Jump to content

Ports vs No Port-Pressure from Nurses


ursol

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I only have one more cycle of chemo during this round of treatment and then if all goes according to plan (which I am hopeful for), I will have 3 more rounds of chemo in late late fall. I have managed to get through five rounds without a port but I have terrible veins and only one nurse is able to stick me on the first try. Because of that the pressure for me to get a port from the nurses is driving me crazy. I don't want a port because they want it to be easy for them. I have enough in my life going wrong so this is one thing I do not want added to my body.. why is that so hard for them to understand..

Anyhow my nurse Sue was not working for my 5th cycle and the poor nurse that was assigned to me made so many mistakes, I think I was making her nervous.

Am I unreasonable about this?

Lilly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lilly, I have crummy veins and refused to get port too...It felt like one more creepy thing to do, and I just couldn't make myself. But no one complained about it, they just wrapped my arms in hot towels, and started using veins on tops of my hands when they had to.

I'm not sure about the health aspects, but if you don't want a port, and don't mind the pain, then they should be able to find spots for IV. Maybe there is someone experienced in ER or another department that can be called over to infusion during your next treatment? Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course, in the beginning we didn't know what port the doctors and nurses were talking about. They were not pushy but kept dropping the idea. Down the road, having a port is the only way to go. Without one the veins get very weak and close up causing a lot of pain and bruising. Once installed, life gets a lot easier not harder. It can be used for drawing blood for tests, Chemo, Blood Transfusions, IVs while in hospital, and on and on, Emergency IVs for chemo reactions, you don't want to depend on bad veins for that. My wife loves it.

Take care of yourself - peacefully - Chuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lilly ... on my first chemo they had one heck of a time hitting vein. They wanted to save the ones on the inside of the elbow for any future use and it took three attempts to with warm towels etc. to get one on top of my arm. Next thing I knew I had a call from my Oncologists office saying they understood I wanted a port. I told them I though it was more for the safety of the nurse that was hooking me up to chemo. (LOL I really would not have hit her, honest). Anyway, I went ahead and lo and behold when they put the port in my lungs were in such bad shape that they collapsed what I thought was my good lung and I spent a 5 days in the hospsital. It is in there now and when I last talked to the folks they say most doctors like to leave them in for a year or so with regualr washing out so that in case they are needed again they are readily available. I will say it is less painful and take a lot less time for chemo now but I say the final decision is yours to make. Keep smiling.

Judy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one ever asked me to get a port. I really had lots of big fat juicy viens on my hands and forearms. I did not realize either that if the chemo that I got ever infiltrated the tissue could have sloughed off! I found out that it is recommended my chemo be given through a central line! ( or port) I made it through all of the many weeks of chemo. I now have many many little scars where every needle was pulled out, probably just a drop of the chemo was left when they pulled the needle out. Knowing what I know now, I would encourage anyone to get a port, it is also useful for blood draws.

Donna G

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I could not imagine going through this without a port, but I guess the decision is yours.

The port can be used for drawing blood, MRI contrast as well as chemo. There is no pain, no bruises and no collapsed veins. My port can hardly be seen - the nurses have to feel for it.

Are you sure there will be no additional chemo? I'm on my 3rd regimen.

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have one YET. Every time I go, I'm waiting for them to suggest it as my veins are shot.

They do manage to all get my needle in on the first try, so I've been lucky, after the hot towels, etc.

I wouldn't resist the port, as I've heard many very good things from members of the board, whom I totally trust. And, as Maryann says, how do you know this is your last chemo? good point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't get a port when I had my first chemo. Near the end of my chemo, it became more difficult for the nurses to find a good vein for blood draws and chemo infusion but they managed.

Three months after my last chemo I went for a CT scan and it took the technician six attempts to find a good vein for the contrast infusion and I ended up looking like a battered woman with all the bruises on my arm. Quite honestly, that CT scan was the worse part of my cancer experience to date.

So when my oncologist said I had to have more chemo, I insisted on a port. I had it inserted last Tuesday and it was used one week later. I am so very grateful that I had the port put in. It was alot easier on both me and the nurses and I know that my next CT scan IV won't be so awful.

Pam in FL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't get a port and was happy at the time that no one insisted. But, now, pretty much all of my veins are shot in my right hand, and since I had lymph nodes removed from my left side for breast cancer, I don't want them using my left hand for needle sticks. Consequently, it has become really difficult to get a good vein for a CT with contrast, which is going to be happening every year now. I was absolutely in tears over the CT I had in June.

There is another option that was mentioned with me and that's a PICC line. I don't know much about it but it's less invasive than a port and only temporary. Maybe you could ask about that?

Cindy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lilly:

The decision is yours -- if you don't want one, none of those nurses should be pressuring you to get one.

