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Port in tomorrow

calimac
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2011

I get my port in tomorrow, then Tuesday start with radiation and chemo for 4 days with pump.
I live in Canada, was wondering if there is anyone else in the group from Canada who had a port for chemo? its just under the collar bone, how long before I can use that arm normally.
Cali.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2883
Joined: Jan 2010

I do not live in Canada but I did have a port for my chemo. For me, it was no big deal and it always worked like a charm. The insertion was done by an interventional radiologist under fluoroscope and I had no problems whatsoever. There was a little pain afterwards, which was well-taken care of with some Percocet. I was given antibiotics to avoid infection and had no problems with that either. The only inconvenience was during the time when I could not shower, but once that was over, I barely knew I had the thing! Chemo can destroy your veins, so having the port is a very good thing. I hope your surgery will go well and your recovery is swift. I will be thinking of you as you begin your treatment on Tuesday and I hope you'll keep us posted on how things go. You will get through this!

calimac
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2011

Thank you for your reply. glad I chose the port now, mine will be inserted in hospital by surgeon under concious sedation allowed to go home later that day.
I am actually looking forward to getting it started, then sooner it will be over. getting the second chemo at the 4th week, pump removed Christmas eve day. have not heard when they will continue with the radiation.
Cali

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

Hello welcome, sorry you had to find us. I am not from Canada. I have a port and have had one since April of 2009. I have kept mine because of pre-cancerous polyps in the colon. After April of 2012 and a colonoscopy which shows everything is fine, I will have it removed. I have had no limitations from my port, and have never stopped doing anything I normally would do, and I have a physical job with heavy lifting. I wish you well. Lori

calimac
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2011

thank you for the welcome, will be glad when the port is in, sounds once it heals I will be able to do almost anything. which is good news.
How often do you have to get our port flushed?
Calli.

BeaRose's picture
BeaRose
Posts: 45
Joined: Jul 2011

I had to have mine flushed every 4-6 weeks. got it early Aug. 2010, out 3 16 2011. Had no real problems with it, and was very glad to have it when I landed in the hospital with many blood transfusions and draws. They just hooked up to the port line instead of having needle pokes multiple times a day. Good luck with your tx, it will be over before you know it.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2883
Joined: Jan 2010

They flushed my port every time I had blood work done in my oncologist's office, which was once a week. It's not a big deal, just a syringe full of Heparin injected into the port. Having the port accessed (stuck) is virtually painless if you numb it about an hour prior to accessing with some Lidocaine cream. They can give you a script for this. They may also use a spray to numb it, but I don't know what the name of that stuff is. I had my port put in a week before my treatment started and it was removed a little over 3 months after my treatment was finished. Some people keep theirs longer for various reasons--sometimes it is just doctor's preference. My onc told me I could have mine out 3 months after treatment, so I chose to do that.

One good tip given to me when it came to showering during the first 2 weeks of having the port (when you're not supposed to get the incision wet) was to take a long strip of Glad Press N' Seal wrap and cover the port so that one end of the wrap hangs a few inches below it and then take the rest of it and run it up over your shoulder and down your back just a few inches. Tape around the edges with waterproof tape and you can shower without worry of getting it wet. Of course, this is much easier to do with an extra pair of hands, so I hope you have someone who can help you do this!

You will be fine through this. There are so many of us who have had this treatment and are here to tell you that you can get through it just like we did. There will be some not so good days, but just take it one day at a time and you will be done before you know it!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 503
Joined: Jun 2011

Glad to meet you Cali. Hope all goes well during your treatment. Like Martha said, I too used plastic wrap to take showers - it worked very well. Take care - rest up, drink plenty of fluids, eat when you can. Carnation Instant Breakfast has lots of protein and vitamins and is delicious.

calimac
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2011

Thank you everyone for your encouragement regarding the port. It is so good to come here and hear all your experiences and how you all coped.
Port was installed yesterday by a Cardiac Surgeon. he explained the procedure first, which was painless, slept most of the time all I felt was pressure. some bruising and pain after, took pain meds as needed solved that.
Today I start radiation and chemo, getting pump installed. look forward to Saturday when the pump is removed.
Cali

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2883
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm so happy to hear that your port procedure went very well and I hope your bruising and pain is gone quickly. I want to wish you the very best with your treatment. You will do just fine and in just a few weeks, you can focus on healing. Please keep us updated and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

z's picture
z
Posts: 1249
Joined: May 2009

I am glad your on your way to getting rid of the cancer. I hope you will find good things to pass the time. I had my mom, good friend and her baby come over the 1st chemo day. After that I just played on the computer and watched tv. It is a relief to get the pump off, its like an extra appendage. I forgot several times it was hooked to me and would get up without picking it up. Fortunately, it never came loose. I hope your week goes by super fast. I wish you well. Lori

pjs62
Posts: 95
Joined: Sep 2011

Cali...
happy to hear you're on your way to getting healthy. I had a port my 2nd chemo round & was able to be at home which gives more freedom then my 1st week of chemo (which I spent in the hospital). I had a pic line which was inserted in my upper arm & it came out when I finished radiation (made those weekly blood check ups easier!)
Please drink Boost or Ensure for protein or even smoothies (I'm addicted to these!). I'm also taking digestive aids (can be found at health food stores) ie: probiotic pearls, mult-enzymes. Also ginger tea soothes the tummy.
Healing prayers for you...everyone on this board is awesome....a great support!

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