Port - Post Surgery Pain

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Hi All,

Got my port in yesterday. I wasn't expecting pain afterwards. Silly me!

I'm using ice packs as suggested and taking Advil.

My pain is in strange places... like behind my shoulder blade and behind my bicep muscle.  In addition to the actual port site.

Did any of you experience this?  Also, I get my first chemo this Thursday. Wondering if the pain will be gone by then? Right now, I think I would slap anyone touching me. :-)

Appreciate all feedback.

Cindi

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  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903 Member
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    Not too bad

    Got mine yesterday as well.  Yes, there is some pain, but is manageable with ibuprofen.  Doctor told me if the pain was so severe that it couldn't be controlled with ibuprofen to call them.  I took ibuprofen primarily to sleep.  It does feel like someone is trying to pull an arrow out of my chest, but I am able to use my hand and arm.  Being careful about using those chest muscles, though.

    Sorry you are having such extensive pain, Cindi.  Have you ttried ibuprofen?

     

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,814 Member
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    Editgrl said:

    Not too bad

    Got mine yesterday as well.  Yes, there is some pain, but is manageable with ibuprofen.  Doctor told me if the pain was so severe that it couldn't be controlled with ibuprofen to call them.  I took ibuprofen primarily to sleep.  It does feel like someone is trying to pull an arrow out of my chest, but I am able to use my hand and arm.  Being careful about using those chest muscles, though.

    Sorry you are having such extensive pain, Cindi.  Have you ttried ibuprofen?

     

    hey Chris

    Thanks for the response.  I haven't tried Ibuprofen but the Advil does take the edge off.  My pain isn't severe but I sure could do without it.

    I think I was expecting less so wasn't prepared. Even though  my doctor did tell me I would have pain.  I'm usually pretty tough so I have a feeling it was just too close to my last procedure and I'm worn out. I can move my arm around more this afternoon so I think things will get better.

    Glad you are doing so well. You sure can use it considering what you just had to deal with!  :-)  I never thought I would be happy to be a normal weight!!!! I have a feeling trying to put on weight is as tough as trying to get it off.  But, I know you will get yourself ready for the next part of our battle.

  • Rjchirp
    Rjchirp Member Posts: 3
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    Port pain

    I've had my port in for 9 weeks and still have port pain.  It makes using my right arm almost impossible.  When the chemo is done, the port is coming out.

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364 Member
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    Port pain will pass - hang in there

    I had pain exactly as you all described.  It got much much better in about three days. I took Aleve for it. Some of my friends had a harder time of it, my understanding is it sort of depends on the surgeon and how Much pressure they use to put it in place.  I still get twinges every now and then but I got used to it really quickly.  Make sure to mention it to your nurses in the infusion room to see if they have other suggestions.  

    I had my first chemo four days after it was put in, the nurse did a great job and although it seemed counterintuitive it didn't affect the healing at all.

    hang tough ladies - you can do this and you will be amazed at how your body heals and does it all over again.  Sending hugs - Anne

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,814 Member
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    AWK said:

    Port pain will pass - hang in there

    I had pain exactly as you all described.  It got much much better in about three days. I took Aleve for it. Some of my friends had a harder time of it, my understanding is it sort of depends on the surgeon and how Much pressure they use to put it in place.  I still get twinges every now and then but I got used to it really quickly.  Make sure to mention it to your nurses in the infusion room to see if they have other suggestions.  

    I had my first chemo four days after it was put in, the nurse did a great job and although it seemed counterintuitive it didn't affect the healing at all.

    hang tough ladies - you can do this and you will be amazed at how your body heals and does it all over again.  Sending hugs - Anne

    rjchirp and Anne

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Anne, chemo on Thursday for me. That will be 3 days post the port implant. Do they put pressure on the port to administer the chemo? I'm trying to decide if I can do this or if I should delay. I know my doctor wants me to start asap so I don't want to chicken out.  I feel like I'm being a big baby here.  If it is a matter of sticking the needle in without pushing on the port, I think I can hang in there and do it. But right now, the slightest pressure hurts like crazy. 

  • Abbycat2
    Abbycat2 Member Posts: 644 Member
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    AWK said:

    Port pain will pass - hang in there

    I had pain exactly as you all described.  It got much much better in about three days. I took Aleve for it. Some of my friends had a harder time of it, my understanding is it sort of depends on the surgeon and how Much pressure they use to put it in place.  I still get twinges every now and then but I got used to it really quickly.  Make sure to mention it to your nurses in the infusion room to see if they have other suggestions.  

    I had my first chemo four days after it was put in, the nurse did a great job and although it seemed counterintuitive it didn't affect the healing at all.

    hang tough ladies - you can do this and you will be amazed at how your body heals and does it all over again.  Sending hugs - Anne

    My port surgery was painful

    I had my port surgery the day before Thanksgiving almost 2 years ago and did that hurt! It felt as though someone had his fist inside the wound and was trying to yank my muscles out of my chest. Fortunately, it went away after a few days. I hate having a port but don't dare think about having it removed any time soon. My cancer is likely to recur- so I don't see the point of having it removed and then later replaced. Chris and Cindi, my first chemo infusion was memorable in that I didn't anticipate the effect of all that fluid going into my body. I barely made it to the bathroom!! Otherwise, it was not a bad experience. I developed symptoms of nausea and fatigue about 3 days after chemo. This was true throughout the 6 chemo treatments. I was fortunate in that I had minimal fatigue and nausea. The worse side effect was severe hip/back pain that forced me to have 2 epidural shots. Others here have talked about chemo-induced joint pain. I am hoping this does not happen to you two!

    Wishing you both the very best!

    Cathy

     

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903 Member
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    Abbycat2 said:

    My port surgery was painful

    I had my port surgery the day before Thanksgiving almost 2 years ago and did that hurt! It felt as though someone had his fist inside the wound and was trying to yank my muscles out of my chest. Fortunately, it went away after a few days. I hate having a port but don't dare think about having it removed any time soon. My cancer is likely to recur- so I don't see the point of having it removed and then later replaced. Chris and Cindi, my first chemo infusion was memorable in that I didn't anticipate the effect of all that fluid going into my body. I barely made it to the bathroom!! Otherwise, it was not a bad experience. I developed symptoms of nausea and fatigue about 3 days after chemo. This was true throughout the 6 chemo treatments. I was fortunate in that I had minimal fatigue and nausea. The worse side effect was severe hip/back pain that forced me to have 2 epidural shots. Others here have talked about chemo-induced joint pain. I am hoping this does not happen to you two!

    Wishing you both the very best!

    Cathy

     

    Joint pain

    I have read several posts that mention the joint pain.  I have also read that Claritin helps with that.  I also found an old thread from RoseyR detailing the supplements she took to minimize some of the side effects from chemo.  It seems like she was one of the lucky ones that sailed through with very few effects so I've been very interested in the info she posted.

    It never occured to me that I would be making bathroom runs (literally.)  Guess I need to be prepared for that.  Thanks for the heads up, Cathy.

  • pam0422
    pam0422 Member Posts: 25
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    Port pain

    You can ask for a presciption of EMLA cream to be called in before your first treatment. It is a combination of lidocaine&prilocaine that you put on the site approx 90 mins before your treatment starts and it numbs it up. You are supposed to cover and seal it, a sq of clingwrap works and is a lot cheaper than medical seal bandages. It's pretty commonly prescribed for port access, we use it in pediatric patients who have frequent blood draws.

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364 Member
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    rjchirp and Anne

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Anne, chemo on Thursday for me. That will be 3 days post the port implant. Do they put pressure on the port to administer the chemo? I'm trying to decide if I can do this or if I should delay. I know my doctor wants me to start asap so I don't want to chicken out.  I feel like I'm being a big baby here.  If it is a matter of sticking the needle in without pushing on the port, I think I can hang in there and do it. But right now, the slightest pressure hurts like crazy. 

    You can do it!

    I am thinking if your doctor wants you to go that quickly it is probably worth it.  I remember just a little pain when they put the Iv in place; the nurses sprayed mine with a numbing agent (still do), have you take a deep breath then exhale.  I don't remember that the pain lasted more than a minute.  Trust the nurses; they are so good at this stuff.  

