197 The New Take Home Infusion

t looks like a balloon that has been crossed with a hand grenade.

Reusable Chemo Infusion Pump

The old chemo infusion pump was a hard metal, heavy apparatus that was hearty, complex, a definite nod to the technological era, with a hint of permanence.  It might have survived a beating with a bat.  Durable.

The new concept is, well, probably cheap.  It looks like a balloon that has been crossed with a hand grenade. I feel like I need to add a thick Ziploc to the outside to reduce the odds of a chemo spill.  It has a one inch plastic hard tube at the end where they filled it.  This thing drops to the ground several times a day.  So far so good, but that tip is an obvious design flaw.  

Disposable Chemo Infusion Pump

It apparently uses body heat to time the infusion.  Something that was timed to the moment, 46 hours on the dot (old version), is now meant to go 42 to 50 hours.  Let’s just say, there was nothing left in the bag at hour 26.  How confident am I that the rapid rate of infusion was a great idea?  Not at all.  I feel fine, so we will go with that interpretation. 

All is well.  But I must be infusing by high body heat.  This time, we kept the sensor close to the skin.  Next time I will need to wear it outside of a layer or two of clothing.  Slow it down.

There is an advantage.  I can remove this pump myself.  It is disposable.  Toxic waste garbage can at the ready.  Storing that in the shed, just sayin’.  Not suggested, but definitely happening.  I am looking forward to removing it, so again, I’m not against short infusions, if they are safe.  I like to take showers!  And you cannot shower with a pump.  It only adds a trip to the office to have a pump removed, so maybe an hour and a half extra… but who wants to shower after already having to sponge bathe and dress before being in public?

So this is new growth.  It is something that was totally new to the nurses as they presented badly edited instruction material… then had to find and print (or create) a new version.  Guinea pig.  I am definitely a guinea pig.  The second for my nurse.  But the Central Kaiser has been using these for months.  So presumably, others have come before and survived.

And the Covid shots are on their way.  How do you feel?  Up for the challenge?  We are all in this process of experimentation with a new world every day.  The difference is whether we ride a wave of ignorance and inaction, or meet the call for advancement and growth, whichever way that takes the moments.  Choice.  Or grace. Or both.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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