Physical restrictions with a chest port?

Mikenh
Mikenh Member Posts: 777

What can’t you do with a chest port?

«13

Comments

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Once It Heals

    I think you are suppossed to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds though for the first 6 weeks to let it fully heal. 

    But other than that, I have had no limitations whatsoever, was told whatever I feel like doing.  I am guessing there may be some limits, but I haved crawled into wrecked cars to help get people out, move them up and down stairs, carry 20 pounds of camera gear running around shooting sports, do pushups etc.  Can even go scuba diving with it, though I have not yet had a chance to get back in the water since this all started.

    Once in awhile I still feel it (so I think) when I stretch. The worst is actually if I have an itch and do not think about it and scratch it.  Been close to three years in me, and it sort of feels strange and/or it stings when I do that.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    NewHere said:

    Once It Heals

    I think you are suppossed to avoid lifting more than 10 pounds though for the first 6 weeks to let it fully heal. 

    But other than that, I have had no limitations whatsoever, was told whatever I feel like doing.  I am guessing there may be some limits, but I haved crawled into wrecked cars to help get people out, move them up and down stairs, carry 20 pounds of camera gear running around shooting sports, do pushups etc.  Can even go scuba diving with it, though I have not yet had a chance to get back in the water since this all started.

    Once in awhile I still feel it (so I think) when I stretch. The worst is actually if I have an itch and do not think about it and scratch it.  Been close to three years in me, and it sort of feels strange and/or it stings when I do that.

    Wow, another six-week reset.

    Wow, another six-week reset. I don't know if I can handle that. The stuff I bring to and from work is 20-30 pounds.

    I guess I won't be able to do shoulder presses, chest presses and lat pulldowns.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,625 Member
    Port side

    I think its just a matter of taking care of it these first seeral weeks, until it heals and sits in place.  I got allot of scar tissue around mine, because I wasn't careful enough. It didn't cause problems during treatment, but the surgeon really had to work hard at getting it out, when it was removed. So be good now, OK.

    Like New, I did anything and everything when it was in there - well, not when it is accessed, then you have to be careful not to dislodge the needle, which is huge, by the way. Just warning you. I nearly fainted when I first saw the needle, but with the right preparation, ie. Lidocaine gel, you feel very little.

    I can post a pic of the needle if you want (now you have taught me how). I always think its best to be forewarned. 

    Tru

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Port side

    I think its just a matter of taking care of it these first seeral weeks, until it heals and sits in place.  I got allot of scar tissue around mine, because I wasn't careful enough. It didn't cause problems during treatment, but the surgeon really had to work hard at getting it out, when it was removed. So be good now, OK.

    Like New, I did anything and everything when it was in there - well, not when it is accessed, then you have to be careful not to dislodge the needle, which is huge, by the way. Just warning you. I nearly fainted when I first saw the needle, but with the right preparation, ie. Lidocaine gel, you feel very little.

    I can post a pic of the needle if you want (now you have taught me how). I always think its best to be forewarned. 

    Tru

    I don't look at the needle

    I don't look at the needle when the nurse hooks me up, or when they take it out. 

  • RichieTheK
    RichieTheK Member Posts: 13
    abita said:

    I don't look at the needle

    I don't look at the needle when the nurse hooks me up, or when they take it out. 

    Don't look at the needle

    The nurses who access my port specifically tell me to turn away because they are concerned about any bacteria in my breath contaminating the needle during the insertion. 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member

    Don't look at the needle

    The nurses who access my port specifically tell me to turn away because they are concerned about any bacteria in my breath contaminating the needle during the insertion. 

    Mine said the same. But I

    Mine said the same. But I wouldn't look regardless.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    This just gets better and

    This just gets better and better.

    Okay, so there's the port in your chest and a big scary needle. Does the port in your chest have a big, scary needle as part of the port or is the big, scary needle put into the port when you have the infusion done? Out of morbid curiouslty, how long is the needle? So everyone else has this experience as well?

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,625 Member
    Mikenh said:

    This just gets better and

    This just gets better and better.

    Okay, so there's the port in your chest and a big scary needle. Does the port in your chest have a big, scary needle as part of the port or is the big, scary needle put into the port when you have the infusion done? Out of morbid curiouslty, how long is the needle? So everyone else has this experience as well?

    Port first, needle second

    So the port looks like a bump under the skin.  Your Onc nurse will prep the area, keeping it sterile, and then the needle will puncture the skin and go into the port.  Sounds awful, but if done properly, you feel nothing more than pressure and maybe a pin prick. 

    After that, they will cover the area with a BIG bandaid with the tube running from the port and then they will first flush the port with a saline solution. The fumes come up into your mouth and taste funny, but it doesn't last more than a minute. After the flush, they will hook you up to your chemo bags. 

    I actually had a video taken on one of my chemo visits. Fun to look BACK on. 

    Tru

     

     

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,625 Member
    And the needle

    Don't let this put you off. 

    Pins and needles

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Mikenh said:

    Wow, another six-week reset.

    Wow, another six-week reset. I don't know if I can handle that. The stuff I bring to and from work is 20-30 pounds.

    I guess I won't be able to do shoulder presses, chest presses and lat pulldowns.

    Yeah Check That For Sure

    The one thing is healing and limits.  Like most things in this all, there may be variances between times and limits for healing and weights.  But that is the one thing to check.  My port is almost three years old, so the time could be different, but for some reason 6 weeks and 10 pounds sound about right.  Those exercises should be fine though after.  

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Trubrit said:

    Port side

    I think its just a matter of taking care of it these first seeral weeks, until it heals and sits in place.  I got allot of scar tissue around mine, because I wasn't careful enough. It didn't cause problems during treatment, but the surgeon really had to work hard at getting it out, when it was removed. So be good now, OK.

    Like New, I did anything and everything when it was in there - well, not when it is accessed, then you have to be careful not to dislodge the needle, which is huge, by the way. Just warning you. I nearly fainted when I first saw the needle, but with the right preparation, ie. Lidocaine gel, you feel very little.

    I can post a pic of the needle if you want (now you have taught me how). I always think its best to be forewarned. 

    Tru

    Yup

    There were a couple of times I caught the tubing on a chair or something when walking around.  "S--t, stop I am about to pull this out of my chest and start bleeding."  For some reason it also made me laugh when the initial shock stopped.  The weirder part was walking around in the summer wiith bulkier clothers so the capsule was not sticking out too much.

  • airborne72
    airborne72 Member Posts: 286 Member
    Be Brave

    Mike:  You can do this.  I was fortunate to have my port installed while I was under for the resection.  So during my recovery I was moving slow due to my resection but the port benefited from it as well.  No problems.  But I will add to the list of what you can't do, or can't do well: shoot a shotgun.

    I have now been infused three times.  What Tru described above is what I have been experiencing.  The only discomfort I feel with my port and needles is when it's time to disconnect and then pull that large piece of tape off your chest.  The needle is not an issue.

    It will take you awhile to remember your pump-bag is part of you when you first leave the oncology clinic.  But after a few near misses (pulls) you will learn that lesson.  Again, referring to what Tru mentioned above about dislodging the needle. 

    One more thing Mike, they will issue you a small hazardous materials spill clean up kit to take home with you.  If the system fails and you spring a leak then you are supposed to use universal caution with the leakage.  Chemo is not something that you want to get on you, just in you.

    Jim

  • NewHere
    NewHere Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Mikenh said:

    This just gets better and

    This just gets better and better.

    Okay, so there's the port in your chest and a big scary needle. Does the port in your chest have a big, scary needle as part of the port or is the big, scary needle put into the port when you have the infusion done? Out of morbid curiouslty, how long is the needle? So everyone else has this experience as well?

    Needle Not Too Bad

    Needle sits pretty much flush on the chest.  The tubing and capsule are a bit more annoying.  Just trying to postiion it.  I slept on couches with my left side down, right side up, chemo pump on hip.  So three days a bit awkward sleeping, showering/sponge bathing.  The tubing can get caught on things if you act dumb like I did, running around a baseball stadium and forgetting things can get caught.  You feel the needle for a couple of seconds.  And after I was done with chemo, I would often forget the cream when getting accessed and it was not bad.

    The key is breathing in deeply and holding breath.  It may be because I have people who access ports all the time, so they are really good at it (much like paramedics are great at line because they are used to doing them in moving ambulances.)  

    The bandage removal is the worst (not bad), you get a waxing :) 

    I know it sounds weird, but I looked at it as something positive as much as possible.  Something like "Screw this, I am allowed to indulge myself, chill out, sleep, watch TV and be a slug for a couple of days, I am entitled.  I am on chemo."  

