Mediport, moving, and… menopause?!

My last week in Virginia was crazy, to say the least.

I had quite a few appointments to squeeze in, my parents were coming into town, I had a surgery scheduled, I was finishing up my last few days of work, there were a lot of people I needed to say “see you later” to, and I had to pack up and move my things.

Oh, and apparently I’ll be going into menopause.

Yeah, you read that right. Menopause at 25.

 If you read my last blog post, “My egg-cellent news” you know that I took the precaution of having some eggs harvested because chemo could make me infertile. This week I learned that there’s another precautionary measure I could take to increase my chances of having children one day. I would need an injection of something called Lupron which would shut down my ovaries and essentially send me into a temporary, 3 month long menopause. If all goes well, I may not even need those harvested eggs and could potentially conceive naturally some day.

It’s not guaranteed, but I figured it was worth a shot- pun intended. Hot flashes, here I come!

I also needed to get my mediport implanted this week. I want to say that I absolutely love hearing from so many different people. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to tell me about their experiences with cancer and all the advice people give me. Every now and then, I get emails that kind of freak me out though. I heard about how the mediport would look sticking out of my chest. How much it hurt some people and how uncomfortable it was, even after the site was completely healed. I had a woman who told me she couldn’t stand to look at her husband’s port because it grossed her out so badly. One of my friends told me she got a collapsed lung from her surgery. I did NOT want to do this! That’s a silly thing to say though because really, does anyone? I came to terms with it and was just ready to get it over with.

The surgery went well and I’m starting to heal. I have to agree with that woman though- it’s not pretty.

It’s also a little painful right now. They put it on the right side of my chest so I’m not allowed to lift my right arm. At first, that didn’t seem too bad to me. My mind was quickly changed after the first day though. Next time you take a shower, try washing your hair with only one hand and make sure it’s your non-dominant hand. Then try to get dressed without lifting your right arm. I’ve been a big fan of button-up shirts lately because it takes away some of the hassle. Don’t even get me started on drying my hair or trying to put it in a ponytail. Both are impossible tasks with only one arm!

Did I mention I needed to pack and move this week too? Thank goodness my parents were in town. They did almost all of the packing and moving for me because I’m not able to lift more than 10 pounds with my port. All of my stuff is patiently waiting for me in a 10×10 storage unit for when I make my return to Virginia.

I had a few other appointments to get done including a pulmonary function test (pictured below) and a heart function test. Both were simple, but it seemed like my to-do list was never ending!

IMG_0517

My parents and I safely made it to New York on Saturday evening and everything is going well so far. I’m enjoying some family time and Chloe is loving her new home. She already made a new puppy friend, my sister’s dog, and has a huge backyard to run around in.

My next steps are meeting with my new oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then finally starting chemo. The faster I start chemo, the faster this chapter of my life will be in the past. I’ll keep you all updated with how my first treatment goes!

71 thoughts on “Mediport, moving, and… menopause?!

  1. thanks for the update Crystal. May God cover you with all the blessings you need. My prayers are with you. Such a battle for such a young woman, can’t imagine how strong you have to be to fight this battle.

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  2. Crystal, I don’t know why people think they need tell someone in your situation negative things. You are going through such a tough time and exhibiting such bravery. Don’t listen to all the horror stories. Everyone copes and heals in his/her own way on his/her time frame. Every body is different and reacts in its own way. You are getting the best medical care possible and you have an incredible drive to overcome this. A strong human spirit aids in healing. I cannot imagine what you are going through. I know it must be so frightening. I can empathize on one thing. I had shoulder surgery on my right (dominant arm) last fall. It is really difficult doing anything with one hand. Pull up shorts and pants will be your best friends. The good news is that within a couple of weeks your left hand will become less spastic and you will become adept at washing your hair. The one hand thing does complicate your ordeal but it is nothing you cannot overcome.
    Keep up you positive spirit. You have many people rooting for you. I will keep you in my prayers.

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    1. Hi Susan! I don’t think anybody has left me messages to ry to be negative, I think that woman just wanted to share her experience and I’m grateful to hear advice from anyone! I’m starting to get used to doing things with mainly my left arm so it’s getting easier!

