chemo with infusion pump

1surfermom
1surfermom Member Posts: 396 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
As some of you might know I have been having a horrible time with my port. My port is placed in my right breast ( my tumor is in my left) my surgeon likes to place it this way for aesthetic reasons (no visible scar, easy to wear a seatbelt etc.) And I love the fact that he really looked beyond just putting it in the normal spot. However it is really hard for the onc nurses to access it and only one can do it. The nurse could sometimes get a blood return on it and sometimes not. When I go for chemo I never know if it will be in through my port or in my vein.Lately it has not even worked at all they could not even get the iv to drip. I have had two xrays to see if the port was in place ( it is). I have been to the hospital twice to have something called TPA to break up what my onc doctor thought was a clot. This last chemo session the port would not allow the drip and my onc nurse demanded that I be evaluated by surgeon. This surgeon looked at my port felt around my collar bone and said that he thought that there was a coil in the line and that rather than replacing the port I should just receive the chemo through a pump. No one at my doctors office gets chemo through a pump they all have the gravity drips. I go for chemo again on Wed and I am really freaking out, I know it sounds stupid but I am scared that my veins will blow up from the sudden infusion on chemo, and something awful will happen. So thanks for letting me vent and I have this question to ask has anyone received their chemo through a pump? Love Surf

Comments

  • chickad52
    chickad52 Member Posts: 497
    Chemo thru Pump
    Dear Surf,
    Sorry to hear that you are having so much problems with your port. I have only had one treatment so far and some blood work done with mine. I haven't had any problems. I should hope that your doctor would look into this. The reason for having a port is to make getting chemo and blood work easier. Please talk to your doctor again about your concern.Good luck. Diane
  • dmc_emmy
    dmc_emmy Member Posts: 549
    Surf-I'm so sorry...
    This is a new one for me. I have never heard of a port going into the breast. I agree, the port is there to make it easeier for you, not harder. I had a port put in because my veins could not sustain repeated IVs. I know that some women have had no problem with the IV, but if you were given a port there must have been good reason. I would request that your dr solve this issue prior to next your chemo. You don't need the added stress of IVs, espcially if you are afraid of a possible problem.

    Another thought: If you have several good veins (unlike me, I only had one) then you should be able to manage another chemo as you wait for your dr to fix the problem. You may wish to inform your dr that you are less concerned about driving and cosmetics than you are about a potential complication due to not having a functional port.
    dmc
  • Aortus
    Aortus Member Posts: 967
    dmc_emmy said:

    Surf-I'm so sorry...
    This is a new one for me. I have never heard of a port going into the breast. I agree, the port is there to make it easeier for you, not harder. I had a port put in because my veins could not sustain repeated IVs. I know that some women have had no problem with the IV, but if you were given a port there must have been good reason. I would request that your dr solve this issue prior to next your chemo. You don't need the added stress of IVs, espcially if you are afraid of a possible problem.

    Another thought: If you have several good veins (unlike me, I only had one) then you should be able to manage another chemo as you wait for your dr to fix the problem. You may wish to inform your dr that you are less concerned about driving and cosmetics than you are about a potential complication due to not having a functional port.
    dmc

    I was discussing this post with Moopy as we were driving around eating ice cream tonight. Her port is on the right side, but all she's ever had to do while riding in the car is put a piece of cloth - anything made of cloth - between the shoulder belt and the port area and she's just fine. Even my baseball cap has been known to do the job in a pinch.
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    Sorry Surf,
    hope your vacation was good anyway. I did have a port that didn't work, so they put in a picc instead. I don't know why you can go through veins, I did that a couple of times, actually had them use my foot, it had better useable veins that anywhere else.
    I do know that the Adriamyacin was done by a "push", where the nurse pushed it through instead of being fed by gravity. It worked fine that way, but I agree with the others, ask your doc for alternatives.
    Let us know how it goes
    =^..^=
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
    Port Problems
    Surf, I am so sorry you are having this kind of problem with your port. It defeats the whole purpose of getting one in the first place. I am not sure what you mean by pump. But, like Cat, the nurse did administer Adriamycin via a "push"--she sat beside me and pushed the med through a large vial. If that is what is meant by a pump, it is not painful. Probably takes longer, though. I did not feel differently when she pushed the med vs. getting it through the port. And it does not happen quickly, so there would be no suddenness.

