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chemo complications with infiltration

gazelle17
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2013

Hello,

I'm new on this forum and glad I can find some support. I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 2A triple positive (HR2, progrsterone, esterogen) last August. There has been no clinical evidence of infected lymph nodes but I haven't had surgery yet. I started Adjuvent chemotherapy 2 months ago and I am half-way through the treatment. Everything went ok so far but of course a lot of bothering side effects of chemo. The good news is the tumor has shrunk dramatically.

The big hassle I'm dealing with now is chemo infiltration on my hand. My oncologist wasn't too crazy about placing a port prior to chemo and on my third round of chemo, the IV hurt on my hand (there wasn't enough good veins left on my arms) and nurse unplugged everything and poked me somewhere else on my hand. 10 days later I started to have a red mark starting on the injection site that went down all the way down my hand and beginninng of arm. I showed it to the dr who wasn't too happy about it and didn't understand why it showed so late. She gave me some anti-biotics just in case there is an infection. I started the medicine three days ago but the red mark seems to be thicker and redder on the top part of handalthough bottom part seems to dissipate a bit but not sure.. I'm super worried about it when I read about IV infiltration and extravasion on the Internet. My oncologist is out of town and nurses emailed my dr told me to continue the anti-biotic. I'm super worried about the burning of the skin permanently and long-side effects of it. Has anyone experienced something like that? Thanks so much in advance. I'm super upset about it and very worried.

Rague
Posts: 3311
Joined: Aug 2009

Chemo before surgery is neoadjuvant.

All Drs are different, as are we, but for me and my Drs - there was never a question - port.  Once damage is done to veins and tissue - it is done.  I did my 16 chemos (4 DD A/C, 12 Taxol) with my port so can't help you with handling your issues but there are some here who have been in your shoea.

 

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2301
Joined: Jun 2010

and I was too stupid to know it could be a problem.  I think I had it on infusion #2.  Onc did not want to put in a port or a pick line and I went merrily on my way and had all subsequent infusions administered by the "best" (really?) nurse and it never happened again.  The streak in my case lasted quite a while -  even after chemo was over.  It was just there and it continued to fade.  Then it finally went away completely, but it took a long time.  Sorry I can't remember how long, but it was a long time.  Whether this is the same thing as you're having or not, I'm not sure, but I do know mine was from the stuff leaking and the medical folks weren't too happy about it.  I was not placed on an antibiotic. 

If this is getting thicker and redder, march yourself to the ER or urgent care this weekend.  At my cancer center (a teaching hospital), I could call and there was always an oncologist (a fellow typically) on call.  If you call, identify yourself as a chemotherapy patient.  They usually pay attention.

Suzanne

gazelle17
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2013

Thank You Suzanne,

This is a bit reasuuring that your streak went away at some point but I'm so upset about the whole thing and I don't think the anti-biotic is doing anything.I feel quite disapointed about my choice for the hospital and doc that I thought was so great!

gazelle17
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2013

Hi Susan,

I was able to talk on the phone to one of the oncologists at my hospital (since my own is out of town until Tuesday). She said that the healing will run its course... I wanted to ask you if you experienced some pain around the hand and arm when you had the streak This is my case and this worries me a lot..At times it feels itchy and at times slight pain at differnt parts of the hand and arm. I'm seeing the oncologist on call tomorrow but would really appreciate if you could tell me if you did experience pain as well. Thanks.

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