It was a fully obstructive clot of the freakin’ jugular vein, and I don’t mind telling you that the instant they finished setting up the heparin drip and hooking up the monitors, the redhead and I pulled out some paper and started planning my funeral. However, the score at this point is Modern Medicine – 1, Clot – 0. I was visited yesterday morning by squadrons of specialists with their residents and fellows in tow, just like on TV. The upshot is that with the massive heparin infusion, blood flow was sufficiently restored; hence, vascular surgery was off the table (sorry for pun); injectable blood thinners will continue to dissolve the clot over time; the mediport is still viable; hence — and most importantly — chemo will not be interrupted. And during these consultations by highly learned medical professionals, I learned many great new Scrabble words.
Plus, there is actually an upside, and bear with me on this. The dastardly Clot was formed in part by the propensity of certain versions of peritoneal cancer to randomly coagulate blood and thus form clots. We know now that I have a version that does that! It’s sort of like being grateful you found that termite hill in the side yard, because now you know to treat the whole house. In any event — and if you don’t want to be grossed out, STOP READING NOW — I will be self-injecting blood thinners into my stomach twice a day for about 6 months to keep the clots at bay. Eww and ouch and say whaaat and #imalawyerjimnotapincushion. But I guess it’s good to learn new skills.
People have asked why, since I am married to a doctor, that my husband doesn’t just do the shots for me. And we considered that. After some contemplation, I decided that the image of the love of my life coming at me with a needle twice a day is not something I want to see. Bit of a romance killer.