    Wish I could help you more. And vent all you need. It is a shame that you have to deal with this port problem on top of everything else.
  • 1surfermom
    1surfermom Member Posts: 396 Member
    Moopy23 said:

    Port Problems
    Surf, I am so sorry you are having this kind of problem with your port. It defeats the whole purpose of getting one in the first place. I am not sure what you mean by pump. But, like Cat, the nurse did administer Adriamycin via a "push"--she sat beside me and pushed the med through a large vial. If that is what is meant by a pump, it is not painful. Probably takes longer, though. I did not feel differently when she pushed the med vs. getting it through the port. And it does not happen quickly, so there would be no suddenness.

    Wish I could help you more. And vent all you need. It is a shame that you have to deal with this port problem on top of everything else.

    Infusion pump
    As I understand it the pump is an electrical device that the nurse can program the drip, rather than just letting the chemo drip via gravity. I think it is like a box on a pole with the chemo hanging above it. I have a call in to my onc to discuss this. I am on the second phase of a trail so I have twelve more infusions of Taxol/Herceptin to go. I am so ready for this to be over. Thank you all for your support it means a lot to me. I will let you know about the outcome.Love surf
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member

    Infusion pump
    As I understand it the pump is an electrical device that the nurse can program the drip, rather than just letting the chemo drip via gravity. I think it is like a box on a pole with the chemo hanging above it. I have a call in to my onc to discuss this. I am on the second phase of a trail so I have twelve more infusions of Taxol/Herceptin to go. I am so ready for this to be over. Thank you all for your support it means a lot to me. I will let you know about the outcome.Love surf

    Yes, surfermom, let us know
    Yes, surfermom, let us know what you find out. I bet you are ready to be done with this. I wish you a speedy time with chemo and hopefully you will feel fine! Hugs, Leeza
  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    jnl said:

    Yes, surfermom, let us know
    Yes, surfermom, let us know what you find out. I bet you are ready to be done with this. I wish you a speedy time with chemo and hopefully you will feel fine! Hugs, Leeza

    pump
    I have my treatments through a pump.. The nurses program it for different times depending on the medication. Sorry I wasn't thinking clearly when I first read the post and was thinking it was something totally different.

    Margo
  • 1surfermom
    1surfermom Member Posts: 396 Member

    pump
    I have my treatments through a pump.. The nurses program it for different times depending on the medication. Sorry I wasn't thinking clearly when I first read the post and was thinking it was something totally different.

    Margo

    Pump
    Margo,

    Have you had any problems with the pump? If I remember correctly from your previous posts you are on the same "cocktail" as me Herceptin/Taxol. Any imput you have would be appreciated. Love Surf P.S. Your son is so adorable !!!
  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769

    Pump
    Margo,

    Have you had any problems with the pump? If I remember correctly from your previous posts you are on the same "cocktail" as me Herceptin/Taxol. Any imput you have would be appreciated. Love Surf P.S. Your son is so adorable !!!

    taxol/Herceptin
    My first cocktail was A/C 4 treatments every other week and now my second cocktail consists of Herceptin w/Taxol once a week for 12 weeks--only 5 more to go. Then I will be on Herceptin alone starting around the first week of August for one year.

    I have not had any problems with my port or the pump that they use at the treatment center. My port is over my right breast but sticks out quite a bit because of the tissue expander that I have in. My cancer was on my left side but had a double mastectomy and tissue expanders put in at the same time.

    My treatments from start to finish is 3 hours which includes the blood draw and the pre-meds. I know others that are on this treatment or similar and treatment is longer--a lady I know goes in for her Taxol treatments and her treatments last 6 hrs--WOW.

    The nurses give me my pre-meds(3 of them-5-15 minutes for each one) through the pump and then run the Herceptin(about 30 minutes) and then Herceptin(about 1 hr). I try an schedule my treatments first thing in the morning so then I can go to work in the afternoon. I have been able to work full time through my treatments.

    Thank you for your comment about my son---he keeps me busy as a single mom--can't believe he is going to be 6 at the end of July--seems like yesterday he was born.