    That first chemo is stressful.  I was trying to contain my emotions that day walking in the door.  The nurses and other patients gave me strength.  Everything feels wierd, just keep talking to the nurses.  My experience is they are the best guides during the treatments, the doctors don't see what happens as much as they do.  i ended up sleeping through much of my treatment thanks to the anti nausea / allergy meds - usually benedryl.  I still sleep even in this new regime I am going through. 

    you can do this!  Stay hydrated And like Cathy said - plan on many bathroom trips as they will load you up with liquids via the infusion!  Hugs!  

  • Lou Ann M
    Lou Ann M Member Posts: 996 Member
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    Bathroom breaks

    I am so glad sone clued you in on the bathroom breaks.  You will also need to leave a little earliier  then usually.  It takes a little longer to get there when you have to unplug and pull your delightful cocktail mix along.

    I didn't have much discomfort with my ports.  With the second one I had chemo just a few days after it was put in.  A little achy but not bad.   Hugs and prayers Lou Ann

    chemo nurses are the best

  • Sandy3185
    Sandy3185 Member Posts: 229 Member
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    Port pain

    My port went in about a week before I began chemo. I had very little pain or discomfort after the port went in. I was afraid the chemo would make the port area hurt but, aside from the normal discomfort when accessing the port, there was no pain. I do thank God that I did get the port though. Chemo and all those blood tests would have been really difficult without it. 

    Cindi, maybe you are getting some gas pains in your shoulder? I wouldn't worry too much about pain from your port during chemo. I remember being surprised at how well I felt after my first treatment! ( that changed 2-3 days later!). I do have restless leg syndrome (one of those conditions that sound like something that's all in your head until you get it!) and the Benedryl they gave me at my first treatment caused it to act up for about the first 1/2 hour of treatment but it eased off after that and they did not give it to me in subsequent sessions. I often dozed through much of the session. I too remember having to make several quick trips to the bathroom! 

    Be sure to prepare for side effects that usually start a couple of days after treatment. It is VERY easy to get dehydrated! Drink plenty of water and don't be afraid to take frequent naps, you will probably feel a lot of fatigue as the chemo causes your blood count to drop. I thought I was drinking enuf liquids but I ended up in the emergency room twice after fainting due to dehydration. So take care of yourself and be sure to let your Dr know any side effects you are experiencing. I began experiencing peripheral neuropathy after my first treatment and it just kept getting worse after each treatment. My dr had to change one of the meds, Taxol, after my third treatment.

    So, drink plenty of liquids, try to eat and get a little exercise every day. Just remember that your body has been through a lot and you do need time, and rest, to recover.  Sandy

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,814 Member
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    Sandy3185 said:

    Port pain

    My port went in about a week before I began chemo. I had very little pain or discomfort after the port went in. I was afraid the chemo would make the port area hurt but, aside from the normal discomfort when accessing the port, there was no pain. I do thank God that I did get the port though. Chemo and all those blood tests would have been really difficult without it. 

    Cindi, maybe you are getting some gas pains in your shoulder? I wouldn't worry too much about pain from your port during chemo. I remember being surprised at how well I felt after my first treatment! ( that changed 2-3 days later!). I do have restless leg syndrome (one of those conditions that sound like something that's all in your head until you get it!) and the Benedryl they gave me at my first treatment caused it to act up for about the first 1/2 hour of treatment but it eased off after that and they did not give it to me in subsequent sessions. I often dozed through much of the session. I too remember having to make several quick trips to the bathroom! 

    Be sure to prepare for side effects that usually start a couple of days after treatment. It is VERY easy to get dehydrated! Drink plenty of water and don't be afraid to take frequent naps, you will probably feel a lot of fatigue as the chemo causes your blood count to drop. I thought I was drinking enuf liquids but I ended up in the emergency room twice after fainting due to dehydration. So take care of yourself and be sure to let your Dr know any side effects you are experiencing. I began experiencing peripheral neuropathy after my first treatment and it just kept getting worse after each treatment. My dr had to change one of the meds, Taxol, after my third treatment.

    So, drink plenty of liquids, try to eat and get a little exercise every day. Just remember that your body has been through a lot and you do need time, and rest, to recover.  Sandy

    Thanks All!

    Really appreciate all of the feedback and tips on the chemo day. I'm looking forward to getting through that first one. Feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning and I know it is part of the process.  Tomorrow post chemo can't come soon enough.  Thanks again. Cindi

  • ConnieSW
    ConnieSW Member Posts: 1,680 Member
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    Thanks All!

