As she waits the 20-30 minutes for the cream to do its magic I remember……. I remember that she has to stick a big needle into her port. I remember that this has to be done in a sterile environment or she could get a serious infection. The fact that she is doing this herself, usually in a DORM ROOM, instead of having it done in a clinic by a liscensed nurse makes it all the more scary. So, I start to panic, a little. This causes me to give her “helpful reminders” aka “worried questions”
“Did you get the needle in the first try?”
“ How has your port been flushing?”
“ Can you get a blood return?”
“ Any signs of redness or infection? How is the skin under the dressing doing?” Etc.
Inevitably, and usually annoyed by now, she reminds me that she deals with this everyday and is very aware of all the dangers. I, however, am sobered by the reminder of the vulnerability and seriousness of the issues she deals with each day …… in her not so normal life.