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Update & Port Question

winsomebulldog's picture
winsomebulldog
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Hey all, sorry about my terrible tendency to not make regular updates. I finally got my final chemo and basically by the time it rolled around I was pretty much too tired to do much of anything. That was 2 weeks ago, though and I'm finally starting to feel a bit better. Maybe just knowing the chemo is over helps with that a bit. I'm still doing herceptin every week and will be starting rads in a couple more weeks.

I'm having a little issue with my port that I was hoping some of you could advise me about. I got my herceptin yesterday and when I went to take the dressing off after leaving I noticed that I'd bled through the wad of gauze. I NEVER bleed after treatment, or any other injection for that matter. If there's anything at all on the bandaid or gauze square, it's never more than a tiny dot of blood. Anyway, I wasn't bleeding at the time that I took the bandage off, so I didn't worry about it. Then I got up today and there was a bruise right above the port, and the area around it was swollen enough that you could flat out see it without even having to touch it. I called the Dr. and they told me to come down so he could look at it. By the time I got there and he came in to look at it, some of the swelling had gone down. He decided that since it seemed to be improving, he'd just send me home and see what happened.

A little while later, I noticed that I now seem to have a new bruise forming below the port area. I took a pen and marked the lower edge of the new bruise. (I'm guessing that I had blood that settled around the port area, and now that I'm up and moving around, it's sinking lower beneath my skin.) I really don't know how or why my port would have blood around it at all. My nurse did tell me that they seem to have more issues with the power ports than whatever kind of port they used before. So I'm wondering why if anyone else has had any port issues or heard of any bleeding around the port site.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov 2009

I had a power port in for 1 1/2 years first for chemo then 1 year of herceptin and never had it bleed like that. Did the nurse flush it after your treatment? I would call your oncol. back and let him know.

Hope you feel better soon
Sher

Rague
Posts: 3303
Joined: Aug 2009

My Power Port was put in Aug 25, 2009 and is still in. I've never had any bruising from/around it. I did 4 A/C and then 12 weekly Taxol (last 1 was Jan 28, 2010) with it and then flushes every 28 days since (no Herceptin). I do get a dot of blood sometimes on the bandaide. Might be a good idea to ask about having it flushed.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Didn't have a port, but, did want to say congrats on finishing chemo!

Hugs, Debby

winsomebulldog's picture
winsomebulldog
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

It was flushed yesterday after my herceptin. The nurse got blood draw out of it then, too. She does it automatically right before she flushes it to make sure it's still okay. I've had 4 A/C treatments, 4 Taxotere/herceptin treatments, & 13 herceptin treatments without anything like this happening before. That's why I'm kinda worried about it. For the time being, it seems to not be getting any worse at least. But I'm curious to see if the swelling returns while I sleep.

pokrydi's picture
pokrydi
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2011

just got my port tues so dont know but would like to know what you find out

winsomebulldog's picture
winsomebulldog
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I got my Herceptin infusion this morning and so far everything seems to be fine. The leading theory at this point is that my nurse just clipped a small blood vessel when she was putting in or taking out the needle last week. I've got a lovely blue/green bruise covering half my breast, but it stopped expanding a few days ago, so now it just has to fade. The swelling has gone down as well. So it looks like the port itself is fine.

My only suggestion after this is to make sure you pay close attention when you get any infusion through your port. This morning the needle was right up against the edge of the port and I could feel it when the nurse pushed the saline. She readjusted the needle and it was fine after that. She said my port definitely moves around in the "pocket" where it is placed.

jendrey's picture
jendrey
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

I think you need to get a better experienced nurse! I find it odd that a port would move around in its pocket placement. Mine didn't. Could be because it's sutured into place. I find it even more odd that not one, but two medical professionals basically dismiss your very real concerns.

Of the 43 well documented complications of the AngioDynamics* port placement a few come to mind regarding your port. (which may not even be a SmartPort?)

Catheter malposition
Migration
Inadequate anchoring
Hemorrhage
Vessel trauma

Seems they admitted vessel trauma? Most definitely need a better equipped nurse. Some are just better at accessing your port than others are. Do ask for a different nurse next time. I know I had my favorite nurse; who was so good I could almost swear she had magic in her fingers!

* http://www.angiodynamics.com/uploads/pdf/051910-095959_Smart%20Port%20IFU.pdf
(actually details the entire procedure, no gory pics just text)

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Want to offer my congrats on being a chemo grad! That is great!

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