Desperately Need Help!

mbalder
mbalder Member Posts: 31
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I had 2 rounds of chemo, got a call from my oncologist today. The nurses dont want to give me chemo through an IV anymore as they dont think my veins can handle it. The last time they had to poke me 5 times before they got the IV to work. I only have 6 more chemos left and dont want to go through the port surgery. Has anyone heard of the PICC or Midline? I would appreciate any info on anyone thats had these done as I have to do this next week and dont know which way to go.

Comments

  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    port or pic
    Hi,I am sorry I can,t help you .I don,t have either.I was told they would try a pic before they did a port.But so far I am still doing the Iv.Hopefully someone will be able to advice you.Good Luck.(Pat).
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    port or picc
    Hi mbalder, this questions comes up a lot, and the choice is usually yours, unless your veins say differently. If at all possible, the port is a better option. It is a very short easy surgery to install, and even easier to remove. I had a port that didn't work, so I had to get a picc, I have posted pictures of both on my expressions page, you might want to take a look, it will sway you to the port. My veins also did not cooperate, I had chemo leak out of one once, and have a permanent scar from it, I also had them finally find a vein in my foot to use. But if you do not have good veins, the port is usually the best option. Hope it all works out for you
    Cat
  • mbalder
    mbalder Member Posts: 31
    cats_toy said:

    port or picc
    Hi mbalder, this questions comes up a lot, and the choice is usually yours, unless your veins say differently. If at all possible, the port is a better option. It is a very short easy surgery to install, and even easier to remove. I had a port that didn't work, so I had to get a picc, I have posted pictures of both on my expressions page, you might want to take a look, it will sway you to the port. My veins also did not cooperate, I had chemo leak out of one once, and have a permanent scar from it, I also had them finally find a vein in my foot to use. But if you do not have good veins, the port is usually the best option. Hope it all works out for you
    Cat

    Did the PICC work well for
    Did the PICC work well for you? Have you heard of the midline?
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    mbalder said:

    Did the PICC work well for
    Did the PICC work well for you? Have you heard of the midline?

    picc
    Sorry, but I do not know what a midline is. The picc worked great, never had any problems with it working at all. The only problem is it is outside your body, and you have to make sure it doesn't get pulled, dirty, plugged, etc. Hubby (God bless him) had to flush it every nite with heparin to prevent clotting and saline. Then I had a nurse come by every week to change the dressing and the attachments (cant remember the name),and he would also draw my blood from it when needed. Someone else may come on and post regarding the midline, but most here I know had the port and loved it.
    Cat
  • mbalder
    mbalder Member Posts: 31
    cats_toy said:

    picc
    Sorry, but I do not know what a midline is. The picc worked great, never had any problems with it working at all. The only problem is it is outside your body, and you have to make sure it doesn't get pulled, dirty, plugged, etc. Hubby (God bless him) had to flush it every nite with heparin to prevent clotting and saline. Then I had a nurse come by every week to change the dressing and the attachments (cant remember the name),and he would also draw my blood from it when needed. Someone else may come on and post regarding the midline, but most here I know had the port and loved it.
    Cat

    I really don't want another
    I really don't want another surgery/port, I have heard of lots of complications infections, clotting etc. with the port. Is that what happend to you? So he had to do that every night? I do chemo every other week, cant they change the dressings then? Was it a painful procedure? Do they numb your arm? Do you feel anything?
  • always
    always Member Posts: 256
    I have a port
    I wrote you a reply earlier. Lucky for you cyberspace made it disappear. I am too wordy. I will have my first chemo tomorrow in port. My testing process was horrific my veins could not handle it. My mom had a picc for iv antibiotics for a few months. It bugged her and had to be cleaned. My port has been in 15 days. I complained about pain (not much-just tired of proceedures.) for the first 8 days- Now I am forgetting sometimes it is even there. I see you are getting good responses- Only you can know what you need to do for you. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Uncooperative veins are really a menance.

    always

    becky
  • cats_toy
    cats_toy Member Posts: 1,462 Member
    mbalder said:

    I really don't want another
    I really don't want another surgery/port, I have heard of lots of complications infections, clotting etc. with the port. Is that what happend to you? So he had to do that every night? I do chemo every other week, cant they change the dressings then? Was it a painful procedure? Do they numb your arm? Do you feel anything?