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  3. I was in my thirties when I experienced menopause from chemo. I was often awake every 20 minutes with hot flashes so it helped to keep a wet washcloth on my nightstand. Good luck 💗

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  4. May God be with you and bless you during your journey! I have had stage 4 Merkel Cell Carcinoma for 4-years and a medi-port the entire time. I would not want to be treated without it! I know I have had hundreds of sticks. Just remember to take the deep breath as it will ease the pain. You are a very strong person and thank you for sharing!!

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  5. You are such a tropper andI pray your experience will help someone who is also going through….stay strong and positive…..rooting and praying for you.

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  6. You are strong Blessed and loved, your family makes sure you know that. Take care many Blessings and we will see you back here in VA soon. I absolutely love the new commercial with the cars on the boardwalk in VA Beach classy and impressive!

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  7. Love reading your updates
    You will see time will pass so quickly
    You will be meeting the most wonderful
    people during your care. Praying for you

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  8. You go, girl!!! We’re all rooting for you! I’m so glad that you have a puppy. They are a great source of comfort, they let you talk or cry without questions, and they’re so cute that you just have to smile/laugh! Thanks for the update!

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  9. Like I said to you before cancer seems to touch a lot of families including mine. I didn’t want to tell you all the details on my end because you need positive things right now to keep moving forward. I am glad you have Chloe with you so she can bring a smile to you’re at a time you need it. Keep you’re chin up and we look forward to you getting back here later.

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  10. You can hang your blow dryer over the edge of the counter or sink. Sit below it and you can use your one arm to brush or fluff your hair as it dries. Worked for me when I broke my arm several years ago.

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  11. Wow!!!! You are such an amazing woman and one of the sweetest and kindest people I have ever known. My heart aches for you and I pray for you and your family daily. Please know that there are many people that look up to you as an inspiration. Thank you for being you!!

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  12. Crystal, the best of luck. I think of you often, especially since your fighting the same cancer my husband had. Wyoming had summer in February and March and winter in April and May! May brought nearly 15 ins. of snow. Good ‘ol Wyoming. Getting ready for CFD. Miss you.

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  13. First, thank you for the update. I’m impressed on how well you seem to be flighting and taking one day at a time. One step at a time. You’re attitude towards this chapter of your story is amazing. I pray for your continued strength to fight and continued determination to get this all behind as quick as possible so you can get on with the rest of your life and so we can see you back at your job here in Virginia. Everyone misses You!

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  14. At first whe I read “menopause ” I wasn’t sure what was going on!! After reading your blog, I get it now. I just finished radiation for breast cancer in March and am now on a maintenance med that also causes hot flashes!! I’m almost 60 and thought I was done with that!! Take care and know they we are all cheering for you.

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  15. We miss you in Cheyenne. Was sadden to hear of your current adventure and it is one heck of one but you can do it. Solution to washing and drying hair. Bring your head to your hand, simply bend over. Same with putting on t-shirts. I wish you all the best and will be praying for you. Survive on girl, you got this !

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  16. Hi Crystal! You’re doing great! Don’t let people get you down. I too have a medi port and have had it for 4 years now. It’s an adjustment for sure, but not earth shattering. Keep your chin up! We’ll all get through this together!

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  17. Hello Crystal miss seeing you on the News but you will be back with us soon. Stay strong you will beat this. Love reading your blog!

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  18. Such a great facility! You are fortunate indeed to have the best hospital as your treatment center. Miss you on the television set. Can’t wait to see you soon!!! Buono fortuno!!

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  19. By now you realize that that port is a piece of cake. Had mine in my chest for over two years. I had non hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 and am in remission. Now my wife is battling myeloma and starting the stem cell transplant process this Friday. Look forward to seeing you back on !3 News soon.

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  20. Memorial Sloan Kettering Breast and Imaging Center – New York, NY DIGNICAP
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital – New York, NY DIGNICAP
    This is cold cap treatment that helps keep your hair. May be covered in your chemo tr treatment. Hope all goes well!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Crystal, Your positive attitude is half the battle! I also went through cancer treatment, and I don’t know why people share their horror stories. You just have to remember everyone is different. I did radiation everyday for 6 weeks, they kept saying this is going to make you feel tired. And it never did! Hang in there! Can’t wait to see you back doing the weather!

