Ports

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I have to decide about getting a port put in. I have very bad veins they say it would be the best thing for me to do. How do you clean this thing and where does it go . And how do you take showers with it I am like so confused....Also where do I go to get idea's on the type of foods I should eat during my treatment.

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  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    It is surgically implanted
    It is surgically implanted below the clavicle. You don't have to do anything with it - during Chemo it is flushed and after the heprin block is re-established.. IF you keep it after infusions (mine's been in since Aug 25, '09) are done then you have to go in the center to have it flushed every 4 - 6 weeks. Takes about 15 minutes. Take showers the same way you would without it - run your hand across it and you will feel it there - you will be able to see the 'lump' of it but it is totally within your body. There will be a small incision IF I remember correctly mine was about 1" which heals quickly. For infusions it is accessed via a needle - will either have numbing spray at the center or get numbing cream from Dr. to put on an hour before access and you won't feel the stick.

    I have great veins - there was no way that I was going to take a chance of messing them up. If had 'bad' veins there is no way I would think about doing without a port.
  • ElizabethB
    ElizabethB Member Posts: 89
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    Rague said:

    It is surgically implanted
    It is surgically implanted below the clavicle. You don't have to do anything with it - during Chemo it is flushed and after the heprin block is re-established.. IF you keep it after infusions (mine's been in since Aug 25, '09) are done then you have to go in the center to have it flushed every 4 - 6 weeks. Takes about 15 minutes. Take showers the same way you would without it - run your hand across it and you will feel it there - you will be able to see the 'lump' of it but it is totally within your body. There will be a small incision IF I remember correctly mine was about 1" which heals quickly. For infusions it is accessed via a needle - will either have numbing spray at the center or get numbing cream from Dr. to put on an hour before access and you won't feel the stick.

    I have great veins - there was no way that I was going to take a chance of messing them up. If had 'bad' veins there is no way I would think about doing without a port.

    Port
    Thank you very much I was so major scared of having a port put in. I was visualizing this IV thing on top of my skin My dogs jump on me and I was panicking oh my gosh. Now I am at ease thank you so very much
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Port
    Thank you very much I was so major scared of having a port put in. I was visualizing this IV thing on top of my skin My dogs jump on me and I was panicking oh my gosh. Now I am at ease thank you so very much

    PICC is on top of skin
    A PICC is on top of/protrudes from skin - much older system. It is possible that your dogs could bump it and it 'smart' a bit but no it's totally 'inside' once the initial incision heals - I had no extermal stitches - just 2 'butterflies'. We have large dogs - a Gordon Setter, a B&T **** Hound and a Welsh Corgi - never had any problems. Also have horses and I was riding a couple of days after it was implanted - giving lessons too. But we're all different.

    Mine was put in with me totally knocked out at the hospital - some have had it done on twilight sedation. Different Drs different ways of doing things.

    Oh If you like purple the Power Port is purple - of course you won't see it once in but just thought I'd say that.

    Susan
  • pokrydi
    pokrydi Member Posts: 99
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    Rague said:

    PICC is on top of skin
    A PICC is on top of/protrudes from skin - much older system. It is possible that your dogs could bump it and it 'smart' a bit but no it's totally 'inside' once the initial incision heals - I had no extermal stitches - just 2 'butterflies'. We have large dogs - a Gordon Setter, a B&T **** Hound and a Welsh Corgi - never had any problems. Also have horses and I was riding a couple of days after it was implanted - giving lessons too. But we're all different.

    Mine was put in with me totally knocked out at the hospital - some have had it done on twilight sedation. Different Drs different ways of doing things.

    Oh If you like purple the Power Port is purple - of course you won't see it once in but just thought I'd say that.

    Susan

    I just had my port put in
    I just had my port put in 2/8 it does feel weird the 1st few days but getting use to it. Although I haven's used it yet, chemo in about 2 weeks from what I have heard it's a blessing. with my lumpectomy it took 2 tries for a iv and for this surgery 3 times so i'm thinking this will be less stressful on me. Are you just starting this journey? Diane
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
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    Rague said:

    PICC is on top of skin
    A PICC is on top of/protrudes from skin - much older system. It is possible that your dogs could bump it and it 'smart' a bit but no it's totally 'inside' once the initial incision heals - I had no extermal stitches - just 2 'butterflies'. We have large dogs - a Gordon Setter, a B&T **** Hound and a Welsh Corgi - never had any problems. Also have horses and I was riding a couple of days after it was implanted - giving lessons too. But we're all different.

    Mine was put in with me totally knocked out at the hospital - some have had it done on twilight sedation. Different Drs different ways of doing things.

    Oh If you like purple the Power Port is purple - of course you won't see it once in but just thought I'd say that.

    Susan

    Elizabeth--the port was my friend
    Mine was put in during my re-excision of my lumpectomy--I was asleep. At first I was a little nervous about it too, but it turned out to be the best thing. Chemo and lab work was a piece of cake through that thing. Every once in a while, when I moved my shoulder or arm a certain way, I could feel a little pinch, but that was about all. Mine was a little smaller than the size of a quarter and stuck out less than 1/4" right under my right clavicle. They usually put it on the opposite side of your surgery. Mine was taken out after I finished rads.

    Good luck. Let us know how you do.