    I don't blame you
    no one wants to go through any more surgeries than necessary. It was not painful, yes they numb you, and it is done in under an hour. Yes, the heparin/saline has to be done every nite, that is to make sure it does not get clogged. And your insurance will pay for the nurse to come out and change the dressings. It needs to be done for preventing infections. This is a line that goes directly to your heart, you don't want to take any chances with that.
    If you are really opposed to having any of the procedures, talk with your onc, they may just continue trying to find a vein for the rest of your treatments.
    I'm really sorry I haven't been much help to you. Let me know what you decide.
    Cat
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi mbalder
    The picc line may be ok for you if you only have 6 more treatments. Usually the picc lines are placed in the upper inner arm and they are routed thru the arm to one of the major vessels to the heart. The problem with the picc line is that its a production...you have a line like an iv tubing which is short coming out of your arm. You need a sterile dressing change 1 time per week with the line being flushed usually weekly depending on the type of picc line it is. Sometimes they need to be flushed every day. The flushing is very easy to do. You usually have to have a elastic stockinette over it to keep the line from getting caught on anything. When you shower you have to keep it dry, covering it with plastic. There are more chances of the picc line clotting off or getting infected. If your chemo is only 6 more treatments and you think that you are only going to have it for maybe 2 to 3 months, then I might consider the picc. If you think you may need it longer, go for the port. The picc is less of a production to put in, but its more of a hassle to maintain than the port.

    Either way, its far better to have one or the other than having to get poked 5 times.

    Dont be fearful of either...you can manage whichever one you choose

    hUgs
    Linda T
  • tjhay
    tjhay Member Posts: 655
    mbalder said:

    I really don't want another
    I really don't want another surgery/port, I have heard of lots of complications infections, clotting etc. with the port. Is that what happend to you? So he had to do that every night? I do chemo every other week, cant they change the dressings then? Was it a painful procedure? Do they numb your arm? Do you feel anything?

    I have a port and have not
    I have a port and have not had a problem with it. I have had it for a year now. The surgery for it is really quick and the recovery time is very short. You just have to be careful with lifting things for a couple of weeks. Acessing it is easy and a never miss.
    Good luck with what ever you choose
    tj
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    mlmjt1 said:

    Hi mbalder
    The picc line may be ok for you if you only have 6 more treatments. Usually the picc lines are placed in the upper inner arm and they are routed thru the arm to one of the major vessels to the heart. The problem with the picc line is that its a production...you have a line like an iv tubing which is short coming out of your arm. You need a sterile dressing change 1 time per week with the line being flushed usually weekly depending on the type of picc line it is. Sometimes they need to be flushed every day. The flushing is very easy to do. You usually have to have a elastic stockinette over it to keep the line from getting caught on anything. When you shower you have to keep it dry, covering it with plastic. There are more chances of the picc line clotting off or getting infected. If your chemo is only 6 more treatments and you think that you are only going to have it for maybe 2 to 3 months, then I might consider the picc. If you think you may need it longer, go for the port. The picc is less of a production to put in, but its more of a hassle to maintain than the port.

    Either way, its far better to have one or the other than having to get poked 5 times.

    Dont be fearful of either...you can manage whichever one you choose

    hUgs
    Linda T

    I'm a Port card ..carrying member
    I do not have great veins due to years of Invitro .. I did not want the port inserted, however I was not given the choice. I have 6 weeks of TCH, and 12 weeks of Herceptin ...and let me give you 1 piece of advise .. Get a port .. and if at all possible, go under. It is necessary .. no question about it.

    Believe me .. I am 1 of those rare people that has every possible side effort, and my port installation was no exception. I Highly recommend port, for yourself and sanity.

    You can do this Melissa 00-))) Chemo is scary and it sucks .. no need to tramatized our bodies any further with multiple stabs of a needle.

    VickiSam
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    :-0
    My mom, myself and my sister all had ton's of chemo without a port or pic line. It is a personal choice and I choose not to have either. It does make it more difficult during chemo and blood draws because your veins become weak, thin and tend to collapse. I have had 28 rounds total of chemo 24 rounds were 12 years ago and 4 were 2 years ago. I must be honest with you and tell you that my veins were no better after the first 24 rounds and the last 4 rounds which was a ten years apart. If you truly do not wish to have either I would have a heart to heart conversation with your oncologist and tell him how you feel and that you prefer to continue without either a port or a pic line. My nurses too cringed when I showed up, but they also respected my choice and made me comfortable. Please let us know how this goes.

