I feel the storm clouds forming above my head...
Yesterday, we took Scarlett for her now-monthly clinic visit. When they tried to draw her labs (blood) from her port (the catheter under the skin of her chest), nothing came out. Generally, ports should be okay for 4-6 weeks between draws, but apparently, Scarlett is on the shorter end of that spectrum, as it was just 4 weeks since the last draw. They flushed it with saline, then with Heparin (anti-clotting medication), and still nothing. The nurse got orders for TPA (a stronger clot-dissolving solution), and after letting it sit for a few hours, still no draw. We deaccessed her port, re-numbed it, reaccessed it, and still no draw. Finally, they sent us home with another dose of TPA in to work overnight, with hopes that we could draw the blood this morning.
Well, this morning, we tried again, and nada. Fluids can go in, but nothing draws back out. This likely means there is some kind of small clot in the catheter somewhere. I talked with Scarlett's NP, and her suggestions was to come back Monday morning (can't today since it's Friday) for another try with 24-hour TPA. We'll go in Tuesday to try yet another draw, but if that doesn't work, we're in surgery-land once again. If the port isn't drawing, we will need a new one put in.
Theoretically, she doesn't need the port anymore since she isn't getting chemo, and her blood draws are infrequent. However, she has a very bad history with peripheral (arm or leg) IVs, and they are much more painful. With her surgery coming up, we would like to have a port for all the anesthesia, fluids and possible transfusions she will need. She wasn't scheduled to have her port removed until we were a few months out from that surgery, and sure she would not need it.
Oh well. There's still hope that it will magically flush Tuesday and we can avoid surgery. I find it unlikely, though...Wednesday is my birthday, so I'm almost positive we'll be signed up for surgery that day! It's just my luck!