    Love,
    Margo
  • 1surfermom
    1surfermom Member Posts: 396 Member

    taxol/Herceptin
    My first cocktail was A/C 4 treatments every other week and now my second cocktail consists of Herceptin w/Taxol once a week for 12 weeks--only 5 more to go. Then I will be on Herceptin alone starting around the first week of August for one year.

    I have not had any problems with my port or the pump that they use at the treatment center. My port is over my right breast but sticks out quite a bit because of the tissue expander that I have in. My cancer was on my left side but had a double mastectomy and tissue expanders put in at the same time.

    My treatments from start to finish is 3 hours which includes the blood draw and the pre-meds. I know others that are on this treatment or similar and treatment is longer--a lady I know goes in for her Taxol treatments and her treatments last 6 hrs--WOW.

    The nurses give me my pre-meds(3 of them-5-15 minutes for each one) through the pump and then run the Herceptin(about 30 minutes) and then Herceptin(about 1 hr). I try an schedule my treatments first thing in the morning so then I can go to work in the afternoon. I have been able to work full time through my treatments.

    Thank you for your comment about my son---he keeps me busy as a single mom--can't believe he is going to be 6 at the end of July--seems like yesterday he was born.

    Love,
    Margo

    infusion pump treatment yesterday
    Hi everyone,
    I went for chemo yesterday and the nurses used the infusion pump. All in all it was not bad. I got out in 4 1/2 hours it usually takes me 6 1/2 when they use my veins. The only problem was when my onc. nurse tried to speed up the Herceptin and it I could feel stinging in my port. By the way my port will still not give a blood return so I will still have to have blood draws from my veins. Thanks again for all of you positive thoughts. Love Surf
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143

    infusion pump treatment yesterday
    Hi everyone,
    I went for chemo yesterday and the nurses used the infusion pump. All in all it was not bad. I got out in 4 1/2 hours it usually takes me 6 1/2 when they use my veins. The only problem was when my onc. nurse tried to speed up the Herceptin and it I could feel stinging in my port. By the way my port will still not give a blood return so I will still have to have blood draws from my veins. Thanks again for all of you positive thoughts. Love Surf

    So sorry surf
    Ugh. Wouldn't it be great if things just worked? So, Surf, it sounds like they still use your port for the infusions but don't do the gravity drip; and your blood draws are through the vein? So the port is still OK to use with the pump? Well, at least they are not blowing out your veins. I hope all goes well from now on.

    BTW, my onc. nurses said that if they put the port too low on the breast, there will be more breast tissue to get through, making access more painful and difficult. Maybe that's what's going on?

    Hugs,
    Mimi
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member

    infusion pump treatment yesterday
    Hi everyone,
    I went for chemo yesterday and the nurses used the infusion pump. All in all it was not bad. I got out in 4 1/2 hours it usually takes me 6 1/2 when they use my veins. The only problem was when my onc. nurse tried to speed up the Herceptin and it I could feel stinging in my port. By the way my port will still not give a blood return so I will still have to have blood draws from my veins. Thanks again for all of you positive thoughts. Love Surf

    Infusion Pump
    Hi, Surf, I have been wondering how the infusion pump worked for you. Thanks for letting us know, and I am glad it was not bad. I didn't have problems other than muscular aches with my port (not including the collapsed lung due to the port being placed, of course). My blood draws were from my veins, though. Every time, once a week. I found out this was because of staffing shortage. I actually got used to it. The most important thing was not getting an IV in my veins for the chemo drugs. Glad you were able to avoid that.

    Take care and keep in touch.
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member

    infusion pump treatment yesterday
    Hi everyone,
    I went for chemo yesterday and the nurses used the infusion pump. All in all it was not bad. I got out in 4 1/2 hours it usually takes me 6 1/2 when they use my veins. The only problem was when my onc. nurse tried to speed up the Herceptin and it I could feel stinging in my port. By the way my port will still not give a blood return so I will still have to have blood draws from my veins. Thanks again for all of you positive thoughts. Love Surf

    good news
    glad the infusion worked for you, if it burns, let them know so they slow it down a bit. Hope you get through this one quickly.
    see you!

    =^..^=