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  22. Chrystal, you have earned so much respect at such a young age. I got my port five years. It was removed after I finished chemo. Consider it a blessing, because it makes it much easier. I was given a cream to apply that numed the area during my treatment. It is barely noticeable where it once was. Lots of positive thoughts sent to you and your family.

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  23. You are such an inspiration to all who are dealing with cancer. Keep that positive attitude and beautiful smile, they are part of the healing. Many prayers going up for you. ❤️

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  24. Thanks for the update Crystal. I went through menopause at age 39 due to chemo to treat my Lupus. You are in my prayers. Tell Mom hi & give Chloe a belly rub from me.

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  25. Crystal, what an adventure you are on!! All the things you are dealing with! I can relate to the one arm (sometimes no arm) use for what seems like a simple daily routine until you cannot… and oh how much more challenging when it is the dominant hand or no able hand at all. I have never had a port, but I do know what it is like to be careful with medical devices. I go into PT so often with a device, my therapist will lovingly joke, “What are you on house arrest for now?” I pray for you. You make what MUST be very trying seem like such an adventure with your blogging. Thank you for sharing such a personal trial. Heys to the moms and pops, and all the fam. Glad Chloe got her a wide open backyard… and lots of family!! God loves you each one!

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  26. Good morning Crystal everything will be ok i tweeted you last week im having to remove a mass on my kidney they are using a da vinci robot cool the said less chance of something going wrong i will be in Norfolk general for 4-7 days no appetite at first but i will get back couple of days good luck sweetie im 🙏 praying for your quick recovery every day Love u keep 😃 smiling when i get back dinner on me at gardinos

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  27. I know with your high and positive spirited personality that you will pull through this like a champ! I will send you lots of prayers!

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  28. Crystal, do you see how tough and caring your parents are right now. Well guess what, you are made of the same stock. You got this, no problem. Start thinking of the perfect life in your future. Whatever you want, see it in a movie in your mind everyday, over and over again. Be creative with the details in each scene, like the smell of the roses your husband brings you or the smell of the cookies you are teaching your son or daughter how to cook. How about the sound of the bell ringing on your child’s first day of school and how you feel in that moment. Make it real. Then go ahead and be the star in that reality show. Only have beautiful thoughts. An example of this is in the movie “Unbroken “. The main character got his fellow captive to think, smell, and taste his Momma’s cooking. He had no choice but to be blessed enough to live the experience for he and his friend. Now go on and be that star, your future friends and family are waiting on you!

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  29. ” I have to agree with that woman though- it’s not pretty”. It’s all a matter of perspective. When my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at age 36 with 3 kids and a newborn – the mediport I remember bending over and kissing the bulge of the mediport (it was in the same spot as yours), because I knew that it was the port that life saving medication would enter her body and help her live. Now the port is removed and I still kiss the scar. It’s beautiful to me.

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  30. You sound like you are moving through this like a total rockstar. Seriously. I think that’s pretty fab. Menopause? Not so fab. Actually it’s pretty heavy on the suck factor, but you were smart to stock up your colleggtion 😉 early. Sending well wishes and hopes for healing to you sweet girl. 🙂

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  31. Good Morning Crystal sitting here watching 13 news and find myself thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Stay strong continue your next chapter and get back to Virginia😍

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Praying for you, Crystal! I hope you get the hang of the one armed blow dry, I know it would be difficult with my hair! You’ll get it though, I know you will! Missing you and your weather expertise here in VA, hang in there!❤️

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  33. The whole time you have your port, you can’t use your right arm!? You’ll be lefty by the end of it lol you’re doing great and I love blogs! Are you fromNY? I was born and raised in the Niagara Falls area. Good luck Crystal!

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  34. Keeping you in my prayers Crystal! Hampton Roads misses you and we can’t wait for your return! Been there done that with early menopause. Get a cooling rag (like the ones at sporting good stores) that you can keep around your neck when those hot flashes start. You are going to rock these treatments and be back home to WVEC13 in no time. Hang in in there!

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  35. You’re in my prayers – so miss seeing you on 13newsnow. As to hot flashes – I’ve found that if I have only a light sheet on my feet or nothing at all – it lessons them. God Bless You, I’ll be following your progress.

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  36. Crystal. When I shaved my long hair to fundraise before the chemo started I could not believe the relief from sweats and it was so much easier in the shower. The sweats are annoying! A silver lining is also losing your underarm hair and leg hair for a while!

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