Here is the latest installment in my ONE series. This one involves one of my photographer buddies, the great Angela Navarette.
I'm thrilled with the image, but the story is even better.
Here is Angela's story in her own words:
My significant item is my medical port.
I was diagnosed HER2 positive, an aggressive form of breast cancer in June of 2021. I had a medical port implanted in me on August 2, 2021. Less than 24 hours later my oncologist put it to its first use to administer my chemotherapy. Finding the entire process fascinating, I asked to see what the port looked like while I was laying on the surgical table waiting for the procedure to start. I really had no idea what I was about to experience through treatment as I had done no in depth research at that point; I was just trying to get through my days. It took maybe three minutes for it to be implanted but felt like a lifetime before it healed! It hurt so much I couldn’t lay on my right side to sleep for about 2 months. I felt discomfort in my chest and neck for quite some time. I hated it. It finally healed and I barely noticed it. It became a part of me that I proudly donned unashamed, letting it make an appearance with whatever outfit I chose any given day. It was my permanent accessory. Most people did not care to look at it as it clearly made them uncomfortable. Few were not bothered by it at all. In fact, my eldest son was the only person unintimidated by it, so much so, one time I found him suddenly just staring at it intently before he finally asked to touch it, poke at it, and tug at the skin it was under. Hahaha!
The port is implanted in the chest under the skin and the tiny catheter is threaded into the main artery. It has a tough topping of silicone where health care providers stick the IV needle. It saves the veins and pain on your arm and makes medical treatment much easier. 14 months of treatment went by before the doctors finally removed my port. As it gets pulled from the vein, the valve shuts behind it and heals.
As I write this, tomorrow, January 6, 2023 will be three months since its removal and while the scar is barely noticeable, I carry the memories of that journey with me forever, grateful that little piece of equipment which was a part of me for so long helped with my life saving treatment.
With the knowledge of my experience, I hope to bring awareness to my disease and to help other women who come behind me.
Want to be part of the ONE Project? Find out more here: