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Ports. Bras. Needles and tubes.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5462
Joined: Jan 2013

My port is directly under my bra strap which is quite uncomfortable on its own, but tomorrow I have my first chemo session and will come home with a needle and tubes hooked up to a pump. 

Any advice on how to make life a little more comfortable while wearing a bra. 

I did pick up some nursing pads, which fit nicely under the bra strap, but was wondering if any of you more expeirenced ladies out there have any better ideas. 

Also, any other advice with the pump and where the tubes are placed would be nice too. 

Thank you!

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

No advise about the bra. Just wanted to wish you good luck with Session 1. Tomorrow will be my husbands Session 20. Will be thinking of you.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6711
Joined: Feb 2009

When they were inserting mine, that was one of my concerns, along with the seatbelt and they positioned it about 1 1/2 inches from my bra strap so I'm surprised they placed it there.  Make sure that you get lidocaine (prescription) for your port and use prior to you going for treatment.  That is important if you don't want a big poke there.  It numbs the area really well.  Good luck.  Sorry for not being able to help with positioning and hope that pads work.  Ask your chemo nurses as they might have some suggestions as well.


Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I wore soft sports bras and put a seatbelt pad on the strap. I also used strapless bras.   If I remember correctly they cushioned under the tube with gauze pads then they tape it so it didn't move.   That really helped. 


Don't forget that you are connected when you get up in the middle of the night.  I bought one of those hip belts so I wasn't so obvious. Bought a nice red one and the little machine fit perfectly   

Posts: 61
Joined: Jul 2012

Husband keeps forgetting that he is hooked up too.  Walks off without it and such.  I tell him that is why they put it in a convenient bag that goes around your waist....guess he feels weird wearing a fanny pack.  Once he had it on his knee in the car and I had to brake quick and it flew to the floor...he wasn't too happy bout that one....


Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

My husband doesnt wear a bra so I cant help you there .... but also wanted to wish you luck! The sound of the pump kept him up at night so now he places it between a couple of pillows on the nightstand.

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Am I the only one whose 5FU isn't hooked up to a pump??    I had that pump when I was on antibiotics for the tooth infection,  it would whizz when it came on.     But, my 5FU is in like a baby bottle, with a balloon inside that somehow under pressure makes the drugs flow through the tube.....it's not at all like an I.V bag, no pump to come on and make noise.     Anyhow, my port is about an inch and a half away from the straps too,  so it's kinda no where near where they would rub.  Mine is actually placed where it is barely noticeable, if I wear a lower cut top or bathing suit it doesn't show then either.  Seatbelts have not been an issue.    When  hooked up  my nurses seem to love the tape.....the tape is uncomfortable because they seem to just pack it on!!!   This I find the most uncomfortable.  The used to use this thin clearish tape, but recently they've got their hands on this very wide white tape they just seem to love to use in layers going under the bra!!    Be sure to wear a top that you can either unbutton  or pull down so they can get at it easily.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2167
Joined: Mar 2010

Some use the bottle, others use the pump.  The bottle is quiet, but also more variable in the delivery time.  My friend often found hers was empty many hours before it was supposed to be, where as the pump administers on a precise schedule - your last drop is administerd 46 hours after they hook it up and start it.  I had the pump, and hated the little "bzzt" sound every 1 1/2 minutes.  The bottle sounds much nicer (literally and figuratively.)

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

Yeah, my bottle always empties ahead of schedule......the nurse said it depended on how well your port works....some flow more smoothly with less resistance and therefore the bottle empties sooner.....my empties probably about 6 hours before it's supposed to.     The bottle is  bulkier than  the pump.....I had the pump for I.V. antibiotics and it lies much flatter to your body therefore easier to hide under clothes.....but the whizzing was bothersome.  

Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

Had to be devised by a man because no woman would come up with that idea!!  I had it too and HATED it.  Mine used to empty longer than schedule.  The chemo nurses told me it was temperature regulated.  Empties faster when it's warmer and slower when it's colder.   My port is situated a bit higher on my chest so it's exposed  unless I wear something up to my neck so during the colder weather it was always cold.  When  I covered it with gauze to help keep the even temp. or wore a sweater for those 2 days it worked like it was supposed to.


Posts: 172
Joined: Jul 2012

I was given a zippered cover to put over my bottle pump and it had a clasp that I used to hook it to the belt loop of my jeans.  I kept the tubing under my top.  I didn't wear a bra at all when I was connected to the pump.  The seatbelt is an issue as it lays directly above my port so I'm always moving it.  After 4 years, it's more habit than anything as I can't feel my port anymore unless I hit it hard.   At night, I found that placing the pump under my pillow worked best.  That way I didn't kink the tubing or pull on it if I moved around in bed.  You'll figure out what works best for you.  Good luck with chemo tomorrow Smile

Posts: 308
Joined: Mar 2012

Mine is also right where my bra strap hits..so I wear a stretch bra that pulls over my head, not a sports bra..they hurt too tight, it doesn't have much if any support but luckily I am less than blessed in that area Laughing.  You may find, your seatbelt will bother it as well.  The pump..my pump and I did not like each other, I attempted it 3 times and then got put on ..crap..can't remember the name..anyway..  My pump was carried around in a fannie pack and at night I would hang it on my bed post.  You should receive some papers with it in case you have any issues.  My first trip home, it stopped pumping had to call the 800 #, they sent a tech from 60 miles away to come look at it, he replaced my needle, that wasn't the issue so I lost a bag of chemo, the second time, before I left the city to come home, ended up in the ER because the dang thing quit working (it beeps when it isn't happy) and had another needle put in, the next morning I wake up covered in chemo because the needle was not flush and it leaked,  the 3d time, it just didn't work..  sorry to be so negative but would rather you be aware of issues than be blind like I was!  I think my pump secretly knew I hated that fannie pack! Smile

Now that I've totally been negative, I hope you have a positive experience!  Stretch bras are the way to go.  Still can't remember the name of those lovely pills I took in place of the pump.. oh well!

Good luck and success with your pump.  I apologize for being so negative!



Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

(knobs/dials) on pump are for so you can shut it off,restart,whatever, if necessary, as its kinda difficult to remember its attached to you...I'd get tubing caught on doorknobs,my legs or arms while sleeping,i'd drop it when standing since i'd forget it was on my lap or next to me in bed(tho given a fanny pack to put pump in i never wore it around waste as still healing from ostomy at time so draped it across shoulder)........Also,learn how to disconnect tubing from port in an emergency:ie-a snowstorm the day you're due to return pump.And never be afraid to call the off-hours emergencey number(makecertain to get one)if you encoiunter any problems or questions/concerns arise....


PS:any significance that i wrote "waste" instead of "waist" here?

Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

I have had a nurse come to the house for disconnect and port flushes for two years now....when I was given the pump for the I.V. anti-biotics she showed me how to operate the pump.   I.v. bags had to be put changed every two days....to save her a trip and me waiting for her to show up  she showed me how to reset the pump and change the I.V. bags myself...I was given three I.V. bags to keep in the fridge and changed them myself.   One night we were all around, kids and their friends and the bag emptied and the alarm went off......they all stopped and stared at me....some one piped up  "should we evacuate"!!!!       Word of warning....do you have a cat???    My cat is FASCINATED with the whole set up  and  tries to pull or play with the tubing,  so I have to keep it welll hidden as it just looks like some dangly play thing for him!!!

Posts: 476
Joined: Jan 2012

I just no longer wear a bra :)

Have the mediport in my chest which doesn't bother me anymore, but then had lung nodule removed by vats wedge resection and the incision is directly under my breast and on my rib cage around the side, both locations where a bra would fit around me and so...FREEDOM!!!  Never liked bras anyway butnew I have a good excuse, well, a better excuse as I always found "I don't like bras" a good enough excuse anyway.  :)

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