like my cousin Kenny, so I'm immediately comforted and comfortable. We fill out paperwork, and he prepares my IV for the twilight medications. He asks if I have a medical directive, and I tell him that I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and tell him about my no-blood card. "I want to thank you for your work; you tell an important message, and everyone needs to hear it, and you guys are getting the message out there." I am totally blown away by his encouragement. He explains that as a Seventh-day Adventist, he has some experience with door to door ministry. He and I talk about the benefits and joys of ministerial work. It is the first time since the diagnosis that a medical professional is talking to me about anything but cancer- and this is my favorite topic to discuss. It reminds me that I am more than my cancer. Getting a cancer diagnosis can make you so self-involved. It's all-consuming, and all anyone wants to talk about, but having someone see me as more than just a cancer patient makes me feel human again.


We go into the operating room, and I meet the other nurses. Everyone is casual and kind. Andres then administers the lovely combination of drugs. He says, as they enter my veins, "You are now entering the twilight zone." I laugh. When life gets weird, so pretty much all the time, my mom and I say we are now entering the twilight zone. Then suddenly, I feel the warm glow entering my body, and for the first time, the heaviness of the past week lifts temporarily. This is my mind and body on drugs- I feel light, happy, and entirely positive. I know it won't last, but I'll take what I can get. It feels like 5 minutes have passed, but apparently, more like 30 minutes went by, and as I come to Andres' comments, "You can see why people get addicted to this stuff?" He must have noticed how I enjoyed my stay in the twilight zone.


The following days were uncomfortable- the port feeling precisely like what it is- like a device was stuck in my jugular vein. Over the week, the sensation is less and less noticeable. My skin starts to itch as I take off the surgical tape, which I discover I am allergic to. I noticed I got more than a port; I got devil horns 😈 just like the emoji.


Great! Now I have cancer and a devil horn brand.



13 Comments


Guest
Aug 18, 2023

I am praying with and for you. You are such an encouragement even in times like this. Stay strong, you have a community out here fighting right along with you.

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Guest
Aug 16, 2023

I love you Virginia! We are the Sweetiest and I Pray for you & your Family. Your Light Shines sooooo very Bright. This too shall pass. I miss you and stand strong in God's promises.

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Guest
Aug 11, 2023

First time here on your blog; I rejoice in who you know as the healer on your journey to wellness. God is able; I respect Jehovah witnesses and I was a seventh day Adventist and still do keep the Sabbath day.


Stay encouraged Virginia your open journey is a blessing to those you may not ever know. Praying your life, health, and strength. I needed this and I hope to be on zoom for the Remote online training. Thank you.

Larrissa ✝️❤️🙏🏾🤗

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Guest
Aug 11, 2023

May God continue to Bless and keep you. HE is a miracle worker

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Guest
Aug 10, 2023

Faith has always been my strength. And when I go through trials I rest on knowing that the Lord has said that no weapon formed against us will prosper and it just gives me a sense of peace and continued strength. I would encourage you to rest on the Lord’s promises so he can supply you with all you need to conquer this journey. Thank you for not allowing it to defy or defeat you and your purpose and for continuing to push by helping others excel. With admiration. Claudia Zuñiga

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