Ports....kind of in a panic...sort of alone

Radioactive34
Radioactive34 Member Posts: 391 Member
Licha's question about the 1st chemo and your response's got me thinking about ports. I am supposed to have 4-6 treatments of Cisplatin and something else. Each treatment is going to be spaced out about 3-4 weeks apart.

I have crappy veins. Just to get blood work, most techs have to poke me more than once. I did not think I would need a port for this. Since the diagnosis I have been in a fog. It never occured to me that my IV site, from surgery, still hurts......almost 6 weeks later. And the idea of that vein/arm being used just sounds painful.

I am sitting here wondering where they are going to poke me for the next few months. OMG, I think I am going to cry. The chemo starts Monday. I think I am just sheer scared. There are so many details that I did not think of.

I think the big thing for me is that I am going to be alone...sort of. Just as I got diagnosed my husband got a job overseas. We were going to move the household over to Europe. He has been out of a job for two years, so he had to take the job. We can't afford for him not to go. He leaves this coming Sunday...the day before the 1st treatment.

So...my friends and family have stepped in. My best friend arrives on the day of treatment. She will be getting there later in the day. My mom switches out with her a month later.

This new norm is scary. I am crying a lot. I am normally the person you want in an emergency. Normally I can function in the most extremes and be excellent. I have literaly been monitored performance wise, and garned excellent metrics...while my personal life has been in tatters. This feels so much worse than divorce.

R34

Comments

  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676
    Just one opinion
    R34

    If I were you, I would not do chemo without a port. If the chemo leaks out of the vein, it is really damaging to your tissues. You can use the port to have your blood drawn, too.

    I would call the doctor's office first thing in the morning & see if it will be OK to postpone the chemo for a week. Then see about getting on the schedule for the infusion port ASAP.
    The port can be used the next day after it is placed.
  • Radioactive34
    Radioactive34 Member Posts: 391 Member

    Just one opinion
    R34

    If I were you, I would not do chemo without a port. If the chemo leaks out of the vein, it is really damaging to your tissues. You can use the port to have your blood drawn, too.

    I would call the doctor's office first thing in the morning & see if it will be OK to postpone the chemo for a week. Then see about getting on the schedule for the infusion port ASAP.
    The port can be used the next day after it is placed.

    I will check with them in
    I will check with them in the morning. I got a grip. I was in a hell of a panic. Thank you for your response.
  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,376 Member
    I can relate
    R34,

    This is a scary and unstable time. Your personal situation makes things worse, but there really is no going back to norm at this point, for anyone. Anyone with this diagnosis loses any semblance of normalcy. It is wonderful that you have a friend and relative who can help you now. I was displaced when I was treated because there was no gyn/onc near my home. I ended up spending 3 months living with my brother three states away during surgery and the first part of my treatment. To make matters worse, my husband was an emotional wreck and expected me to take care of him, instead of the other way around. I was always the responsible one too, the go-to person in an emergency. I had to learn to rely on others, and not take responsibility for everyone else.

    You will be fine. All these extraneous things are disconcerting, but you will be fine. There will be so much for you to focus on during treatment, that you will hardly notice that things are not even close to normal. Focus on getting well. That is the answer to all of your concerns.

    As far as a port is concerned, if you still have the options of getting one, which you should, it would be helpful if you would get it. I took someone's bad advice prior to my surgery and opted not to have a port put in. I paid many visits to the hospital after my surgery, and the nurses had a lot of trouble accessing my veins. Subsequently, I got a port put in and it was wonderful. Call your doctor and see if you can have a port put in this week. If not, don't fret. Have one put in after your treatment.

    Everything will work out for you, possibly in ways you cannot see right now.
  • Radioactive34
    Radioactive34 Member Posts: 391 Member
    Tethys41 said:

    I can relate
    R34,

    This is a scary and unstable time. Your personal situation makes things worse, but there really is no going back to norm at this point, for anyone. Anyone with this diagnosis loses any semblance of normalcy. It is wonderful that you have a friend and relative who can help you now. I was displaced when I was treated because there was no gyn/onc near my home. I ended up spending 3 months living with my brother three states away during surgery and the first part of my treatment. To make matters worse, my husband was an emotional wreck and expected me to take care of him, instead of the other way around. I was always the responsible one too, the go-to person in an emergency. I had to learn to rely on others, and not take responsibility for everyone else.