  • aoccc2015
    aoccc2015 Member Posts: 37
    edited December 2017 #15
    Oh man my powerport sticks

    Oh man my powerport sticks out like crazy lol...but i do all the things i used to do (lifting 40 lbs max over and over) and don't notice anything. Even with it connected to the pump i do whatever.Ive taken my pump out everytime for a year, its easy the bandage is the worst part.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    edited December 2017 #16
    Thanks for the graphic (and

    Thanks for the graphic (and graphics) view of chest ports. I will be on Xeloda so I will only go to the infusion center for Oxyliplatin so I assume that they will put the needle in and take it out and that I won't have to deal with much of anything outside of keeping things clean or covered in-between infusions. If I had known everything that I was going to eventually go through, I'd have had a lot more anxiety along the way.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,625 Member
    Mikenh said:

    Thanks for the graphic (and

    Thanks for the graphic (and graphics) view of chest ports. I will be on Xeloda so I will only go to the infusion center for Oxyliplatin so I assume that they will put the needle in and take it out and that I won't have to deal with much of anything outside of keeping things clean or covered in-between infusions. If I had known everything that I was going to eventually go through, I'd have had a lot more anxiety along the way.

    No need to cover

    You won't need to do anything to your port area inbetween visits. The skin heals over straight after the needle is removed - just like getting an IV - And just as long as you take a shower or have a bath, then there is no more to be done but forget its there. 

    I'm glad you won't have the 5FU pump. Like Jim, I took off with the bag sitting on the couch, and it was not comfortable. Luckily, I did not dislodge the needle. 

    Oxaliplatin nfusion time can be up to three, four hours. Most of the time you will be sitting back in a comfortable chair. I only ever got up to go to the loo. Take a good book. Good music. Blanket. Laptop. Whatever it takes to keep you occupied for that amount of time. 

    I would say 'how exciting', but alas, no. But you will do well. I feel it in my bones. 

    Tru

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    Trubrit said:

    No need to cover

    You won't need to do anything to your port area inbetween visits. The skin heals over straight after the needle is removed - just like getting an IV - And just as long as you take a shower or have a bath, then there is no more to be done but forget its there. 

    I'm glad you won't have the 5FU pump. Like Jim, I took off with the bag sitting on the couch, and it was not comfortable. Luckily, I did not dislodge the needle. 

    Oxaliplatin nfusion time can be up to three, four hours. Most of the time you will be sitting back in a comfortable chair. I only ever got up to go to the loo. Take a good book. Good music. Blanket. Laptop. Whatever it takes to keep you occupied for that amount of time. 

    I would say 'how exciting', but alas, no. But you will do well. I feel it in my bones. 

    Tru

    I was hoping to work during

    I was hoping to work during infusions but I'll have to see the setup in the infusion room. I do have Campbell's Biology to get through and a Chemistry book as well. But I don't know how well I'll be able to concentrate.

  • lizard44
    lizard44 Member Posts: 409
    My port

    My port sticks way out because I'm so thin. The nurse told me that they use longer needles when the port is deeper under the surface. They use a short needle on me. You should ask your doc about limitations. I'm on my second port because a fibrin sheaf formed around the first one. They couldn't draw blood and I had pain when they began an infusion.

    If you do pull the needle out close the clamp right away to stop any additional leakage.

    Grace/ lizard44

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    NewHere said:

    Yeah Check That For Sure

    The one thing is healing and limits.  Like most things in this all, there may be variances between times and limits for healing and weights.  But that is the one thing to check.  My port is almost three years old, so the time could be different, but for some reason 6 weeks and 10 pounds sound about right.  Those exercises should be fine though after.  

    You still have your chemo

    You still have your chemo port after 3 years? I thought they would take it out when the infusions are finished. I hate my chemo port. 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member

    Be Brave

    Mike:  You can do this.  I was fortunate to have my port installed while I was under for the resection.  So during my recovery I was moving slow due to my resection but the port benefited from it as well.  No problems.  But I will add to the list of what you can't do, or can't do well: shoot a shotgun.

    I have now been infused three times.  What Tru described above is what I have been experiencing.  The only discomfort I feel with my port and needles is when it's time to disconnect and then pull that large piece of tape off your chest.  The needle is not an issue.

    It will take you awhile to remember your pump-bag is part of you when you first leave the oncology clinic.  But after a few near misses (pulls) you will learn that lesson.  Again, referring to what Tru mentioned above about dislodging the needle. 

    One more thing Mike, they will issue you a small hazardous materials spill clean up kit to take home with you.  If the system fails and you spring a leak then you are supposed to use universal caution with the leakage.  Chemo is not something that you want to get on you, just in you.

    Jim

    I didn't get a clean up kit.

    I didn't get a clean up kit. I did ask what i do because I have cats and don't want them hurt. And yes, it is kind of funny how easy it is to forget you are attached to the bag.