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port and chemo questions -starting thursday

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 2010

I had my port put in on thursday. It is quite uncomfortable and I am hoping it is because it needs to heal. Its on my left side and I slept on it so I am in pain this morning. I thought the port would be smaller and I thought there was little or no recovery time involved. How long til it feels ok? Dr said some start chemo the day after it is inserted.
I start my chemo thursday. I just read the info provided to another newbie. I am wondering about steroids. Does everyone get streroids? Why and for how long? Ann

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2010

Be grateful you got your port put in, but its not the most comfortable and best looking thing to have in your chest area. My oncologist wanted to start my chemo ASAP and there was no one to put my port in that week, so he opted to have the chemo go in through my hand. It burned my vein and is slow to heal, 5 weeks now and my hand feels like a very bad bruise when I bend it back or lay on it. So glad now that I did go through and have the port put in, but man does it look UGLY!! The port incicision seemed to take a long time to heal as well, and can be uncomfortable if you lay on it wrong. I think I've had mine for a month and incision has just healed. (Could be due to the chemo and slower healing time) Plus I can feel it there all the time, but the chemo goes in much faster and without any burning sensation like with my hand. I keep asking my oncologist about the top of my hand and pointing out that it has not healed. He just smiles and recommends I put a warm compress on it.

Good luck with your first chemo treatment!!

mollyz's picture
Posts: 753
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi anaumann, the port was the worst for me I had mine put in July 6 and started chemo the end of July ,I couldn't sleep on that side and it seems like the incision doesn't heal right. I'm not really sure why they give you steriods i think they told me for inflamation,but with the chemo FEC I had it actually gave me an appetite when i was able to eat,the port will feel better soon I actually forget i have it now, mine is very small they have different sizes I overheard my surgeon tell the nurses in the O R to get him a small because i was petite. oh yea the steriods go with you threw out the chemo. good luck hope you get all your questions answered .Mollyz

JanInMN's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi! Your port should be less noticeable after you have healed for a couple of weeks. I've had mine since January, and I barely notice it now (although I'm looking forward to getting it out soon!). I think I started chemo 5 days after mine was put in, and I was very worried because it was still sore, and i didn't want any one coming near me with a needle, But I put the EMLA cream on to numb it, and did not feel a thing! I got steroids with chemo, for nausea, and also was prescribed some to take at home if I felt nauseated. I didn't take the ones at home, though, because they kept me awake, and I didn't feel sick.
Best of Luck!

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

I had a port put in and I am so glad that I did! I saw lots of people at chemo without ports and it took forever for the nurses to find good veins - I always felt so sorry for them! Yes, it was somewhat uncomfortable for the first few days, but it didn't take long at all to feel better. Yes, you can see a bump in my skin where it is located, but I just didn't wear tops that would let it show. Mine was inserted in March and it is coming out in 2 weeks, as I am now finished with chemo, mastectomy, and radiation.
I got steroids via IV at chemo every time, but I don't remember why. (chemo-brain at work)
Good luck - you'll do great! Linda

Heatherbelle's picture
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Ann -
My port was only sore for a day or two & now that I've had it in since late July I barely notice it's there. My mom started her chemo 2 days after her port surgery & had no problems with it. I feel sorry for some of the people that I see the nurses struggling to get a vein with.
I think it's pretty standard to get steroids with chemo. Once they get your port accessed, they will draw your blood from it, get you started on a regular saline drip, and you'll get the steroid/anti nausea cocktail. That's a small bag so it doesn't take long, then they'll get your chemo drugs starting on the infusion.
Best of luck to you on starting your chemo. It's definately not a walk in the park, but it's do-able. Give your body all the rest you can & it will be over before you know it.

Annette 11
Posts: 378
Joined: Sep 2010

I also like to sleep on that side but I try not too. Mine port was put in the middle of aug...no problem but I do try to avoid sleeping on it all night. Maybe that's just me, others may not have a problem doing that. My port is not a small one.
Steriods are given through out my chemo treatment.
I just checked out the flyer onc. nurse gave me and it says steriods helps prevent allergic reation to taxatere and helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
Good luck and keep us posted after chemo.

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