    You will be fine. All these extraneous things are disconcerting, but you will be fine. There will be so much for you to focus on during treatment, that you will hardly notice that things are not even close to normal. Focus on getting well. That is the answer to all of your concerns.

    As far as a port is concerned, if you still have the options of getting one, which you should, it would be helpful if you would get it. I took someone's bad advice prior to my surgery and opted not to have a port put in. I paid many visits to the hospital after my surgery, and the nurses had a lot of trouble accessing my veins. Subsequently, I got a port put in and it was wonderful. Call your doctor and see if you can have a port put in this week. If not, don't fret. Have one put in after your treatment.

    Everything will work out for you, possibly in ways you cannot see right now.

    The port thing....it is
    The port thing....it is surreal. I am walking, talking and feel for the most part fine. If not for the nagging pain in my side, I would have no clue there was something wrong. I am recovering from surgery, and thinking that I still feel fine...well except for the cancer thing. Even with the residual pain from the debulking, this is surreal.

    I guess, once the chemo actually starts this becomes more real. As it becomes more real and I have to deal with the consequnces, I will be able to see the need for things like ports. Denial comes in many forms. I keep expecting to wake up prior to chemo.

    Man, I can so relate on taking care of people. I am far away from immediate family and most of my closest friends. I have been editing myself like crazy. This cancer feels like it is taking my control.

    I have been taking care of just about everyone up until, like, this past weekend. I have become a bit more weepy and needy. My husband is front and center. He is doing pretty good with it. I am not quite ready to share this extent of fear with my family and friends. At one point I am not going to have a choice. I am just going to have to be taken care of.

    R34
  • kikiz
    kikiz Member Posts: 94

    The port thing....it is
    The port thing....it is surreal. I am walking, talking and feel for the most part fine. If not for the nagging pain in my side, I would have no clue there was something wrong. I am recovering from surgery, and thinking that I still feel fine...well except for the cancer thing. Even with the residual pain from the debulking, this is surreal.

    I guess, once the chemo actually starts this becomes more real. As it becomes more real and I have to deal with the consequnces, I will be able to see the need for things like ports. Denial comes in many forms. I keep expecting to wake up prior to chemo.

    Man, I can so relate on taking care of people. I am far away from immediate family and most of my closest friends. I have been editing myself like crazy. This cancer feels like it is taking my control.

    I have been taking care of just about everyone up until, like, this past weekend. I have become a bit more weepy and needy. My husband is front and center. He is doing pretty good with it. I am not quite ready to share this extent of fear with my family and friends. At one point I am not going to have a choice. I am just going to have to be taken care of.

    R34

    I know this is tough but I
    I know this is tough but I would advise a port. I had perfect veins before Chemo, but was not offered a port. (my joke is that the Doctors did not think I would be around long enough to use it.) I had 6 rounds and I am NED but my veins are now shot. They tried 4 times to hook me up for the last scan and finally had to use my hand. I know they can take them out if you end up NED but at least you won't have to be poked for veins over and over.

    Good luck

    Lori
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676

    The port thing....it is
    The port thing....it is surreal. I am walking, talking and feel for the most part fine. If not for the nagging pain in my side, I would have no clue there was something wrong. I am recovering from surgery, and thinking that I still feel fine...well except for the cancer thing. Even with the residual pain from the debulking, this is surreal.

    I guess, once the chemo actually starts this becomes more real. As it becomes more real and I have to deal with the consequnces, I will be able to see the need for things like ports. Denial comes in many forms. I keep expecting to wake up prior to chemo.

    Man, I can so relate on taking care of people. I am far away from immediate family and most of my closest friends. I have been editing myself like crazy. This cancer feels like it is taking my control.

    I have been taking care of just about everyone up until, like, this past weekend. I have become a bit more weepy and needy. My husband is front and center. He is doing pretty good with it. I am not quite ready to share this extent of fear with my family and friends. At one point I am not going to have a choice. I am just going to have to be taken care of.

    R34

    Keeping it together
    R34

    Hey, I thought I was the Queen of Denial! Well, I guess I will share the crown with you. I think being in denial worked fine for a while for me, then I had to wear the "big girl panties" and take my medicine.

