Nov 28, 2013 - 12:34 pm
Hi. Happy Thanksgiving! I just found out that my breast cancer has returned in the lung. The doctors aren't able to do a biopsy of the nodule because it is in the middle of the lung tissue, and my oncologist was worried about a lung surgery delaying the start of chemotherapy. Anyway, I started chemotherapy on Friday (Taxotere infusion and Xeloda pills). For the primary breast cancer, I had TAC and had a portacath installed on the right side of my chest. I had no trouble with the lumpectomy surgery or the installation of the port, but as time passed, the port felt irritated -- by seatbelts, bra straps, and everything else, it seemed. It is possible I just had a mental issue with it, as it was a tangible representation of the cancer and definitely had a cyborg quality. After I finished chemo and radiation, I was ready to have that thing removed, and finally, the doctor agreed after six months. I had a lot of scarring, and it itched like the dickens.
When I first met with the doctor (who is great, in my opinion), he said there would be no need for a port this time. Unfortunately, the nurse disagreed. She is worried that the Taxotere might spill onto my skin and cause burning. I know it may be a mental thing, but I just don't want another portacath. I guess it feels like I am giving in to being a lifelong cancer patient (which I guess I am anyway), and I have heard that once a portacath has been installed on the chest, the surgeon needs to install a new one on the other side. I fully believe that once this new one is installed, no one will ever allow me to have it removed.
I am worried about how much time I have left with my little girl, who is 13, and my most wonderful husband, and it just seems like it would be terrible to live the rest of my life, which seems short right now, with something stuck in my body that I don't want to have there. I have very visible veins (not attractive, but that's the way I'm made).
Has anyone had Taxotere successfully without a port? Has anyone had a problem with burning? I don't really know who to talk to about this and would appreciate any information.