Ode to My Port

I did not want you in my chest

It felt like an intrusion,

To have you underneath my skin

Alien -like in your protrusion.

At first you hurt me,caused me pain,

My neck looked like a road map.

You made it difficult to breathe

My energy was sapped.

Eventually I trusted you,

Saved my veins from collapse.

And with each hospital I did visit,

I would always ask,

“Can you use my port today,

It saves my arm from snares?”

And the nurses said with saddened eyes,

“Oh no, we wouldn’t dare.”

But when I got my chemo,

You were always there.

To swallow up the poison,

That made me lose my hair.

You made yourself accessible

when blood they took to test.

You were dependable and painless,

For which I felt quite blessed.

Oh port-o-cath, Oh port-0-cath,

your time has come to pass.

No longer resting in my chest

The end has come at last.


Someone mentioned recently that she found it hard to believe that I could say this was “the end”.  This woman who also has cancer thought that there is no way I can ever put this behind me and that “every decision I make from now on will be affected by my cancer.”   This may be true to some extent.  Obviously I am still on Tamoxifen, which I hate, because it deletes my body of estrogen which in turn makes me hold on to about 10 pounds of extra body fat.  And obviously my body has been altered by my mastectomy and my heart has been compromised, but, as I wrote to her:

I am making a conscious decision to say that today, with the removal of my port, I will no longer be defined by this cancer.  I am hereby putting a period on my cancer sentence.  And if the cancer comes back, then I will deal with it as a new phase of my life.  For now, for me, this is the end of  a two-year hell-ride and I am officially calling it quits!

About francesbarrie

Cancer survivor,mom,triathlete,writer,jewelry maker, baker. Staying happy and healthy,living life and enjoying it one moment at a time.
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13 Responses to Ode to My Port

  1. sharon says:


  2. rose ryan says:

    Can I jump on and scream that I am calling it quits too? I am so proud of you Fran! You have more courage than most and I am so happy for all the good things you have to come! Love, Rose

  3. Marianne Martin says:

    You have no idea what comfort I receive from your journey! I am recently diagnosed. Gina pointed me in your direction and I thank God she did! My mastectomy is scheduled for April 12th. I can’t wait until I come through on the other side. While I am saddened that there is this sisterhood of warriors, I am not afraid. And for that, I thank you.

    • Marianne, You are in one of the hardest phases–the waiting. My prayers will be with you on the 12th. I also write for a site called “Mothers with Cancer” along with 20 or so other women in different stages of their cancer. You should read that blog as their is a wealth of information on it for you. If you would like to get my phone # from Gina and give me a call anytime I would love to talk to you, answers any questions I can, or allay any of your fears. I know it seems impossible now but there is another side to cancer and it will be here before you know it. Stay strong!

  4. Kerri Ballas says:

    I totally agree, Fran! We do not have to be defined by it!!! And I HATE tamoxifen too ~ HATE HATE HATE

  5. Virginia Kolenik says:


    I know this is the Blog we’ve all been waiting for.

  6. Karen Gelineau says:

    Wonderful!! Probably the best “period” of your life!! New beginnings in this new season.

  7. Lesli Turock says:

    Oh Fran!! I’m so glad you are still writing, so glad you’ve won this battle!

  8. Julie says:

    Well said!

  9. Connie Swaebe says:

    Here’s to the next cancer free chapter of your life!!

  10. Pingback: The Path Report « Toddler Planet

  11. amanda says:

    Here via Why Mommy. So glad I clicked, so glad you punctuated.

  12. Laurie says:

    Also here via WhyMommy, and so glad I clicked! I love your ode to the port, and understand the mixed feelings so well…mine is long gone (since August 2007), but I still kinda miss it when I have blood drawn and they have to do it the “old-fashioned way”! The port was handy! I had all kinds of nicknames for mine, including “Yoda” (don’t ask…). Thanks for the lovely verse and for putting words to the feelings.

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