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chemo pump

1oldbroad
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2010

I have newly found out I have colon cancer. Monday I am to be fitted with a port.
My question is: will I be happy withe pump or the old fashioned way, whatever that is,to get chemotherapy?

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I can only tell you this, the port is a gift for chemo patients. It will enable you to keep on going with your day to day routines ( it allows you to be mobile)and with the fanny pack that comes with it if its 5fu that you will be doing while doing radiation and 5fu for how ever many weeks they tell you..normally around 5 weeks. Then after surgery you may have post op chemo which will also be put in your system via the port. That will be done at the Oncologists office and will usually take 3-4 hrs the first day 2 hours the 2nd day and then have the fanny pack removed (5fu again) on wednesday...anyway, the port is a lot easier than any other method so far...if given a choice, take the port.....Love and Hope to you, Buzz

lizzydavis's picture
lizzydavis
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Yes, Buzzard is correct. That is the way to go!

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey 1oldbroad - It sucks that you have cancer - I'm really sorry about that, but welcome aboard.
Just about everyone gets a port. Sometimes they give us problems, but they make it easier to administer the chemo. You may also have a 48 hour pump that you carry with you in a fanny pack. Having the port definitely makes that easier. Getting the port installed is a piece of cake, so take that off of your list of things to worry about this weekend.
Keep asking questions here. This community has helped me endure this crappy ride for the last 7 months. I'm not sure what I would do without these folks.
Take Care,
Roger

Crow71's picture
Crow71
Posts: 681
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey 1oldbroad - It sucks that you have cancer - I'm really sorry about that, but welcome aboard.
Just about everyone gets a port. Sometimes they give us problems, but they make it easier to administer the chemo. You may also have a 48 hour pump that you carry with you in a fanny pack. Having the port definitely makes that easier. Getting the port installed is a piece of cake, so take that off of your list of things to worry about this weekend.
Keep asking questions here. This community has helped me endure this crappy ride for the last 7 months. I'm not sure what I would do without these folks.
Take Care,
Roger

just4Brooks's picture
just4Brooks
Posts: 987
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a PICC line and had no problems with the pump. Again, Welcome to the board.

Brooks

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

I am relatively new at this too. Had surgery Oct.21 and started chemo Dec.8th. The port is good. It might feel a little 'odd' at first but you get used to it..or I have anyway.They also do the blood draws through the port. I think the "old-fashioned" way is having the chemo infusions through an IV which is very hard on your veins...if you have any good ones, which I didn't.( of course my mother-in-law did and she went old fashioned and was a champion I hear:)But really the port is just so much easier in my opinion.

Good wishes to you and hope your treatment is very succesful.I think you have found a good support group here and hope to see you around often.

dianetavegia's picture
dianetavegia
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I hope you're older than 60 or I'm gonna be offended! (JUST KIDDING! I'll be 60 my next birthday)

I think you'll be getting both. The first part of the drugs is through your port while you sit in a nice recliner, watching t.v., talking with other patients, doing word searches, reading, using a laptop, snacking .... then you'll be sent home with a fanny pack for 46 hours. You'll probably get FOLFOX which is our 'pet name' for the normal colon cancer chemo. Buzzard mentioned radiation but you'll only get that if you have rectal cancer or if they're going to zap the liver/ lungs, etc.

I was TERRIFIED before my first treatment! I thought it would hurt or burn. I expected to feel awful and throw up for 6 months non stop. Nope! It wasn't all easy but it WAS all worth it!

The port is wonderful! The nurse or lab tech will have to insert a needle once every two weeks but they can get blood there, too. I was odd. I slept with my fanny pack tight around my waist. I didn't want to put it on the floor or side table and worry that I might roll over and kink the line. I had no problems at all with the pump or the port. Tiny little cut upper chest. Port is slid in stitched and the outside skin is glued shut. Sore for a couple of days and hurts to sleep on that side at first. They took mine out as soon as chemo was finished.

Please, feel free to ask a bazillion questions! We've been there and someone here has done that. Our mission is now to help others who are facing some uncertain times. You'll be there real soon.

Diane in Villa Rica, Georgia

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2070
Joined: Oct 2009

The others are correct, the port is the way to go. My hubby is the one with cancer, and he says the port is no big deal. He kept the fanny pack around his waist when he slept. He continued to work while receiving chemo and wore the fanny pack and all to work, just kept his shirt untucked. You just have to get adjusted to it.

