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Port in Yesterday

Sunriver's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

I have not posted on here very many times but I do read this forum pretty much everyday. I find it to be a wealth of information and support.

I was diagnosed in August 2006, had a resection and was staged at 2a. After a brief hiccup due to a lower bowel blockage which sent me back to the hospital for a week and an introduction to the NG tube, my recovery has been very good. I do not have any incision pain and have been exercising including swimming and kayaking (flat water). My bowel movements have returned to normal.

Currently I am taking a liquid multi-vitamin, Super B-Complex, Coenzyme Q10 and Glutamine. Today or tomorrow I will add an iron supplement and vitamin c (at SpongeBob’s suggestion – thanks SpongeBob).

Yesterday I had my port inserted. I had it inserted at our local surgery center which is close to our local hospital. I had the same surgeon that I had for my resection. I went in a noon for a 1:00 procedure which was delayed one half hour. The procedure lasted about 45 minutes and I spent another 45 minutes or so in recovery. I was on pain meds when I went home and took more at 7pm although I was not in all that much pain. I have not taken any more pain meds and as of now (9:30am) I can feel it a little but not enough to take a pain med.

I am to start my Folfox chemo Monday morning. Wish me luck!!

Posts: 64
Joined: Mar 2006

Glad to hear that the port procedure went well. I was in a lot of pain after the numbing stuff wore off but they wouldnt prescribe anything for me, just told me to take Tylenol. Anyway, I know for me having the port has been so much better, I barely feel it when they hook me up. I have been on Folfox with Avastin and have done 5 rounds so far. I think I have at least 12. When I first started the treatments I experienced a lot of sickness but I have now been able to adjust my meds and I havent thrown up for the last few treatments. Good luck with your first treatment!

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Good Luck Sunriver!

Make sure your onc writes a script for EMLA cream. You put it on about 2 hours before chemo to numb the area. I swear by it. The inserting of the needle doesn't hurt at all. You just have to cover the site with a bandage after you put on the cream. I did folfox also. The treatments aren't bad, just the after sometimes. Make sure you have immodium with you at all times. Ask about what the premeds are. Make sure you get a script for home for nausea. Tell us how you are doing.

Lisa F.

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Welcome Sunriver, The port helps out allot. i did chemo through my vein the first time and for me that was hell. The port made it so much easier (i also did FOLFOX. There is a product called EMMEND. if you are getting bad Nausea, ask about it, it was a lifesaver for me. I am deciding now if i will be back on FOLFOX in the next few weeks. so we may be chemo roomies.
thake care and think positive.

jerseysue's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

Sounds like you a doing great keep up the great attitude and lots of luck with chemo.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Sunriver and like everyone else congrats so far and the best of luck with the chemo. The port makes it so much easier.

I have to ask, did your doctor recommend the iron supplement? If not, they can wreck havoc on your liver counts and are not good for you. Do not take iron unless a doctor has found a reason for it and tells you exactly what to take. The other supplements you are taking are great (check you b-comlex it may have vitamin c in it, mine does). There are some others out there that can help your white blood count which is what chemo usually lowers the most. Let me know if you are interested in them.

Lisa P.

Sunriver's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Lisa,

No a doctor did not recommend the iron. They took some blood before my port insertion and it showed my red counts on the low side of normal and I understood that iron might help my red counts however my liver enzimes have been up in the past so I certainly don't want to do anything that would upset my liver. At any rate I would be very interested in any information you have on supplements that would help my white blood counts. You can post or e-mail - I do check my e-mail here. Thanks...Mark

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1255
Joined: Jul 2005

Sunriver -

Good luck and wish you well.

Like Lisa, I am concerned about the iron supplement - but from another angle. When I had my colon surgery, I was anemic - from the tumor bleeding (had two blood transfusions in the hospital to get my counts up). My surgeon told me NOT to take iron cuz it would just constipate me and my RBC's would recover as I healed. THEN I saw my internist (whom I like very much, but....) and he said - that's cuz he is a surgeon and doesn't know the right form of iron to prescribe. So he told me to get Nefirex iron supplement (drugstore had to order it for me). After about 2 weeks and 2 days I had the WORST constipation I could ever imagine - was up all one night in pain. I quit the iron, suffered thru a bad couple of days and finally was OK - expensive as it was, I threw the rest away.

When I saw my oncologist a week later my RBC/hematocrit/hemoglobin were "almost normal". She agreed I should forget the iron. Everything worked out just like the surgeon said and I will NEVER take that stuff again.

Just one datapoint, but I wanted to share it.

Take care,

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Mark,

I am on the lovely colonoscopy "diet" right now and will send you more info after my scope tomorrow. Okay.

It will be before your first treatment Monday, I promise.

Lisa P.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Glad to hear the port insertion went well. I am going to have my 9th Folfox/Avastin cycle next week. So far it is tolerable although I tend to dread it prior to each time. The main bother is with the pump you have with you after each infusion but fortunately that is only for two days. Best of luck to you. I also would recommend no iron unless your actual iron count is low as excess iron deposits in the liver.

Posts: 488
Joined: Jun 2006

I'm glad the port insertion went well. I agree... get the EMLA cream. My port has been in for two months now and it is still sensitive to a stick, unless I use the EMLA cream and then I feel NOTHING. That's how I like it. I've done 4 sessions of Folfox so far but had my dosage reduced 20% after the first one. My experience hasn't been too bad, though, like Dick, I hate carrying that blasted pump thingy around for two days. Days 4 and 5 seems to be the days I feel the worst, but I still manage to drag my sorry butt into work and have managed, so far, not to throw up on anyone! Actually, I haven't thrown up at all. I feel blessed. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

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Sunriver's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Babs,

I did check with my onc about all of the supplements I mentioned I was taking and he thought they were fine. I'll hold off on any iron until or unless he perscribes it. It is great to feel good enought to exercise. I hope I still feel good enough to exercise after I start my chemo but we'll see. Thanks for your suggestions and support...Mark

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

You were MUCH kinder than I was in describing your NG tube experience!!!! I had one down for 4 days, and THAT was ENOUGH! I think the most irritating time was when a nurse came in and thought she could use it as a rein to lead me around!!!! LOL!!!!

I had my port for almost 2 years, thru both cancers' chemo treatments. I miss it, but not enough to go thru the experience again!

I am sending warm, strong vibes to you...all WILL be well!!!

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Good wishes sending your way! You'll be fine, Positive thinking is great, Amy aka Slammer

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi...just a little encouragement for you. I was stage 2,resected and then on the dreaded poison for 6 months. I wanted to tell you that I am now 2years 8 months NED(no evidence disease).....now that's a goal to aim for and I am sure you will get there!All tha best from oz, Ross n Jen
btw....Great that you have a port....my clinic onc. would not let me have one...bwwaaa!Much better than getting the pincushion treatment every day...yuk!

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Welcome, Mark!

I am glad things are going so well for you. Your positive spirt and attitude will serve you well. Best of luck with Folfox and keep us posted.



jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Mark,
Welcome to the club; I found this site after my surgery and right before my chemo (stage III, surgery in Nov 03, chemo completed July 04, now NO Evidence of Disease and holding!)You are so right about the wealth of info and support. I found that the folks here always had help with any big or little issues I was having. Good luck to you; stay the course; you will get through this! BTW, I had my first 6 weeks of infusions without a port (my onc said I had good veins), then I begged for one as my once good veins were now shot and screamingly sensitive to the infusions. Port made all the difference, and the insertion discomfort went away within a few weeks. I just used a spray numb thing before the stick, and it was OK.
Keep up the exercise and awesome attitude and keep us posted. All the best, Judy

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