    Really appreciate all of the feedback and tips on the chemo day. I'm looking forward to getting through that first one. Feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning and I know it is part of the process.  Tomorrow post chemo can't come soon enough.  Thanks again. Cindi

    Good luck tomorrow

    As you have read, it truly isn't bad.  You will probably feel good afterwards because of the steroids.  I ended up going to the furniture store afterwards so my daughter could help me choose upholstry fabric and order a new couch.  We actually did some more stuff after that.  a couple days later it was a different story but never was as bad as I expected.  It's interesting how different our experiences with the port were.  I was lucky.  The only time it really hurt was when I awoke in rr and morphine took care of that.  Afterwards I was just sore and had the tugging sensation from the weight of my breast.  

  • pinky104
    pinky104 Member Posts: 574 Member
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    Port Pain

    I really didn't have much pain from the port insertion.  What bothered me was having a seat belt go over it.  I got a lamb's wool cover for the seat belt but still felt the pain.  I was wondering if lying still on a hard table during the port insertion might have contributed to your pain.

    My sister, a nurse, recommended I get the numbing cream for chemo.  I did that but then found I really didn't need it.  The nurses told me how to take a deep breath and they poked the needle in at a point during my breathing when it would hurt the least.  I thought the pain was much less than getting blood drawn, and only lasted a second or two.

    I don't know if you know that you'll probably be asked to have frequent blood tests after chemo. I had to go in once a week for mine. I had blood taken out of my arms, but some people get it taken through their ports.  I still get pains in my "good" vein in my right arm from that, five years later.  It was a good thing that they tested me weekly, though, as I developed chemo-induced anemia and needed a blood transfusion halfway through my 6 rounds of chemo.  I had become very short of breath whenever I walked, and I was very pasty-looking. 

    I don't know if your doctor prescribed it or not, but my doctor ordered Emend for me to use before and during each round of chemo.  I was never nauseous and never vomited because that drug did the trick.  I had to pick it up at a local pharmacy.  One time they ran out of it and I had to go across town to get it at another branch.  I panicked a bit over that as I was picking it up at the last moment.

    Hope your pain goes away soon.  Good luck to you.   

  • DrienneB
    DrienneB Member Posts: 182
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    Port Pain

    Hi Cindi,

    I hope you are feeling somewhat better by now, and that you get a good night's sleep before your first treatment tomorrow.

    I had my port installed the morning of the day before my chemo began. I did not like the pain that night, but it was not an issue the next day.

    Hoping all goes smoothly tomorrow.

    -j

  • Editgrl
    Editgrl Member Posts: 903 Member
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    Thanks All!

    Really appreciate all of the feedback and tips on the chemo day. I'm looking forward to getting through that first one. Feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning and I know it is part of the process.  Tomorrow post chemo can't come soon enough.  Thanks again. Cindi

    Good luck tomorrow

    I hope everything goes well for you, and here's hoping your pain has subsided.  I'm right behind you with my first chemo next Wednesday.

    Hugs,

    Chris

  • flyerette65
    flyerette65 Member Posts: 65
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    DrienneB said:

    Port Pain

    Hi Cindi,

    I hope you are feeling somewhat better by now, and that you get a good night's sleep before your first treatment tomorrow.

    I had my port installed the morning of the day before my chemo began. I did not like the pain that night, but it was not an issue the next day.

    Hoping all goes smoothly tomorrow.

    -j

    Port Pain

    I too had port pain and my port was very prominent and not barely noticeable, like most I have seen.  It looked like I had a very large cyst on my chest. When I complained about the port pain to my cancer support group everyone laughed and said why do you think we didn't comment when you asked us if it was painful, it hurts! You're getting a foreign object placed in your body and it takes time to get used to it. I blamed the pain I was having on the fact that I had two rotator cuff repairs on the right shoulder and that there was probably a lot of scar tissue.  Also someone mentioned the "restless legs" and bone pain.  My oncologist told me the bone pain was caused by the Neulasta injections I was receiving.  The restless legs really bothered me, especially when it felt as if my legs wouldn't support me and I actually fell a few times because both my legs just "gave".   I noticed my potassium levels were low so I tried to drink a combination of coconut water and orange juice to give me more potassium., as well as eating a bananna everyday.  I was finally put on prescription potassium pills and the restless, weak legs were no longer a problem. My first chemo, I was really scared and told the nurse I don't think I can do this but it got less stressful with each treatment.  I, too, slept through most of the treatments because of the Benadryl. And I had bloodwork once a week and had the nurse take it out of my arm, rather than accessing the port.  I had a wonderful chemo nurse, I think of her often, she was always upbeat and had a lot of empathy for her patients.

