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Mom's port has infection


tjrasMOM

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Well, I posted here a while back asking people their opinions on ports. Finally, once Mom was out of the hospital this summer, she decided to get one. We had to wait until blood counts were up since Gemzar knocks out blood cell counts. So, 2 weeks ago she gets one put in even though her platelets were only 51. But the surgeon and the oncologist and the pulmonary specialist never seem to be on the same page. The surgeon didn't seem to care so much about blood counts, where as the oncologist was kind of panicked about it all. And with good reason because it didn't heal properly and now has an infection. So, this surgeom tells Mom last week that he thinks he'll take it out this Thursday and put it on the other side!! HELLO!? Are you crazy? I mean, she had her gemzar / carbo cocktail last Thursday (they decided NOT to use the port though...) and so now her blood counts will be down again. There's no way they can open the little incision up & make another one. I swear, I wish they'd all get on the same page. And since Mom had a big 5 week break from chemo over the summer, she's not used to the fatigue & nausea again. It is such a rollercoaster ride.....

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I am so sorry your mom has to go through that. I agree the surgeon should have known better. I would still move the port when her counts come back up. By the end of my chemo it would take over an hour with every nurse poking me to try and find a vein. It was horrible and I would hate your mom to go through that to. I hope everything turns out good for your mom.

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Well, I guess what she needed was another week. It seems to have healed. She had chemo on Thursday and said she couldn't believe that she's gone all this time without a port! She was SO HAPPY to have the port for Thursday's chemo. It appears to have healed but just for safety her oncologist lowered her Gemzar dose so that she would continue healing.

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That's great news!! I know alot of patients are really scared to get the port at first, but I also hear those same people revel in the ease versus getting into (or failing to get into) those arm veins each and every time.

Lots of postive thoughts that things continue to go well!

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I'm happy to hear the infection has cleared up. My port incision took its sweet time healing, probably because my chemo started just a few days after installation and included Avastin. There's a 28-day waiting period after major surgery (thoracotomy in my case) before Avastin can be used, and that was met, but the onc and surgeon decided that didn't apply to the port installation. My port incision got red and tender a week after the first Taxol/Carbo/Avastin infusion -- they had a phone conference about it while I was in the onc's office, and I was put on oral antibiotics as a precaution. It was red again when I went in for the third cycle infusion, and I got oral antibiotics once again.

In retrospect I think some sort of waiting period should have applied to the port incision too, but I was delighted to get the full treatment started ASAP and didn't make an issue of it. There was no infection, and it healed nicely after a while.

Aloha,

Ned

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