I thought you might be interested in seeing Oscar's central line. In the picture he has the ends of it in a monkey pouch given to him by the nurses. The central line is a soft flexible tube made from silastic, which is placed into a large vein near the heart. This is done in surgery as soon as possible after diagnosis. Oscar had his within 24 hours.
Basically, the central line is the easiest, least painful way for the nurses to take blood and administer intravenous chemo or other drugs. It's pretty ingenious and we are very grateful that he doesn't have to have a nurse search his collapsing veins for hours, which is what happened our first day in casuality.
He will have it in for two years and can't get it wet at all. We've developed a special apron for bathing and will have to sort something out for summer water play. Many, many kids end up, at some stage, pulling it out. This isn't that easy to do because there is a loop in the line so that if they accidently pull on it they don't actually tear at the skin that it is encased in. Many other children sometimes actually chew through the line as well. Some manage to do both at the same time. Hard to believe but they tell us its more common than not and to expect it to be part of his journey. We have emergency procedures if any of those things happen.
Eventually, I will need to learn how to change the dressing and how to flush the line with saline solution. For now, the nurses are kindly doing that for us.
So far Oscar pretty much ignores it unless a nurse is taking blood and then he sits in complete facination watching her with it. They all think he's exceptionally good at letting them take blood and give drugs which are cold when they go in. Many kids scream. Oscar just laps up all the attention and asks constantly for a sticker (they give them out as rewards).