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How long will this new port be so sore and red and ugly?

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I had my Power Port put in yesterday morning. It is really sore whenever I lift the smallest thing or even move my shoulder to do dishes, etc. It looks red and sore. I don't have a fever or anything. Do they ordinarily hurt quite a bit? For how long? I don't want to be a baby and be calling over there for nothing, and I have chemo Monday so they'll see it then. But I thought you all could reassure me that this 'day after' pain and redness is normal. Thanks!

They went over stuff with me after they put it in but I was pretty loopy at the time. I've never seen anyone's close-up all healed. Do they get less ugly?

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Linda....mine did hurt about 24 hours later for about 1-2 days....but then it was fine. Mine was not red and ugly....I did have a dressing over it for 2-3 days but it looked very neat when I removed the dressing. I never had another bit of pain and my port was hardly noticeable except to touch.

Hoping you are feeling much better by the morning....

Karen

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I am really boney and my port leaves a bump under my skin. There was some discussion about not letting me get the PowerPort because it is hard on the skin to have it press upward like that, but they decided I needed a port where I could get my scan contrast in since the special "IV Team" always has to be called in when they need to get an IV in me.

Thanks for the reassurance, Karen.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I just have a regular port. Mine looks like a doorbell - it's raised and about the size of a quarter. Mine was not red at all. It was a bit uncomfortable for a week or so - within a month it was an old friend!!! We have been hanging out together for over a year now. I had my first chemo 6 days after mine was inserted. The nurses are great and can access it without any pain.

It will get better. Hang in there. And don't look at it!!!

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Mine did stick up some but it really wasn't very noticeable except from the side.

I thought about this more after I made my first reply....I do remember that about 36 hours after I had mine put it did hurt quite a bit...and the pain pills didn't help at all. I did call the surgeon and he told me that there are a lot of nerves in that area and alot of manipulation to get it placed so the pain was normal for another day or two. Actually by the next day it was MUCH better and I never took another pain pill.

I truly hope it works for you as I found it to be wonderful!! My veins were very crummy and I could never had gotten through all of the pokes with out it....Like Mary Ann said....it really does become your friend!!

Karen

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

Mine was painful for a few days, red and very swollen. I also have kind of a local reaction to adhesive tape which contributed. Particularly after the use of all of those irritating skin cleansers they use before cutting.
The swelling will go down and it won't be so noticable, except to you!
Oh, and I think you are supposed to limit the use of that arm for lifting, etc for about a week.
I too used pain pills for a couple of days.
I think you are normal!
Love you girl!

cathyK's picture
cathyK
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2009

mine took a week to feel ok then it started hurting again , at the 3 week mark I asked the doc that put it in , whats wrong? he said dont worry, I went in to get chemo they found it had flipped so they cut me open again and it took another week to feel ok and another 3 weeks for the cut to heal sort of, got 3 slices , they aint pretty, but I dont feel it any more and forget I have it, so patience :)
mine is raised bump, can see it slightly,
I didnt know about this product till 3rd chemo in ,
ask for the cream that numbs the area, it is SOOOOOOOO good, the stick for the first 3 times hurt me , and it hurt for around 10 min till it settled in and I settled in, with the cream it was soooooooo different , no feeling at all!
my former gyn /onc did not tell me about it, when I asked he said it is only for kids and older people , I reminded him that if it stops some pain it is good for everyone ! he called me a wimp, NO not a wimp, just the less pain the better!!!
cathy

threegirlsandme
Posts: 11
Joined: Dec 2009

Linda,

I also have a Power Port and I was like you, the incision site was ugly and red (my skin is fair, sensitive and I tend to scar easily) Now I only have a faint red line and the bump is barely noticable. At 1st it was uncomfortable, especially when I slept, it is on my left side, the side I like to sleep on. I would constantly get out of bed to check it, fearing I had pulled it loose if I laid on my side. I got my 1st Chemo 2 days after it was installed and it was still really sore. I learned about the numbing spray next round and I requested for each chemo and for my monthly port flushes. I am glad I went through the surgery and had the port installed. I have very luck with IVs and love not having to get stuck. I also do all I my blood work through my port and try to coordinate the flushes with my labs.

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

I have the smaller regular port. The problem with this one is you can'tuse it for scans. Now they can't get blood from it. I may have to go back to radiology to get the thing fixed. If I recur she plans to do a power port. I heard they were slightly more uncomfortable but I dont know if that is true. Mine was angry and red for a good week and they used it anyway. In about amonth it healed. If I have to go back for power port I will.

I forget about it most of the time. My friend (this is strange; she had papillary serous and I helped her through it. She went in and told the oncologist she was ready to die.) She has now had her daughter married and is 1 1/2 year out. They could never find the source. But I got the same cancer after she did. I find that very coincidental, almost spooky. But now we do the port thing together.