I had wished that someone would have told us about the port option for mom -- no one ever mentioned it until I learned about it here and saw others with theirs at the cancer center. Mom had notoriously hard to find veins and she was so mutilated by the time she got her last chemo! Plus, some of the labs were coming back strange and incompleted because the samples were hemolyzed -- the doctor told us that that was from "squashed red blood cells" from damage to the veins at the draw site.

Some of the spots they used in her veins just made the chemo. drag on way too long as well -- there were times she had to have her arm "just so" or the drips would stop -- hard to keep things still when you are dozing off, or fidgeting from the drugs and can't stay still, or the arm position you need to maintain for 3-4 hours is really uncomfortable! One chemo session went on for 7 hours because of this.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first day of chemo:

They stuck me 11 times when trying to get an I.V. in. I am so thankful that I was able to get the port. Couldn't imagine going through that each time. I have a tiny scar and that's about it.

It has worked every time and served it's purpose well.

GOD BLESS!!

Jamie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan had a port after his 1st chemo as he has terrible viens.

His port had to be removed and he then had pic lines

and both made all his test and IV so much easier on him.

He had neither in when he had his biopsy a few weeks

back and it was just terrible watching the nurses try

and find a vien they could use. They stuck my poor man so many times.

I was wishing he still had his port in.

Just my opinion as a caregiver, I have not experience

any of what you patients go through, just know how

hard it was for me to watch Alan being stuck that many times. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my port inserted before my first chemo session, so I don't know the difference between having it and not having it. I do know that as treatment progressed, it became harder for techs to draw blood from inside my elbows and hands as the veins became weaker and weaker.

5 months since my last chemo treatment, I still have the port and have it flushed every 8 weeks. My doc. says it will be removed in time, but I've grown superstitious about it -- I figure its like an umbrella, if I have it, it won't rain.

Whatever decision you make, I hope things work out well for you.

Trish

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lilly,

Most medical personnel try and make the port sound like it is mandatory. Baaahhhhhh!!! Tony and I call the PORT "that four letter word that starts with P". His brother and sister both had really bad experiences with ports, so Tony said "No way."

He has been through 20 cycles of chemo (if you count the "double cycles" it comes up to 32) and so far, so good with NO port. His veins have become crappy, and they wrap him with a heating pad to bring the veins up. He also tries to drink as much fluid as he can in the morning to plump up those veins. His arms look like he's some kind of junkie, but he's happy with his choice. Our Doc's nurses are also the greatest and very understanding of his choice.

It's all a matter of personal preference. Just thought I'd throw in my two cents for what it's worth.

Good luck

Welthy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you decide to get the port, keep in mind that CT cannot use it - their contrast material must go in rapidly with too much force for the port.

My mom went through 5 or 6 lines of chemo before getting a port. The infusions did go more efficiently, but she also had to wait longer for a blood draw as the lab techs were not certified to draw from the port.

Also, my mom was very thin and the port hurt for a few weeks, and it stuck out. She was self-conscious about it and worried the kids would bump it when hugging her, etc.

The surgeon who placed it said it could remain indefinitely as long as it was flushed regularly.

If you don't want it, tell the nurses to lay off about the subject. It's not open for debate right now. Besides, you can always decide to have a port placed later, if needed.

~Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Port or not is definitely up to the patient. Lucie was asked if she wanted one initially and her veins are so poor she opted for it. She has had one for over 3 years now, and really likes it.

I would say, if you can't see the benefits of having one, you don't need it. Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When John started chemo he started without a port because we were rushed through so fast. During an infusion his vein leaked. They had to stop the infusion and send for a drug to neutralize the chemo. They gave him approximately 15 injections around the site -- as you can imagine this was not pleasant. He had a port installed after that and he loves it. Don't think about what the nurses want, think about what is best for you-- it may be a port.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Lilly even though Gary had great veins it soon got difficult to put the IV poison in him and he also had only one nurse that did a great job. He has said if he ever needs chemo again he will have a port. We could see how easy and fast things went with the one's with the port and the few without it.

Good luck.

Lorrie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's completely up to you!!

I remember the awful pain my dad went thru and his arms were black and blue. It was so painful for him and so hard and heartbreaking for us to watch with each infusion, injection, transfusion, IV, etc..... It just kept getting worse.

It sounds really scary when a "surgery" is suggested to insert a port- but after what he went thru, he told me he should have gotten it done.

There are lots of folks here with first-hand experience that will share with you the pros and cons- It's absolutely your decision and your alones to make.

Good luck!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you..

The more I read the more I think a Port would have been a great idea but now I only have two cycles left this winter unless my scans come back badly now. If it turns out I have to do alot of Chemo again I would probably opt for the port.

Lilly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do what you think will be best for you, Lilly. I am thinking for me that I don't want one until I absolutely have to have one. I have (hopefully) just one more 6 days of chemo and the nurses will leave the stent in for the week for the chemos that are consecutive-daily. Suppose it would be best, to get the port though, if my veins ever got real terribly bad. The best to you. Patty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.