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New here....Port or not

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with Sateg 1B adenocarcinoma. It is possible I am 2B because there may have been a satelite tumor in my lobe but there is no way to get confirmation of whether it was part of the original tumor or not. I had a RLL on 1/26.

I now have to get 4 rounds of chemo...Cisplatin and Taxotere. I am not able to get a port until after the 1st round. I am not sure that for 4 rounds I should even bother with getting a port...well make that 3 rounds.

Has anyone received this chemo combination? If so, did you have a port?

Thanks,

Kim

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I had a different type of drugs but very similar. Doesn't really make a difference the type of drugs, just that our veins can't withstand lots of toxins. Therefor, the veins start to back up or breakdown, not quite sure how to explain.

First visit to chemo doc he wanted me to start treatments the next week. Mentioned the port but since we had no time, at least I could see how I'd adjust. Well....I didn't do well as for one thing I've got small veins so I was a pin cushion to the nurses. Did finally find a vein, but I was convinced it was worth it getting the port. I had a total of 6 chemo sessions and even today going back for follow-up appts, girls can withdraw blood from the port for testing.

I'd highly recommend it even after the first round.

Good luck,
Jan

stayingcalm's picture
stayingcalm
Posts: 656
Joined: Feb 2007

I had Cisplatin and Etoposide, and later on had Taxotere, no port. If your veins seem okay and you're not coming back for months of chemo, than I would say not to bother with a port - it's one less thing to worry about. Just drink lots of liquids the day before and day of treatment, and dress warmly to keep your veins plumped up. Some nurses will heat up towels to warm you and make your veins easier to access. It's more a personal choice, I think - I felt I would rather get poked with a needle than have to worry about a port; being small, I think it would be hard to position a port correctly for me, anyway =)
my best wishes,
stayingcalm

Dan620
Posts: 213
Joined: Dec 2009

I agree with stayingcalm, you will know if you need one. keep your options open. Best of luck in your treatments. ... Dan

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks everyone for your response. I will have to see how it goes on the 10th since I can't get a port until the 15th anyway.

I'm thinking if all goes well with the 1st round I will just cancel the port on the 15th.

mamacita5's picture
mamacita5
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2010

I had cisplatin and vinorelbine which I took through a PICC line in my upper inner arm. Not as invasive as a port. My veins are very hard to find and "blow" easily so the picc was the way to go for me. It was a blessing because they could do all my blood work from the picc as well. Last chemo treatment they just pulled it out. The most important thing was to keep it dry (I bought a special sleeve to wear when in the shower) and to flush it every day (which I did myself).

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

I have a port but i have used it extensively over the last 9 mo, and not out of the woods yet.

If you are stage 1 or maybe two and have good veins and docs expect limited chemo, I would Not get the port.

ps--good thing I have good insurance because the port was about $11k to install, probably will be the same to remove, yet I still need may need it for a round two.
(as well, it really helped to have a port when I was in hospital for 1 mo. with pneumonia and 1 mo. on home IV's).

Best wishes.

Dave

Kimmiann
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for all the comments.

I gave in and called the chemo nurse this morning. I know her well. She was my dad's chemo nurse (he passed away 9 months ago from Small cell lung cancer).

Anyway, she is having my chemo delayed a week so that I can get the port. My veins are not good enough to make it the 4 rounds. Port goes in on 3/15 and I will get my first round on 3/16 or 3/17.

Has anyone had cisplatin/taxotere?

Thanks,

Kim

NayPaul's picture
NayPaul
Posts: 231
Joined: Oct 2010

I think in the long run, u will be more comfortable without all the worringing about your veins.

joep531857's picture
joep531857
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi, i am a 53 yr old guy also with stage 1b adenocarcinoma. no lymph node involvement but the cancer had touched my pleural sack. I am no undergoing 4 mos of cisplatin and vinorelbine. I have opted for no port at this time. Just didnt want anything extra to worry about at this point. I have had 2 treatments so far and the nurses have been able to find a vein easy enough. they do use a heating pad on my arm to make my veins larger. I would say its a personal choice that only you can decide.
I wish you the best of luck

Sincerely,
Joe

dmcl11
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2011

hi kim im 55 yrs old i had 4 rounds of chemo and had no port. nurses were able to find veins, as time went on though because of chemo and many blood draws it got harder for them as time went by but they were still able to do what they had to and now after a year it is getting easier again for blood draws ct scans and mri's with contrast.hope this helps and good luck. dave

LivetoRide55
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011

I think you will be glad you had the port put in. I certainly am. My veins not so good to find let alone hit with the needles. Having to have blood work and chemo each visit, that port has been such a good thing I did. I am a smaller/thinner person and they had no problem with putting it in and it's still doing fine. Good luck!

bfp9548
Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2010

Kim,
I did opt to have the port placed before my chemo. I also was diagnoses Stage 1B. I was scheduled to receive 4 treaments of cisplatin/alimta. My veins are horrible and my doctor did not even ask me if I wanted a port, he just scheduled the placement immediately. After my first treament my port was occluded and I had to have tpa to open the port again. It was not a big deal, just took time and I had to go back the next day for my treament. My port was removed after I had my last treament and to me the scar is worse than my scars from my surgery. It may all be in my head, but I have a pain the shoots through the area where my port was several times a week. Since my port was in for such a short period it had to be removed during a surgical procedure instead of in the doctors office. The surgeon who placed my port did not want to remove it so soon, but my oncolologist insisted that it needed to come out immediately. From what I understand, this is not the usual course. This may be the cause of my "nerve" pains. I still do not regret having the port placed. Like one of the comments said, I would have been a pin cushion and there still would have been no guarantee that my veins would have stood up to the strong drugs. I need the few good veins I have for further use and don't want to ruin them now. Looking back, though, I do think that the PICC line would have been a better choice for me.

Kim

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