I am trying to decide if I should color my granny white and black hair. So far I have left it go because I am afraid to get attached to my hair. Isn't that silly? I had a week where I felt brave and strong and went forward in life, and then for two days the haunts came back. Mental relapse. Is it the holidays? It's not the recurrances; we all know they come. It's just me. I am glad I can share the willy-nilly's here. Thank you for listening. I think the power port makes you superwoman. I probably needed two.

When I feel violated by some procedure I fight back by my pampering myself. I love a new shirt or sweater. something cute. When I went to chemo I loved to have a cute outfit on. I know it's crazy, I should go in my pajamas. But I liked to surprise the nurses.

I am overdoing it this holiday. Daughter comes in Thursday. Hubby told me he is just not in the Christmas spirit after all we went through. I went out with my dog Fritzo and we bought a beautiful tree. My hubby smiled putting the lights on. Today we pull out the ornaments; I do the ones all my friends and the kids made. It's not very designer but we love it. I decorate each daughter's bedroom.

I have fears though. I fear I will recur when my oldest gets married and ruin everything. I fear my youngest who just got funding through for her PhD research will quit this wonderful opportunity and come home to care for me. I cry thinking about this. Someone needs to shake me. I've had these fears; and low and behold my oldest did meet someone while I was on chemo. I know we can't worry about what we can't control. Thank you for listening.

That's what I wish this board could be; something where we spill our feelings we keep pent up. the open forum puts a damper on it. I will get courage back again; it just slipped away bringing out all these memories from the attic.

there is cream over the counter for scarring; you can put in on your port and it works. I can't remember the name but the pharmacist would know. It does work. Also keep the scar out of the sun. (My hubby found the name - Mederma). The way I feel today I should put the cream on my heart.

Love,
Diane

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks everyone for the reassurances and the hints about the port. I will look for Mederma at the drugstore to use after the 'invisible bandage' coating wears off. And I will definitelt ask for the numbing creme before tomorrow's chemo and the maiden voyage of my virgin port.

Diane: I can't even TELL you what a lift I got from getting my hair cut and colored! DO IT!! I went to the best salon in my little hick town and had my hair cut and a 2-step coloring so that I could have highlights put in. I felt SOOOOO 'smart' looking, even though I have never worn my hair so short or quite so red. But I actually felt PRETTY again, and I guess it proves how shallow I am, because the new look really raised my spirits and my optimism. Honestly, even knowing the my hair is SURELY going to fall out soon from the weekly taxol, I am STILL tempted to make an appointment and get my 'short-timer' hair styled for the holidays, just to extend the aura of well-being I got from having it done before. I am gopping on the mascara like a rac****, trying to savor my eyelashes before they go, too! Just as a bad hair day can set the tone for the next 24-hours, so can a GOOD hair day put a smile on your face that glows with contentment. Please treat yourself. Even if you one day lose your hair again, that's not TODAY! Today you could be a slinkly blonde! Or a firey redhead! or a mysterious brunette! GO FOR IT!

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1421
Joined: Jan 2009

My power port does stick up,too. I can feel all three of the bumps on the port that the nurses and lab people use for landmarks to access the port. I have to pay attention to what I wear so the port, or the scar from the insertion does not show.

I am sorry your insertion site is painful. Have you tried any Tyelonal, or do you have anything stronger. The tyelonal would help the redness, too.

EMLA is the name of the cream they can use to numb the skin before they access your port.
the cream needs to stay on the skin 20 -30 minutes before they stick you. I have not found that it hurts to access the port as much as when they stick you to find a vein. Sometimes I have not felt it all and other times it hurts just a little.

I know you will enjoy just having one stick for your chemo, lab and CAT scans. Having multiple sticks is no fun as you well know.

Hope all goes well with your chemo and you are feeling well enough to continue with your holiday preparations. In peace and caring.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I never used numbing gel and I honestly never felt anything when the nurses were accessing the site....either for chemo or for lab draws. I think it is a very individual thing.

I had my port removed about 9 months ago and I can hardly see where the incision was...all in all, a very positive experience.

Will pray that your chemo goes well tomorrow, Linda... and the access is a breeze!

Karen

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

Linda,
The surgeon who removed my port told me to use vitamin E oil on my scar, but not until all of the scabs were gone. I have been using it twice a day and it has made a huge difference!It is a faint pinkish line on my chest. He did say the most important thing in the scar development was to protect it from the sun with sunscreen.
Just sharing my docs recommendations.
:~)

california_artist
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2009

and I just sent that stupid p53 thing via email when I should have sent you some encouragement, although I think if you can decipher it it is encouraging.