    I was ridiculously scared of having chemo before my first treatment--then I declared myself a poster child for chemo because it really made a huge difference for me. Afterwards, I felt foolish for being so scared...and everyone was so understanding of my fear. Even the oncologist said that "the diagnosis of cancer is way too much for anyone to wrap their head around immediately."

    Don't apologize for where you are. I had to get used to saying "thank you" over and over again to everyone. I think the people who love you are really glad that they can be there for you to have this opportunity to show you how much they care about you...and by "being there" I mean in the emotional sense of the words.

    Please let us know how it goes tomorrow. OK?

    LQ
  • Mwee
    Mwee Member Posts: 1,338

    The port thing....it is
    The port thing....it is surreal. I am walking, talking and feel for the most part fine. If not for the nagging pain in my side, I would have no clue there was something wrong. I am recovering from surgery, and thinking that I still feel fine...well except for the cancer thing. Even with the residual pain from the debulking, this is surreal.

    I guess, once the chemo actually starts this becomes more real. As it becomes more real and I have to deal with the consequnces, I will be able to see the need for things like ports. Denial comes in many forms. I keep expecting to wake up prior to chemo.

    Man, I can so relate on taking care of people. I am far away from immediate family and most of my closest friends. I have been editing myself like crazy. This cancer feels like it is taking my control.

    I have been taking care of just about everyone up until, like, this past weekend. I have become a bit more weepy and needy. My husband is front and center. He is doing pretty good with it. I am not quite ready to share this extent of fear with my family and friends. At one point I am not going to have a choice. I am just going to have to be taken care of.

    R34

    Dear R34
    I can so relate to what you're going through. I have been dealing with this disease for 5 years and have gone through lots of chemo. I have a port/had it for all that time and it works just like it should. I also have to do a lot of this by myself because my husband works out of town most of the time. I want you to know that chemo is very doable. I think you said that you'll be given cisplatin. I'm taking that now along with gemzar. As chemos go, it's not too bad.

    It's not a new story to hear that you are busy taking care of all those around you. I guess we're just born caretakers. It'll take awhile for to you to process all this. We'll be here to help you every step of the way. I sometimes think I'd have gone mad long ago without the wonderful and caring women on this site.
    ((((HUGS)))) Maria
  • jbeans888
    jbeans888 Member Posts: 313
    Denial is easy. I went thru
    Denial is easy. I went thru it before my fist chemo. Everyone said how strong I was. Well when I went to get my first chemo and they hooked me up I cried like I was a kid. It is scary. I didn't have a port the first time, but I have one know and it's easier. You should get it.
  • Radioactive34
    Radioactive34 Member Posts: 391 Member
    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34
  • kikz
    kikz Member Posts: 1,345 Member

    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34

    Wow, R34
    I am so glad it all worked out for you. I had a port in my abdomen for cisplatin and taxol. My veins were pretty well shot but I think the real reason was for the chemo to have a direct shot to the area it needed to get to. Best of luck with the rest of your treatment.

    Karen
  • Hissy_Fitz
    Hissy_Fitz Member Posts: 1,834

    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34

    You won't regret it. One
    You won't regret it. One stick, never more, and NO PAIN if you remember to use the cream an hour before.

    One more tip....before the nurse accesses your port, throw your shoulders back and push your chest forward. It really helps. (I learned this at Sloan-Kettering, where they use the port for every single blood draw.)

    Carlene
  • carolenk
    carolenk Member Posts: 907 Member

    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34

    Abdominal pain
    Dear R34

    Have you tried using a heating pad for your abdominal pain? You have to be careful not to burn your incision--I used the medium setting and kept the heating pad outside my clothing. I had prolonged abdominal pain and the pain pills just gave me constipation and more pain. The heating pad was my little friend for many months.

    I am so happy to read that you are on track to get the port put in. Now you will really be ready for chemo and you can get on with the process of healing. I am doing the happy dance for you, too!