    Hugs, Renee
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    They can be taken out after
    They can be taken out after last Chemo - a lot depends on the type of cancer/extent of it, your Drs, and you. I'm IBC - very aggressive form with not the greatest 5 year %'s - so personally I'd rather leave mine in (Dr's agree) so it's ready IF needed rather than have to have another one put in. How I feel.

    Susan
  • irish9085
    irish9085 Member Posts: 4
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    Port
    You'll love it. I'm a tough stick, so in 5/06 when my breast cancer was first diagnosed, it was decided that I should have a port-a-cath implanted. It was sooo easy when I went for chemo treatments. The plan was that was that it would not be removed for 5 years . . . just in case. Unfortunately, I had a regional recurrence of the breast cancer in 11/10, but with the port still there, we were able to start chemo pretty much right away. I recommended getting a port highly!!!

    Irish9085
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    definitely yes
    I would definitely recommend a port if they will allow it at all. Drs. don't have trouble with my viens, but I REALLY DON"T like IV's. I was put under to have the port installed, but I went home the same day. The next day I was out and about as usual. The scar is about and inch long. The edge peeks out from under the strap of my swimsuit, otherwise no one but my husband and I ever see it. Taking the port out was an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. What they do in the chemo room is to stick a small needle into the port through the skin. You can get in numbed. I didn't, and it really was not even as bad as getting a shot or a blood test. MUCH better than a regular IV. After the first week or 2 I did not notice it except when I got chemo.

    Go for it...seof
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    seof said:

    definitely yes
    I would definitely recommend a port if they will allow it at all. Drs. don't have trouble with my viens, but I REALLY DON"T like IV's. I was put under to have the port installed, but I went home the same day. The next day I was out and about as usual. The scar is about and inch long. The edge peeks out from under the strap of my swimsuit, otherwise no one but my husband and I ever see it. Taking the port out was an outpatient procedure with local anesthetic. What they do in the chemo room is to stick a small needle into the port through the skin. You can get in numbed. I didn't, and it really was not even as bad as getting a shot or a blood test. MUCH better than a regular IV. After the first week or 2 I did not notice it except when I got chemo.

    Go for it...seof

    Have to diagree -
    for me anyway. I had my port accessed ONCE without numbing and it hurt a lot worse than even accessing a vein on hand.
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
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    Get a port!
    I loved having the port. Got the numbing cream but ended up not using it. The nurses at the chemo lab were soo good at putting it in. They said the trick is to do it very quickly. Some times it made me go ouch but most of the time I really didn't feel it.

    I get mine out next week after having it for 15 months. I think I am going to miss it! LOL I think it became a sort of security blanket for me that nothing really bad was gonna happen because I got my port.
  • arkansasgirl
    arkansasgirl Member Posts: 84
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    PORTS MAKE SURE YOU GET NUMBING CREAM
    Hi

    Having a port in is great but there is one thing I would like to tell you. The stick is very painful or it was for me. You take a deep breath and count to 10 blowing it out.

    MAKE SURE YOU GET SOME NUMBING CREAM FROM YOUR ONC. PUT IT ON ABOUT 1/2 HOUR BEFORE CHEMO. JUST RUB IT IN AND YOUR PAIN SHOULD NOT BE SO BAD.

    I went through 6 treatments every 3 weeks and did not know about this till after the fact. So I went ahead and got some so now every time I go for blood to be drawn from my arm I put a little on and have no pain at all. Don't even feel the stick.

    My port was removed a year ago this March. I was dx in March 2009. I'm CANCER FREE AS OF TODAY. THAT'S A WOO HOO!!! The type of BC I had CHEMO AND RAD HAS NOT EFFECT ON.

    So good luck to ya and hope this will ease your mind about the port. I say go for it.

    ARKANSASGIRL
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    PORTS MAKE SURE YOU GET NUMBING CREAM
    Hi

    Having a port in is great but there is one thing I would like to tell you. The stick is very painful or it was for me. You take a deep breath and count to 10 blowing it out.

    MAKE SURE YOU GET SOME NUMBING CREAM FROM YOUR ONC. PUT IT ON ABOUT 1/2 HOUR BEFORE CHEMO. JUST RUB IT IN AND YOUR PAIN SHOULD NOT BE SO BAD.

    I went through 6 treatments every 3 weeks and did not know about this till after the fact. So I went ahead and got some so now every time I go for blood to be drawn from my arm I put a little on and have no pain at all. Don't even feel the stick.

    My port was removed a year ago this March. I was dx in March 2009. I'm CANCER FREE AS OF TODAY. THAT'S A WOO HOO!!! The type of BC I had CHEMO AND RAD HAS NOT EFFECT ON.

    So good luck to ya and hope this will ease your mind about the port. I say go for it.

    ARKANSASGIRL

    I've found for me that it's
    I've found for me that it's better to put on the cream about an hour before access. At 1/2 hr I will still feel the prick somewhat but at an hour all I feel is the pressure of pushing the needle in.

    Another 'trick' I was told to get it to work better is to cover it after you put it on with a small piece (approx. 2" X 2") of Saran wrap (or generic version). Not to 'rub it in' but rather to leave it showing 'white'. The Saran wrap will stick to it (if you put enough on) and helps it penetrate - also keeps it from getting on your clothes.

    Susan