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port placement

lindamary
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010

I am trying to decide whether I should have my port placement done in the jugular or subclavian. Also I have heard a longer catheter is preferred, as well as a power injection port. Any thoughts? Much appreciated.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2009

Most ports are place in the subclavian. I don't know about a longer catheter being preferred. I think my catheter was too long and ended up in a vein past the subclavian. Then when they repositioned it because it would not draw blood, it went into the right atrium (upper chamber of the heart).

I would recommend a power port or smart port, as they can be used for CAT scans as well as lab draws and chemo. Someone told me they could not be used for PET scans though as the fluid they use for PET scans is too thick.

I would definitely recommend a port. I had excellent veins before I started chemo, but not anymore. I got my port after 4 chemo treatments, and wish I would have gotten it at the beginning of treatment.

Good luck with your port. In peace and caring.

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 201
Joined: Oct 2009

I would recommend getting a port versus having chemo wreck your veins in your hands and arms. I have a Power Port and like it as it is low profile (doesn't stick up too high under the skin)
It is quite small in terms of the over all portal itself. The length of the catheter is a factor of your anatomy. Meaning depending on how far it is from your subclavian vein by your collar bone to where they want the tip of the catheter to be.
I don't know what the advantage would be for a jugular approach. I had glue on the site where they cut down to the subclavian vein. If you have a jugular approach I would think that you will have a sore neck on that side. Good luck with the procedure! Will keep you in my prayers and let us know how it goes for you.
PS I hope an interventional radiologist is placing the port and that they have placed at least 100 ports before they do your procedure. Experience does make a difference.

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

My port is a regular - not power - and I have had no trouble at all. It in upper chest against my rib cage. I love it!! Just make sure it is high enough and does not interfere with your bra or seatbelt. Mine has had rave reviews by all the nurses who have accessed it - it was placed by a vascular surgeon.

Good luck to you.

SI
Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

I found this great group just today and have already benefited so much by just reading everyone's posts and comments.
I was diagnosed with uterine cancer in October, had a robotic hysterectomy in November, and was told it is Stage 3A. I am mid-way into chemo with three more to go. The oncologist did not recommend a port in the beginning and now that my white cells are so low, am wondering about the risk of infection with the procedure. It definitely sounds like a better system than the vein punctures with every treatment.
I am also wondering about the painful side effects of pacitaxol and carboplatin. I have experienced extreme pain and weakness in legs, knees, feet, and hands beginning on the 3rd day after treatment and lasting through the 6th day. Has anyone else experienced this debilitating side effect of chemo and if so, have you found anything that can effectively reduce the pain?

SI
Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

I found this great group just today and have already benefited so much by just reading everyone's posts and comments.
I was diagnosed with uterine cancer in October, had a robotic hysterectomy in November, and was told it is Stage 3A. I am mid-way into chemo with three more to go. The oncologist did not recommend a port in the beginning and now that my white cells are so low, am wondering about the risk of infection with the procedure. It definitely sounds like a better system than the vein punctures with every treatment.
I am also wondering about the painful side effects of pacitaxol and carboplatin. I have experienced extreme pain and weakness in legs, knees, feet, and hands beginning on the 3rd day after treatment and lasting through the 6th day. Has anyone else experienced this debilitating side effect of chemo and if so, have you found anything that can effectively reduce the pain?

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 117
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi, SI

I, too, experienced the pain and weakness you describe. I had Carboplatin/Taxol. My legs felt as if weights were strapped to them from thigh to ankle making them hard to lift. All of my joints hurt from my shoulders to my toes, but not my neck. My bones hurt, as well. I had to hold objects with both hands to avoid dropping them. I was afraid to try OTC pain remedies because I did not want to compromise the effectiveness of the chemo agents. I did try warm wet towels and I tried cold packs, but only time helped. I found it hard to believe that some on this board were able to continue working full time all during chemo when I had such a hard time just walking around the house! I couldn't even sit and write more than a few words or sit a the computer for more than a few minutes. I spent a lot of time lying down during the first week when I wasn't heading to or from the toilet. (Generic Imodium was my buddy for a few days!) My symptoms steadily eased during the second week, and by the very end of the third week I could get around OK - just in time for the next round of chemo. I did TRY to go into the office for a few hours each evening during the 2nd and 3rd weeks after other employees had left work so I would not catch an infection from anyone. I probably managed to go in every other evening for 2 hours or so.