    Hugs,

    RE
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    I had a port. I am a WIMP.
    I had a port. I am a WIMP. It was no big deal and made the whole chemo/blood draw experience much easier and painless. Make the decision that feels right for you. Lynn
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    lynn1950 said:

    I had a port. I am a WIMP.
    I had a port. I am a WIMP. It was no big deal and made the whole chemo/blood draw experience much easier and painless. Make the decision that feels right for you. Lynn

    I still love my port
    and Thank God, I watched my swet mama have to get her toe opened in the end (25 years ago) we are so lucky we have the new technolgy and all to make it sooo much better, if youget a port you will love it trust me. Jackie
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
    lynn1950 said:

    I had a port. I am a WIMP.
    I had a port. I am a WIMP. It was no big deal and made the whole chemo/blood draw experience much easier and painless. Make the decision that feels right for you. Lynn

    I also have a port.
    I also have a port. Personally, I feel it is far better than being poked . The surgery to place it was quick and painless and took about 20 minutes. I had more problems getting the IV for the port surgery than I had with anything relating to the port. As Lynn1950 has said, the chemo/blood draw is much easier and painless. I was amazed the first time I had blood drawn. They do it on a count of 3. I breathe in on the count of 2 and breathe out on the count of 3. Wallah the needle has been inserted and the work is done. They numb the area or you can apply a cream an hour before the draw. This whole BC thing is unnerving, and with each new step that fear of the unkown kicks in. I wish peace and calm with your decision.
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member
    natly15 said:

    I also have a port.
    I also have a port. Personally, I feel it is far better than being poked . The surgery to place it was quick and painless and took about 20 minutes. I had more problems getting the IV for the port surgery than I had with anything relating to the port. As Lynn1950 has said, the chemo/blood draw is much easier and painless. I was amazed the first time I had blood drawn. They do it on a count of 3. I breathe in on the count of 2 and breathe out on the count of 3. Wallah the needle has been inserted and the work is done. They numb the area or you can apply a cream an hour before the draw. This whole BC thing is unnerving, and with each new step that fear of the unkown kicks in. I wish peace and calm with your decision.

    Port
    I know some people are sick of hearing me say this ... but I LOVE (!!!) my port. I'm a big chicken and when told I needed chemo I almost said "NO!!!" because of being stuck so many times. I'd never heard of using a port ... but boy am I glad I had mine "installed." The person who invented that thing is a genius!

    hugs.
    teena
  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    tgf said:

    Port
    I know some people are sick of hearing me say this ... but I LOVE (!!!) my port. I'm a big chicken and when told I needed chemo I almost said "NO!!!" because of being stuck so many times. I'd never heard of using a port ... but boy am I glad I had mine "installed." The person who invented that thing is a genius!

    hugs.
    teena

    I'm with Teena
    I'm with Teena---I love my port.
    Mine was put in 3/2/09 and will not be taken out until Sept. 2010. I don't finish my Herceptin until Aug. 2010.

    I hate needles but having freeze spray sprayed and then treatment I can deal with this.

    Margo
  • ritazimm
    ritazimm Member Posts: 171
    Port
    I too had a port. I always had good veins and they never had any difficulties drawing my blood prior to my diagnosis. I still chose to have the port inserted. (I was given conscious sedation so I don't remember any of it and I didn't have any problems with it.) It was a bit annoying as sometimes when I would lay on my side I could 'pinch' it with my arm positioning but other than that it was practically un-noticed. Since I completed my chemo (and I only had a total of 6 treatments) 18 months ago, my port has since been removed. They numbed the area for this procedure so it was painless.

    Today, I am EXTREMELY thankful that I went with the port. I have had several reconstruction surgeries and even though they did not use my arm veins for chemo..........my veins suck! I was recently in the hospital and they have to change the IV every 3 days to prevent infection. The first insertion they poked me 5 times, the second insertion - 5 times, the third insertion - 3 times. My veins get worse and worse all the time due to the scar tissue that is building up from all of the sticks. It scares the heck out of me since if I ever needed anything in an emergency, I could be in trouble.

    It is a big decision for you and I pray that you will be comfortable with whatever you decide!


    God bless,
    Rita
  • redriverartist
    redriverartist Member Posts: 54
    Options
    I had the port inserted when I had the mastectomy. As much as I DIDN'T like it, I will have to admit that it saved me a lot of pain and saved the veins, as well. Just had it removed in the surgeon's office Tuesday. It had been in a year and never caused any problems at all. Am I happy it's out, yes. Only because I'm very thin and it stuck out about 3/4". LOL!

    Hugs and prayers, Teresa