JJ’s Port

Yesterday feels like a long time ago.

Yesterday morning we had to run a few errands. As we started out, we stopped at our mailbox to get the mail. We found a card from the realtor who helped us find our house. He had sent us a $100 gift certificate from Home Depot as a thank you for choosing him as our realtor. I thought that was amazing. He really was a nice guy.

Michigan was expecting severe weather yesterday. I enjoyed watching the interesting clouds come in, but all we got was some heavy rain. However, the Mid-Michigan region had terrible storms. Friends down there had terrible storms, heavy rain, flooding, tornadoes, and power outages. Yikes.

A massive solar storm has been hitting the earth, which means the Northern Lights are very powerful. EJ saw the Northern Lights glimmering and dancing over the lakes as he drove home from work last night at about 1 a.m. or so. He said they were some of the most powerful he had ever seen. He woke us when he got home so we could see them too. We all went outside, but couldn’t see any so EJ drove us to the lake shore where we’d have a more unhindered view. Alas, we didn’t really see any because they had died down by then. Bummer. However, they are supposed to be very powerful again tonight so we are definitely going to watch for them. I have only ever seen the Northern Lights once in my life, and they were relatively weak.

After our night-time adventures, I had trouble getting back to sleep. I finally fell asleep about 5:30 a.m. With so little sleep last night, I was very tired today. Yawn. I’m not sure why the nights are always sleepless just before a busy day.

Today JJ had his port taken out. Because the removal was scheduled for the afternoon, I had to take JJ to the hospital myself, without EJ. I was able to get us to the hospital and back again with the help of Viki, our GPS. I get lost VERY easily, but I feel more confident finding my way in this new region than in the old. Viki helps, of course, but I also like that there are no freeways to navigate. Freeways make me nervous because if I miss an exit or take a wrong one, I could have to drive miles before I can turn around. With no freeways, I can just make a few turns to correct a mistake.

Viki was able to help on the roads, but not in the hospital. I tend to get lost in the maze of hallways inside a hospital. I laughed when we went to the information desk inside the hospital to find out where we were supposed to go. The lady behind the counter printed out a form for JJ to take with him and then immediately called a volunteer to walk us to the correct place. I thought, “It it so obvious that I can get lost anywhere?”

JJ was given the choice of either having twilight anesthesia (which means he’s not totally asleep, but not aware either) or to just have localized anesthesia. The nurse said that most people choose to just have local anesthesia. Seriously? They are awake and aware as the port is removed? Bleagh! JJ felt as I did and chose to have heavier anesthesia but he says he still was quite aware of the procedure. As always, I made him laugh before they wheeled him away. He said he babbled through most of the procedure. He was quite “loopy” when they returned him to his room where I was waiting. He babbled, didn’t make sense, and couldn’t decide on what to eat from the menu they gave him. I had to choose food for him. After an hour, he had recovered enough that they let us go home.

A month or two ago, a friend of ours asked if she could have JJ port when it was taken out. We asked, “Ok….uh, why on earth would you want JJ’s port?”

My friend Cris and her  dog, Joe Pete. Photo taken by Sarah Gentry
My friend Cris and her dog, Joe Pete. Photo taken by Sarah Gentry

Our friend, Cris, is a member of Michigan Search and Rescue, which is an all volunteer missing persons response team serving Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. As they describe on their website, their services include those of trailing dogs – usually bloodhounds who trail the scent of a specific person from their last known location. Also included are airscent or wilderness dogs.  These dogs range from their handlers and look for any human scent – alive or recently deceased.  When they locate such a scent, they return to the handler in order to lead the handler back to what they’ve found.  Cris has a human remains detection specialist dog.  These teams specialize in locating deceased individuals including buried and drowning victims. I think the work they do is awesome. I actually got to meet several of the MISAR handlers and their dogs a few years ago when they worked at a local cemetery finding “lost” grave sites. It’s really interesting following the adventures of my friend and other MISAR handlers at Facebook as they train and work their dogs in all sorts of settings. Here is a video of one of my friend’s training sessions with her dog, Joe Pete.

Joe Pete training session

When we asked Cris why she wanted JJ’s port, she told me, “Dogs recognize chemotherapy drugs as bad stuff. They have to learn to work through the scent to the human scent. Birds of prey won’t go after bodies that had chemo either. They are doing studies at the FOREST in North Carolina.” MISAR doesn’t often have an opportunity to train the dogs to search for people/remains of those who have had chemotherapy. Therefore, my friend wants JJ’s port as a training tool for the dogs. I would have forgotten to ask the medical staff for JJ’s port, but JJ remembered to ask and they gave him the port after they removed it.

I think it’s really awesome that we can help MISAR a little by donating JJ’s port.


6 Comments on “JJ’s Port

  1. Happy for JJ that his port is out another step to leave the troubled time behind. And I’m so much like you, I had to take my car to the garage as I do every year to see if it is okay. But my old garage has stopped so I found a new one nearby ( I have an old car by the way) It was 6 ( really only 6) minutes drive from my house. I watched the map and found the garage just without any stupid mistake. BUT…. I put my car somewhere it was very busy with cars on that spot there are several garages. I went in the door to let them know I was there ( proud that I found it ) the man behind the desk couldn’t find me or my car anywhere and I said that I made the appointment two week ago. He really panicked , at last I said but this is the A&J Garage isn’t it???? And he said no it isn’t this is the Ford dealer and you have taken the wrong door….. I mean how stupid can you be . Well that is me always taken the wrong direction and the wrong doors. So I felt really really the most stupid person in the world. And he looked at me like she is a women and she can’t help it….I’m just meant for a life like Abraham slowly with camels and tents and never get lost……


    • Oh, Simone, even though I know you felt stupid, that is such a funny story! I can so relate to it. I was so afraid that I would end up at the wrong medical building yesterday but thankfully Viki got us to the right one. I would be so anxious without her! Did you ever find the correct garage?


  2. Yes I did and believe me just one door next to this one. And they were very nice brought me back home while the car was there and afterwards picked me up so I could take my own home and not unimportant pay the bill. Next tuesday I have to bring her again there was one thing (don’t ask me what and why she needed it) that needed replaced I hop I’m doing well this time…. 🙂


    • It was good of them to take you home and pick you up again. I do hope you find your way in the future! AND that your car repairs aren’t too much.


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