Tell us something about yourself if you have time, i.e., where is your cancer, what is your treatment going to be, drugs you are getting. If you click on our names, you can get our history.

Welcome to the board. Don't be afraid to ask anything at all and someone will come on and tell you their experience, this can take the anxiety level way way down and help you to relax and rest a bit knowing what to expect. Everyone handles chemo different.

Again, welcome. Sorry you need to be here though. Take a deep breath and take it one day at a time, one treatment at a time. Take care - Tina

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

You will be very glad you got a port, I could not imagine NOT having one.

Sorry to hear you are in "the club" now but you have a found a very good resource. This site is very good for information from the people who are in the trenches and getting the treatments. Do yourself a favor and do not over-research things on the internet and do not take the statistics too seriously. They can scare the crap out of you and they often are not accurate.
-phil

coloCan
Posts: 1872
Joined: Oct 2009

and either one will suffice, tho if port works properly, it requires less care than picc....Best of results in your treatment.....Steve

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

The only problem I had with a point was due to my own vanity. Hated that it looked like an alien was tyring to burst through my chest!!! But wouldn't have done it any other way. I can't tell you though....still...how glad I was to have it removed :)
I wore mine to work and bed as well......and it does make things easier. No constant jabbing of our veins!!

Good luck to you......wish you all the best through this!

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

When I had mine installed it was the first surgery I ever had. Scared the hell out of me.

You won't want to bump it for a few days. Then it is nothing. I always kept the pump on at night. Just pulled my T shirt over and under it. The only draw back was I could not take a shower with it on. By friday I just plain stunk. Sponge baths just don't cut it after being out on the tractor brush hogging. It is a milestone getting it installed and a bigger milestone getting it out. Good luck on your journey.

Have your nurse teach you how to use it so you can teach other nurses along the way.

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

I had a port and didn't have any problems with it. The surgeon that placed mine put it very close to the surface. Others at the infusion center had theirs placed deeper (which did make it a little less obvious) but from conversation with them it seemed that the had more problems with theirs. The nurses said it is just personal choice, depending on the surgeon. I can't say that it really matters just relaying what I was told. They gave me a prescription for Emla cream to numb the area each time before being hooked up to the pump. Call me a wuss if you like, but I am all about avoiding pain. Good luck to you, hope your treatment goes smoothly and that your side effects are minimal. Visit often, this is a great place to have as a resource.
Regards,
Joanne

idlehunters's picture
idlehunters
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello.......... and welcome! I didn't know at the time I had my port installed that there were options on "what type" to get......... I didn't know there were "types". I have a PORTA-CATH. It has a very small (eraser tip size) access for chemo. Scar tissue tends to build up on mine since that leaves very little work area for the needles. Others on here have a POWERPORT. It evidently comes with a quarter sized access for chemo. Also, there seems to be other advantages to this type of port. Perhaps you can discuss this with your surgeon and he/she can explain more in detail. I wish I had been given that option in the beginning. BUT.... one thing I can tell you for sure..... I was told by my sister-in-law...who is a Surgical RN..... that the port would soon become my best friend. Absolutely Correct!!!! No matter what type you have......... it is the way to go!!

Jennie

1oldbroad
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks to everyone who gave me answers. I was concerned that I would pull out the iv lead on the pump. I thought I would rather have the ivs where the nurses were there to watch me.I know I will be glad to have the port. I have been getting rememicade ivs for two years and it is a fight every time to find a good vein.
I am pretty darn close to 70. so I've probably got it on most of you. We have had cancer in our family before but I'm the first to do the chemo bit. One dr told me he could fix "it" another one said give me a few months to a year. so only the Lord knows.

My tumor is about 18 cm in whatever that means and I have 2 spots on my liver but no one seems concerned about those.
I'm going to have bout of chemo and then get reevaluated before surgery.

Jaylo969
Posts: 826
Joined: Jan 2010

I see you have a double load if you are taking Remicade. My son takes it for Psoriatic arthritis and another family member takes if for Rheumatoid.It and the disease it is treating can wear you out sometimes. Take care of yourself, pamper yourself, rest as much as you can.Try not to stress. The port is no biggie. The pump is annoying and hisses at you..LOL...but hiss back at it :)

You might have a lot of us beat in age ( although 70 is not old ) but that probably means you have a lot of things you can teach us youngsters ( I'm 56..hehe ).

Best wishes for a full recovery.

-Pat

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