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Finz2lft - Port Installed

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

Posted this for you Finz....

I have squmous cell cancer of left cervical node with occult primary tumor. The Radiologist thinks he knows where the primary is and has ordered another biopsy of tounge and nose area. I have my port installed tomorrow morning. Does that hurt,they have not told ne much. Then PEG, then Dentist, then 35 radiation treatments and 7 chemo treatments. I am not scared, but I am worried about the pain associated with this treatment and how and what to eat and drink. Any help or suggestions. I am still in shock to say the least as I had it all affirmed 2 weeks ago.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome aboard, hang on for the ride....

If it's as mine was, you shouldn't feel a thing...because they put you under.

As for afterwards, they gave me Percocets, but it only bothered me a little the first few nights. After that, I've never had any problems from it.

I had similar treatment only with an added nine weeks of three other chemo cocktails. Any pain that you encounter is usually very doable. It's rough and it'll definitely suck, but you can do it, all of us either have or are.

The radiation and chemo will pretty much tear your throat up starting about 3 - 4 weeks into it. You'll eventually lose a lot of taste and salivary function. Eventually some of this will more than likely return. I had nearly no taste (alright no wise cracks) and very little saliva. I'm a year out now, and regained a huge percentage of both.

A few things just to get you up to speed and you'll hear often. Everyone is different, it all depends upon your tolerance, genetics, general health going into this, a positive attitude is huge.

They'll give you different solutions and meds to help you get some food in you. Fluids and hydration is huge, if you don't feel like drinking anything do it anyways, and do it often.

The worse part like I said starts around weeks 3 - 4. At that time I was primarily only drinking Ensure Plus for calories and nutrition and water. Both were preceeded with numbing solutions and chased with pain meds. You'll get through it, but it's a very slow process. Your throat will be tore up starting around week 3 and lasting for a few weeks after your done with the radiation.

I know this sounds painfully rough, and sorry for the quick indroduction, but you asked.

Everyone here will offer their experience, compassion and help, it's a learning experience.

Good Luck, God Bless,
John

Kimba1505's picture
Kimba1505
Posts: 557
Joined: Apr 2010

for bumping him up to his own thread.

Greg53's picture
Greg53
Posts: 830
Joined: Apr 2010

Finz,

Sorry to hear you need to be here, but welcome to our group. John did a great job of getting you started. I just might add a few things. People are awesome here, ask questions here, you'll learn a lot.

Bring someone with you to your doctor appointments if possible. In the heat of the moment it's easy to miss things and two heads are better than one when you are stressed or confused. Take notes when your with the doc's. Ask lots of questions and if you forget, call back and talk to the nurse.

Keep positive, everyone will be pulling for you.

Greg

Fire34
Posts: 350
Joined: Feb 2010

Finz
I had my port put in the third week of my chemo. I had a dual port-a-cath placed in my left shoulder area. My right side was where the radiation was the heaviest so they put it in the left. It is an outpatient procedure and I was given a local and was awake thru the whole implant process. I was glad it was placed as my veins dried up that third week
My PEG was placed the fourth week as at that time I was losing weight to fast and the center did not like it. It was also outpatient under anethesia.
I would look up some swallowing exercises and start them even before treatment begins, even though I didn't eat much I believe they helped with my recovery after treament.
As Greg advised, do you have a support person to help you thru the treatment? Some here were able to drive themselves, I was not so lucky.
Best Wishes & Prayers
Dave

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

Welcome, Finz, and sorry you are here. But, so am I, John, and a whole bunch of other very good people. AND, like myself- 19-months, we have all survived, and our post-treatment lives are very acceptable. I still have my Power Port, but no longer have the PEG I had for 15+-months, and returned to work a month after my last rad.

Where you are now, Finz- anxiety is entirely normal. Way it was with all of us. Yes, you got the rough road ahead that we all know too well, but it is a road you will be able to get beyond, just as we have. And, trust me, you will find the trip down that road as having been totally worthwhile when you finish your treatment, and start anew.