Let's forget about that for a bit. I found myself very, very depressed a number of years back, before I even got a cancer diagnosis and I just could not pull myself out of it no matter how hard I tried. Used to walk around the house in the middle of the nights just sobbing away. And for the life of me I couldn't figure out the reason. Then one day I decided to try very hard to remember the last time I was happy, truly happy and what it was that I was doing. It was garage saling sp? So that sent me down a memory road, where I remembered all the things that had at one time or another in my life made me very happy, going all the way back to my childhood.

I decided to start doing those things, even if I cried through them for a bit. But the first garage sale brought back feelings of joy, and I didn't cry. I rode my bike, cause I love riding. I did a puzzle, cause I Love doing puzzles and they take your mind off things. Cook something that you used to cook in happier times. Read a book you love. remember how you felt when you were first dating your husband. When your children were young or did things to make you laugh.

A while back I put a photo of me up here from way back when I looked young and vibrant and the pounds had yet to make their ugly appearance. Every time I looked at that photo I felt really happy. I knew that wasn't me now, but at least I was truly happy once. Try to recapture your happier self and take her through this. You wouldn't want to ruin her day or rain on her parade would you.

If you try this for a bit and it doesn't work and going out in the sunshine and exercising by going for walks doesn't work, then don't hesitate to seek some form of help from someone you trust to help you through this. There are those things we can kick in the butt ourselves and those things that are more chemical based that we have little control over. You certainly have a reason to be depressed, however, you may be able to choose not to be. We can guide or thoughts to the things that cause us joy. sometimes anyway. Try for me and for you and your family.

I'm just sayin'

Your friend and fellow traveler,

Claudia

I posted a happy things post yesterday or the day before. Try that. It sounds trite but it might make you laugh in spite of yourself, at the least it couldn't hurt. I hope.

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

Dearest Friends,

I won't apologize for my tears and bad day. Good grief; we pulled all the decorations down from the attic and I decorated the tree with all the memories from the past and my kids pictures from infancy to college. It's OK to feel your feelings and face them; I think it helps you to heal inside.

The house looks like Saint Nick could be popping in. I did get all the decorating done.
I sometimes have a hard time because this is the second cancer fight. But I love you dear women who are quite the cats meow. Certainly not boring.

I've picked myself up again. I see the Gyn Onc tomorrow; I think that always causes a little anxiety as well as reassurance.

Thank you Claudia for your heart felt love, the airways musts be strong; it came right through. Trust me if I get close to the nut house I'll go to a therapist. What is it Linda calls it? The shadows at night we all sometimes feel fighting this.

I'm off to work. Love you all!

Diane

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

I think all of your fears and feeling are normal! My mother had uterine cancer in 1994, cured by surgery and she says she stills gets very anxious when it is time for a checkup. She then had breast cancer in 2001ish, cured by surgery and mammograms are mental torture until she gets the clear reports back.
I finished chemo the first week of June and I have colored my hair twice. I did it myself with an over the counter color. I have needed to have it trimmed and shaped up for a while and have not yet done it. I kept saying "after the first clear scan I will go..." Friday I finally made an appt. with my beautician to have my hair shaped up tomorrow. I felt the same way, I didn't want to get emotionally invested in my hair for fear that I would lose it again. In fact, I just said that out loud to 2 of my best friends on Thursday when we went to lunch. They encouraged me to make an appt.
I hope you feel better soon!

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks to all of you who commented when I was down. I may do the hair thing. I had a better today and I am in the sunshine again and out of the shadows. I'm going to win the lotto and flies us some place fabulous to meet. You are the best.

Dian

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Sorry ladies, I have to say this. Think again about dying your hair.

I am concerned about dying hair after reading that it is a carcinogen. I am leaving my hair natural (grey/white) because I am lazy, thrifty, and I don't need any more concerns about more cancer risks.

And besides I've had so many compliments on my new look!!!

Outlaw_Josie's picture
Outlaw_Josie
Posts: 42
Joined: Dec 2009

Wanna color your hair, but concerned about possible cancer links?

Try Henna or other plant based hair dyes.

It may not last quite as long, but it is natural and good for dry, dull hair.

We need to do nice things for ourselves.

I put Eggplant purple in my now very short hair the night before surgery...it's aa power color and it just plain made me feel good. I also took my sock monkey jammie bottoms to put on once they'd get rid of the paper gown. (which wasn't SO awful in pre-op and surgery cuz it hooked up to warm air hoses and was like being bathed in luscious heat...you know how cold those pre-op and surgical rooms are...brrrrrr.)

Anyway...whether it be decorating for the holiday, hair, fingers, toes or cute outfits...we need to do nice stuff for ourselves.

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