  • Abbycat2
    Abbycat2 Member Posts: 644 Member
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    Port Pain

    I too had port pain and my port was very prominent and not barely noticeable, like most I have seen.  It looked like I had a very large cyst on my chest. When I complained about the port pain to my cancer support group everyone laughed and said why do you think we didn't comment when you asked us if it was painful, it hurts! You're getting a foreign object placed in your body and it takes time to get used to it. I blamed the pain I was having on the fact that I had two rotator cuff repairs on the right shoulder and that there was probably a lot of scar tissue.  Also someone mentioned the "restless legs" and bone pain.  My oncologist told me the bone pain was caused by the Neulasta injections I was receiving.  The restless legs really bothered me, especially when it felt as if my legs wouldn't support me and I actually fell a few times because both my legs just "gave".   I noticed my potassium levels were low so I tried to drink a combination of coconut water and orange juice to give me more potassium., as well as eating a bananna everyday.  I was finally put on prescription potassium pills and the restless, weak legs were no longer a problem. My first chemo, I was really scared and told the nurse I don't think I can do this but it got less stressful with each treatment.  I, too, slept through most of the treatments because of the Benadryl. And I had bloodwork once a week and had the nurse take it out of my arm, rather than accessing the port.  I had a wonderful chemo nurse, I think of her often, she was always upbeat and had a lot of empathy for her patients.

     

    I basically slept through most of the near 6 hour infusions.  I tended to get very cold and needed a lot of blankets.  I started bringing a sweatshirt to the appointments and that helped considerably. 

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,814 Member
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    Abbycat2 said:

     

    I basically slept through most of the near 6 hour infusions.  I tended to get very cold and needed a lot of blankets.  I started bringing a sweatshirt to the appointments and that helped considerably. 

    One down, 17 to go!

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all of the positive feedback. I DID make it through my first session. Abbycat2, I agree... the chemo wasn't bad for me either. I will say I am still very tendor at the port site and it wasn't pleasant when the nurse pushed on it but it was doable. She was very good. I got up this morning at 2 and took Advil, put a pillow under my shoulder and side and was finally able to get some sleep. Since my treatments are split up in smaller doses, I'm hoping for little to no side effects. Time will tell.  I did sleep during some of it today. That Benadryl works like a charm. :-)

    Chris, take a blanket! I needed mine and was glad to have it. Until my hot flash hit at the end and I was fanning. The nurses got concerned and I assurred them that this is normal.  lol

    Can't tell you how much you all mean to me. Thanks for being there.

    Cindi

  • AWK
    AWK Member Posts: 364 Member
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    One down, 17 to go!

    Hi All,

    Thanks for all of the positive feedback. I DID make it through my first session. Abbycat2, I agree... the chemo wasn't bad for me either. I will say I am still very tendor at the port site and it wasn't pleasant when the nurse pushed on it but it was doable. She was very good. I got up this morning at 2 and took Advil, put a pillow under my shoulder and side and was finally able to get some sleep. Since my treatments are split up in smaller doses, I'm hoping for little to no side effects. Time will tell.  I did sleep during some of it today. That Benadryl works like a charm. :-)

    Chris, take a blanket! I needed mine and was glad to have it. Until my hot flash hit at the end and I was fanning. The nurses got concerned and I assurred them that this is normal.  lol

    Can't tell you how much you all mean to me. Thanks for being there.

    Cindi

    Yay! One down!

    So glad you checked back in, I was going to post earlier to let you know I was thinking of you but was crashed from my treatment yesterday.  You did great!  Keep hydrating and give gentle with yourself.  Chris - I am thinking of you too - almost there.  You are both strong and Chemosabes!

    Hugs, Anne