As for the pain- your Drs. will help you with that issue. Vicodin, or Hydrocodone, or Oxycontin are commonly used; and, if they don't cut it- liquid Morphine has also been used by a number of us, including me. Thing is- YOU MUST be open with your Drs. about the physical experiences/pain you have, so they know what to give you. You are H&N, Finz, and the C Drs. are well-aware of the struggle, or at least seem to be. Magic Mouthwash, with the corny name, is something everybody knows about- it's for the mouth, and helps with mouth sores. Good stuff. So don't worry about the pain- the meds, and you, will be able to handle it okay. We all did, and so will you. This is 2010, Finz, and the C Drs. do a pretty good job of getting us thru H&N.

And, don't worry about the PEG, either. Yeah, they can be a bit of a nuissance, but it's no big deal. And, there's a good chance you will be very thankful that you have one. Of the rules in play for all of us: one of the most important is that we MUST keep giving our body the Nutrition it needs to fight the best fight we can. The best way to insure that you easily are able to do this is the PEG. Bottom-line: it'll make things a lot easier, and help you more than you might realize, now. It's a very good thing, Finz.

A thanks to John for starting this thread; and, Finz- please stay active/with us. We are all here to help. Any questions or concerns, or gripes- before, during, or after treatment- that's what this forum is for. You are part of our family, if you wanna be.

Believe

kcass

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5608
Joined: Apr 2009

I too just want to welcome you here

Take care

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Finz,

Like the others here, sorry you had reason to look for this site. Glad you found it. The people on this site have made a huge difference for me when it comes to my treatment and recovery.

Do well,

Pam

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2229
Joined: Jan 2010

finz, I just want to say welcome and you've come to the right place for answers. I'm sorry you have to travel this road, but it is doable. Hang in there and come here as often as you need. Please keep us posted on your progress.
God Bless,
debbie

finz2lft
Posts: 43
Joined: Jun 2010

Hey Skiffin16-I noticed that you are very active on this site. I am glad to have found you. Did I see you are a Marine as I live in the heart of Cherry Point and Camp Lejuene. I have a question, I had my port installed Wed, 6-16, and how do I take a shower? Do I keep the old bandage on, shower, and then place new bandages on and how long do I wear bandages? My email is finz2lft@hotmail.com. I look foreward to hearing from you, Finz(LLOYD)

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Lloyd,

I just kept my covered, but tried to keep it minimally wet when showering (changing the bandage after). Once it started healing some (a few days), I would lightly wash it with some surgical soap they had me buy prior to the surgery. I let mine air out, it took awhile to heal because of the Chemo though.

I spent a few years up your way, both MCAS CheryPoint and beautiful Boguefield by the Sea, down near Swanboro. Back then Emerald Isle was beautiful and pristine...I know it's built up quite a bit now.

I spend many a week-ends down at Atlantic Beach, but later when I got married I switched over to fishing from Fort Macon Pier....

John

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2229
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey, I never kept mine covered and the docs didn't tell me to. I just showered, it wasn't covered or anything. I was just told that I couldn't take a bath...ha, different strokes for different docs...lololol
deb

Fire34
Posts: 350
Joined: Feb 2010

I was told all thru treatment to only take baths and showers were out of the question. I did keep it covered the best I could. They were afraid of infections etc. Like you said different strokes Best Wishes to everyone
Dave

finz2lft
Posts: 43
Joined: Jun 2010

Yes, Skiffin I lived at Emerald Isle for years, and it has indeed built itself up. But, it is still gorgeous to visit. If you remember the Cirlce at Atlantic Beach, well it is gone now as it has given way to condos. The Pavallion was torn down, and no more rides for the kids. There are 3 piers left, Emearald Isle, Shearton and one near Ft Macon. It has indeed chnaged for the worse, mostly private beach access with some public access.

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