    Best wishes,

    Carolen
  • childofthestars
    childofthestars Member Posts: 251 Member

    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34

    Port
    Hi R34
    I finished my treatment for stage 11c in Dec last year. I had breast ca in 2000 and did not have a port and the treatments were horrible and my viens are shot from this..... So when i was dx this time around the onc said have a port and i went mad, like you i just didn't want any more poking, prodding pain etc etc. Anyway after much anxiety (i wish i had found this board then) I decided to have one and............
    it was the best thing i ever did - my treatments were more or less pain free (i didn't even have numbing cream, didn't need it). I had the port placed on the first day of my treatment and had it removed 1 week after i had completed it.... would have had it removed same day as completion but the doc wasn't there!!!
    Anyway have been left with a scar on right breast - not too bad.
    Good luck to you and let us know how you get on.
    Michelle x
  • Mwee
    Mwee Member Posts: 1,338
    Yeah, you're getting a port!
    that will make the chemo process so much more comfortable for you. I prefer having friends with me for chemo, they make me laugh and I don't feel I need to "caretake" them like I would family members. I can tell by your posts that you'll be one tough Teal Sister and just know that we're right here with you every step of the way.
    (((HUGS))) Maria
  • childofthestars
    childofthestars Member Posts: 251 Member
    Mwee said:

    Yeah, you're getting a port!
    that will make the chemo process so much more comfortable for you. I prefer having friends with me for chemo, they make me laugh and I don't feel I need to "caretake" them like I would family members. I can tell by your posts that you'll be one tough Teal Sister and just know that we're right here with you every step of the way.
    (((HUGS))) Maria

    Maria
    that's so true about

    Maria
    that's so true about having your friends with you during chemo, i found that when i had family members with me i was always worried how they were feeling etc but with friends it was sooooo much more relaxed.
    Michelle x
  • msfanciful
    msfanciful Member Posts: 559
    Good morning,
    I saw your

    Good morning,

    I saw your post and it took me back to when I had to make the decision of having a port implanted; I was so afraid, so unsure and everything was so new!

    I want to assure you to really consider having the port implanted, you do not want these toxic chemicals leaking into your other tissues; it really is the effective way to treat one.

    Now, over four years later; I can't imagine life without it, my cancer has recurred at least 3 times and I've been treated (with chemo), just as many times. So being that stage iv ovca has a tendency to rear its' ugly head, I am glad I did not have to repeat the process of re-implanting a port again.

    In fact, now that I look back during the actual procedure; they had given me some type of numbing agent and the procedure was performed while I was awake and asking could they change the music! LOL! Seriously, it will be okay... it's just scary because you don't know what to expect.

    For me, I keep my port flushed about once every 1 - 2 months; otherwise I don't even realize it's there.

    Facing what's ahead for me, I'm glad I kept my port in, it is literally my life-line; and it's not coming out as far as I'm concerned until it presents a problem or has to come out.

    In the meantime, do what's in your best interest and treat your cancer the best and ideal way possible.

    Hang in there....

    Sharon
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676

    update
    I called the oncologist this morning. The nurse returned my call and asked me if I knew what a port was. I told her about my experience with my mother in law's. She said she would talk to the doctor. I should have one in before end of week. Come Monday I will more than likely have chemo via a port. I even asked about the numbing creme. That is getting called into the pharmacy in anticipation of the port.

    Ladies, I love you. The anxiety and pain you saved me is a lot. Yesterday, I cried all afternoon at the idea of adding one more aspect of pain. I still hurt from the debulking surgery. The pain is constant in the abdomen. Heaping one more thing was just overwhelming. Thank God for modern chemistry. I remembered I had been prescribed some clonazepan and kicked myself for letting my panic get that bad. I took one of those and while my brain still raced....I was able to get a grip.

    I did a happy dance when I found out I could get the port in. When I hung up the phone, I looked at my hubby and said, "I have never been so happy to have a procedure as I am right now!" I even did a happy dance.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    R34

    good for you
    I am so happy to read this. I burst into tears just knowing you were gonna get on the surgery schedule by the end of the week! It really made my day. :)

    LQ
  • djinco
    djinco Member Posts: 87
    I Love my Port
    I am very happy to read that you will be getting a port. In my estimation, it's the best thing since sliced bread, as the saying goes. I don't even notice it's there and it's so great when blood draws or other procedures are done. Let us know how the procedure goes for you.

    Take care,
    Betty