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Scared of Getting a Port

Posts: 79
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi all. I know this is probably a trivial thing to be writing about after hearing all of your stories, but I'm going to be going back on my oral chemo but my oncologist wants me to get a port so I can have IV fluids and antinausea medicine since my veins are in bad shape. But I'm scared of getting one. I don't know why. It's supposedly a simple procedure but it just scares me. Can any of you tell me your experiences with having a port and the pros and cons of it? I would appreciate any info. And I keep you all in my prayers. Thanks for any help you can give me. Hugs, Polly

saundra's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

Polly, I got a port a week after being diagnosed in March. Done with local anesthesia painlessly. I only get my chemo and antinausea meds through it. The cancer center warned about letting emergency room using it in case I went there. They do not draw blood test thru it like I thought. I have had no problems in the three months I've had mine, greenie that I am.
Well, I did react to the bandage because I am allergic to adhesive and forgot to tell them. Took it off myself the next morning with nurses permission. The sore from the adhesive was worse than the 1 1/2 inch incision. my fault for that! Hugs and go for it. I would again, so far.

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Most of us fear the unknown. So maybe you can ask the doctor for details like, how it's put in, what can you expect after it's in, how to take care of it, etc. Although all my chemo has been IV, my Mom had a port put in when she was 80 years old, bless her heart. I heard not one complaint from her, and her first chemo treatment went extraordinarly well. Here's lots of hugs to make you feel better, and prayers for strength and peace this evening and along your journey. Keep in touch!

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Polly, Fear is just like Monika said, because of the unknown. I have had my port since for a long time, and wish I had it from the very first. I don't know why they said not to have Emergency Room or anything use it. I use mine for blood draws, fluids, and chemo. I have only one vein that is good and save that for CT Scans and dyes. You are a bit sore for a while after but it is worth it. They would have to fight me and the nurses to ever take mine out. :-)

So lay your fears aside my dear and get it done. It is far less painful than all the pokes.

Any other questions about it just email. Hugs N Prayers Bonnie

Posts: 485
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Shortstuff,
I've had my port since Aug. of 05. It was very easy procedure. I was out for maybe 30 minutes. I went in a 10:00am and was home by 1:30 pm. Very minumal pain. I have it flushed maybe every 4-6 weeks. They use my port for my blood draws as well as long as there is a RN available...so I usually get my blood draws in my arms. It causes me no pain. The only thing I hate is I'm very small up top, not much meat up there so my port really sticks out, some people have commented on my "pace maker" or they just stare at it!!!!So I try to buy clothes that cover it up. You'll be just fine, and after the surgery you'll wonder why you were so scared!!! Good luck..(((hugz)))..Joanne

Posts: 79
Joined: Nov 2006

Thank you all for your encouragement. I feel better about it now. I'll probably wish I had done it many chemos ago. Thanks again. Polly

Posts: 163
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi Polly, I was scared too when that thing went in my chest a year ago. Try to get the smallest one. and suggest drawing lines with a marker as I have a time concealing it and bras are irritating...so pick out where you want it and they will usually agree. I wish I'd gone to the right side because my seat belt hits it...but at least I'm driving! So it was a little sore and freaky looking for awhile, but now it has become the best decision I could have made. I was stripping veins and terribly pained by needle in the hands and then no return. It is one stick now, by a nurse trained to do ports and u can forget about it and use your hands through chemo and not be messing them up anymore. Also, it has become quite popular, so the preceedure is less trauma than you'd imagine. I asked to be knocked out because I was covered with blisters from a doxil reaction and that was making me a little nuts. Isn't it amazing what we will do to survive this cancer!!!
Rest easy, it will give you a little soreness but that ends and you will be amongst the happy port people. Nurses will be relieved too. You are right on to bring your concerns here. I saw a couple small ones on other people and they barely showed. Medicare may not have paid for the designer model but I really am okay, no thankful, for my little alien docking station. I actually have some guided imagery to go with it. It's the chemo tape from Bellaruth Naparstek and Health Journeys. Bright lights in the mind. Healing lights.

Good on ya, Polly. God bless.

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