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waist "chemo bag" questions

Posts: 166
Joined: Jul 2005

Today my father had his first "chemo" treatment.
Not exactly sure yet which chemo but I think FOLFOX + avastin.
He had a 3 1/2 hour infusion and then had to go home and wait for a nurse to come and hook up his chemo bag. She will come every 2 weeks to change it.
Does anyone have any experience with this bag which I think from reading on the internet that it is worn like a fanny pack.


1: what is the benefit of this? to deliver higher doses of chemo?
2: is is comfortable?
3: is this common now to get this? (years ago he would just go in the office and get his IV of chemo
4: what about a shower?
5: can it come out on its own?
6: is two weeks a normal amount of time to have this in?

Any other tips or advice or info about it will be appreciated.
I tried to call him (I live out of state) and he couldn't talk (nurse was there) and he is probably just resting now.


Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Sue, my dad has mastastic colon cancer and he wears this bag. He goes to the hospital and gets 3 hours or chemo then he goes home with a bag and wears it for 48 hours and the nurse comes and takes it off. Its is not uncomfortable and I don't think he takes a bath with it on. Anymore questions please feel free to ask.

Posts: 768
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Sue. How are you?

I wore the chemo bag ( pump) twice during my treatment. The first was 24/7 for 6 weeks while receiving radiation treatments.

The nurse would come to my house and change the chemo, flush the port, and hook me up again.

I don't know if the reason is to get a higher dose of chemo, but it certainly delivers a steady continuous, dose. ( for the radiation treatments)

Yes, it gives a larger dose than the push your dad gets in the treatment center. Are you sure he will wear it for 2 weeks? Unless my chemo brain has totally effected me, I think I wore it for 2 days after my treatment ( OXY, 5FU and Leuko)

It is a little weird to have something attacjhed to your hip, but it wasn't uncomfortable. Just watch the tubing. Mine got caught on everything!!

I believe this is a common way of giving the chemo now a days.

I showered with it. You can't get it wet, though. What I did was get one of theose over the door hooks, and put it on my shower door. that way the pump was outside the shower ( they give you a bit of extra tube length to get around)
and I could shower. Caution: My tubing was not long enough for me to reach the floor for the dropped soap, so maybe a soap on the rope would be a good idea.

I never had my needle come out, although I did worry about it. My advice, If he is worried about it, just use some extra tape to attach. The nurse will probably leave a kit with your dad.

I don't really have any other tips. Actually, I did replace the standard carry bag with a fanny pack from Old Navy. It just looked nicer, no other reason.

Dad will get used to it. It's really not that bad.

Let me know if you have any further questions.


chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

I wore the "fanny pack, pump" all but one of my treatments (the home nurse never showed up so I had to take one dose by push). I was on the every-other-week schedule and would wear the fanny pack pump for 44 hours (a total of 11 times).

My home nurse would meet me at the oncologist office (per my onc after the first fiasco) and set me up. Same for the second day. On the third day, they would come out to my house at whatever time it was due to finish and unhook me, flush my port, etc.

As said, it's a little weird. What got me the most was when I would get up in the middle of the night, I would often forget about it until I hit the end of my tubing and had a slight jerk. Even with all of that, I never had a problem with it coming out. There is some sort of expansion on the end of the needle that expands into your port after installation that prevents it from coming out.

I was given the ok to shower with it and all. They put a waterproof patch over the port area and as said, you just leave the bag outside the shower. I used to hang mine over the shower rod and had enough tubing to bend down.

I would find out how long his infusion is actually going to be. If it is only going to be the 44 hours, I would insist that the needle be taken out of the port (assuming there is a port) as soon after it is not going to be used due to the increased risk of infection. Not to mention that when it is in there for any amount of time (my first infusion the nurse didn't know what he was doing and left it in) your body starts taking it as its own and it hurts when it comes out.

Feel free to ask any more questions.


Posts: 15
Joined: Jun 2005

I did this every other week through 12 cycles of chemo. I carried a CADD pump in a fanny pack for 48 hours (give or take a few) each time.
I would have an "ordinary" IV push of CPT-11, say on Thursday, for 2-3 hours. Then the pump and bag were attached to my port, and I was free to go. I was getting 5FU-Leucovarin. On Friday I would go in for a boost of 5FU-Leucovarin, and
then on Satruday I would go in to have the pump removed. The idea is to give a continuous dosage over 2 days. The thing is not uncomfortable, just annoying. As Barb says, the tubing gets caught in everything (like your fly!), and if you get up at night you often forget, and get a gentle tug as you get out of bed. You get used to these things. I was told not to shower, so I did sponge baths. It cannot come out on its own, as the port needs to be flushed, another reason for having nurses. I don't know about having one for two weeks, that would drive me crazy (especially at work).
I hope this helps.
big al

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