My last chemo was early October 2009, and I still am experiencing a bit of peripheral neuropathy in my feet, fingers, lips and tongue. I also still have a significant amount of fatigue. I do not have the stamina to work full time yet. I like to think that my memory is improving :-) I guess everyone is different.

I had a catheter inserted the day before my first round of chemo. It was not a power port. It certainly helped, though, with administering the chemo. I still had to have sticks for blood work and later for the CT scan. I had an ongoing small infection at the spot where the tubing came out the inner side of my breast, so following the CT report of NED in November 2009, my oncologist removed the catheter. If I need chemo in the future, I will ask for a catheter to be inserted again.

Sorry I found that only time passing eased the pain each round!

Hugs to you from Sally

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

My Doctor told me neuropathy is worse four to six months after taking carbo/plat. I also had agressive chemo ten years ago for breast cancer and the nerve damage is cumulative. She put me on oxycontin 10 mgm two times a day for the six months; this helped. What helped me the most is lyrica. I tried neurotin but had too many side effects. I don't mean to push drugs but with lyrica I can live a normal life. The oxycontin has been easy to go off of.

Diane

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 201
Joined: Oct 2009

There are so many debilitating side effects from chemo but most of them hopefully resolve with time. When I was on chemo I basically laid around from day 2 post chemo through day 5. There is no way I could have worked. NO WAY! I finished my chemo on Dec. 30, 2009. I have neuropathy in the bottom of my feet which affects my gait or the way I walk. I have had neuropathy in my hands but that has resolved itself. L Glutamine and Vit. B6 were suggested to me to be taken during chemo to help with neuropathy. My oncologist has referred me to a neurologist for early intervention or to see what they can do therapy or drug wise. The neurologist is booked until September! I will find another one to consult.
My port will be removed this Thursday. My CT scan is clear so OK to take port out. Having the port out will help me mentally get out of the idea that I am sick and get on with healing and wellness. I am feeling great now. I go to the park and walk with my dog everyday (despite the numb feet). I have been taking lots of supplements after paying for a private nutritional consult with a private wellness company. I also am now on a gluten free diet and don't crave sugar or chocolate. With time I expect to feel better and be healthier than my pre cancer diagnosis period. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to just lay low. Can you take Tylenol for your joint pain? I could.

SI
Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks so much Sally and Northwoodsgal! It is really inspiring and encouragaing to know that that you both completed your treatments despite those torturous side effects! I am now on day 8 after round three (midway) of chemo and the muscle/bone pain is gone. I am still weak and shakey and seem to have some back pain over the kidney area, but made it through another treatment and am feeling much better. Gosh, I wonder if B-6 and L'Glutamine can help with neuropathy after treatments are finished? I have been taking L'Glutamine, but was not aware of B-6 as an additional aid. There is some numbness in my hands and feet, but just minor at this point.
Huge Congratulations to you both in finishing your chemo!!
Hugs!
SI

deanna14
Posts: 738
Joined: Oct 2008

Have you mentioned the back pain over your kidneys to the doctor? I would start by drinking a lot of water and even some cranberry juice. Urinary tract infections can be quite common...
I ended up in the ER the day after one of my chemos with a UTI. You might call your doc, usually they can just have you drop by the lab and submit a urine sample.

SI
Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks Deanna,
Yes, I have been living on cranberry juice and cran tablets and tons of water since chemo started as I began chemo when already on an antibiotic for an UTI. I have asked the docs a few times about the possibility of cancer in the bladder, but have been told that there was no evidence of any masses in the bladder area. Although the UTI cultures do not indicate an infection now, there is always some blood present. It does make me wonder if there are some cancer cells in the kidney or bladder or whether the bladder may be just chemo irritated. I had positive peritoneal washings so asked the doc about the possibility of spread to the bladder. He said that normally the cancer cells are contained in the pelvic cavity and that since my lymph nodes had shown no evidence of cancer it would not be likely at this point. Still, I wonder since no lymph nodes were actually removed and cancer seems so very sneaky.

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