Sleeping tips for pump stage IV

refusetolose Member Posts: 10
edited January 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1

I am new to this discussion board, but I am in need of some advice. My boyfriend of five years has stage IV rectal cancer at the age of 27. We have been getting treatment since September. He is on a two week cycle of receiving chemotherapy drips all day on Tuesdays and goes home with a 48 hour pump of 5FU. He got his port put in before the first treatment, but after his second treatment he got a bacterial infection of the blood and they took the port out as a precaution. They put in a PICC line because we had to do IV antibiotics every night for 8 weeks. He was receiving treatment through a PICC line, but now we are done with the IV antibiotics and he got the port put back in for these last two treatments. He has trouble sleeping through the night because he is worried that he will roll over on the needle. Does anyone have any sleeping tips to help him sleep through the two nights he is on the pump? Thanks for the help! #REFUSETOLOSE


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member

    I am so very sorry that your young man has to face this terrible disease. I can't believe how young he is for stage 4. We have too many young people being diagnosed. I am shocked!

    I am glad you found this site, as it will be a help to both him and to you as caregiver. 

    I was also scared to roll over when I first came home with the pump. I am a mover in bed, never staying in the same position, so it was quite frightening. What I did was to purchase two body pillows. I put on each side of me, and slept on my back (I hate sleeping on my back). It worked for me, and I never ever had probelms rolling over or pulling on the tube. 

    Of course, it made the bed a little tight when hubby was sleeping with me, but we managed. He only got pushed out of bed a few times. HA!

    Good luck to your man. We're here for you on the forum. You will find answers to most of your concerns here.

    Post often. 

  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
    I used a wedge pillow to keep

    I used a wedge pillow to keep me semi-seated and on my back, and always took Ambien on chemo nights.  I wasn't going to sleep without help.

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member

    They usually give you a good lead line for tubing which you can freely move in bed if the tubing is all the way out from fanny pack.  A pillow was always used on the one side of my bed so not being able to move to the other side.  My husband didn't sleep with me on those nights as the pillow would have been on his side.  If he is on steroids for his treatment he will be up for a couple nights anyway as that prevents sleep.  He is young, and I'm sorry he has that.  Wishing the best for him.  Please be assured that you have a great group here that can help him and you get through all of this.


  • karguy
    karguy Member Posts: 1,020 Member
    I sleep

    I sleep on my back,or on my sides since I have a permanent colosomy so when I was hooked up to the pump it was not a problem.He should be able to sleep on his sides.I wraped the tube in the little fanny pack they give you so I didn't have a problem with it getting tangled up.When I took a shower I put the pump in a sealed baggie and clamped it to the rack hanging on the shower head.Good luck.

  • janderson1964
    janderson1964 Member Posts: 2,215 Member
    I am sorry for what you are

    I am sorry for what you are both going through at such a young age. I like you said "we" are going through treatment. I have seen the look on my wifes face and know that she suffers as much as I do. I have had both picc lines and ports on several occassions.  I always made a mental note to myself befor I went to sleep to stay on my back and not roll over. I also had to worry about two seventy pound dogs who sleep on the bed with us. I couldn't sleep to good anyway with all of the headaches and nausea.

  • Hooley
    Hooley Member Posts: 156

    They put a special clear adhesive patch over my needle so I can shower etc.  it's like a massive bandaid so can't come out. prob the size of my palm

  • refusetolose
    refusetolose Member Posts: 10
    Thank you!

    Thank you for the tips and the support! We will have to try adding a pillow on his next round of treatment. We unhooked the pump last night so he got a good night's sleep last night!

  • marbleotis
    marbleotis Member Posts: 720 Member
    Sorry you are here

    Very sorry you are here.  You have come to the right place for help, advise and support.

    You can try a body pillow behind him and a small pillow in front so he is wedged between.  He will feel supported.  I too was always nervous about the needle coming out while sleeping or rolling over on it.  I found if I was supported well I slept better.  I also always slept on my left side.

    The 2 nights I had on the pump were rough, but it does get better when you try some new ideas.

    Sleep is important!

    Please keep posting his updates - we are all here for you both.

  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
    chemo pump

    I had a pump giving me FU5 24/7 for 5 weeks.

    Sleeping was no problem.  I usually start on my back ,but don't know how much rolling around I did.  Never had a problem.  Good Luck!!!

  • RickMurtagh
    RickMurtagh Member Posts: 587 Member

    I am with Alice. Wedge pillow - $30. Done. I mostly fall asleep , these years later, on my  back w just a normal pillow. Which works well with my ileo. on chemo weeks I slept from Wednesday afternoon to Friday afternoon only waking up to go to the bathroom and entertain occasional visitors.  I had no problem sleeping during the day wrapped up in a down comforter,sitting in my favorite chair with my feet propped up and at night I slept with my wedge pillow. 

    I hope you find something that works for your bf. 



  • Coloncancerblows
    Coloncancerblows Member Posts: 296 Member
    I kept the fanny pack on

    I kept the fanny pack on while I was sleeping and I was able to sleep on my side and back but not stomach.  I was scared to take it off and put it on the nightstand for fear I'd trip over it.  I slept just fine with it on me.