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Chemo Delayed


OhioKat

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I started chemo on the 9th with a marathon 8 hour treatment, but when I went back in this past friday for the next treatment they tried for over an hour to get an IV started on me but it just wasn't going to happen.

So now I have an appointment Wednesday for a consult for putting in a port. Which means I will end up missing next weeks chemo also, since after the consult they will have to schedule the actual insertion of the port. God help the Dr if he tries to tell me I don't need one, I will hurt him in ways he didn't know we're possible. I should have brought up a port as soon as I found out I was going into treatment again, but I was a bit shell shocked to tell the truth and I totally forgot about it before the treatments started.

Its hard to know how to feel about missing the chemo.. on one hand I'm concerned about any delays in my treatment but on the other, I'm just starting to feel human again just from that one treatment. I'm soooo not looking forward to how gakky chemo makes me feel. Not that I think anyone ever actually looks forward to chemo & its after effects.

I'm sure someone here's probably had a port so I'm wondering how that went.. where was yours? was it painful? after the initial insertion were you able to kind of 'forget' it was there?

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My dad did not get a port and in the end he (we all) wished he had. The pain in his arms was so evident (he was black and blue) and god forbid if ever there was an emergency and they couldn't find a vein....then what?

So many sticks from needles and I don't think I will ever forget my big strong dad's face wincing from the pain of yet another nurse not being able to get it in a vein the first go round. Every single day it seemed.

There will be others here with "real" experience with and without a port. The pros and the cons. But from the observation side of this, I sure wish dad would have had one...we were just getting serious and talking about it when he had that last terrible turn- so he didn't get the chance.

Whatever you decide will be right for you. Sending prayers and positive thoughts you way....

Love,

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I have a port, and I am so glad i do, my chemo is 3 days a week every 3rd week. My veins are very hard to access, the never ending supply of blood for lab work has to come from the small veins in my hands, so that they are often bruised and sore. Thats were IV's go for cat scans as well. With out the port I don't think I would be this far!

No It doesn't hurt, mine is located on the left chest wall about 2 inches above my heart, and about 2 inches from my arm pit. It is a little tender for a couple days after chemo, but most of the time i don't even notice it. When they put it in, they sent me to sleepy land, so i didn't feel a thing. :) I started my chemo the very next day.

Hope this helps

Blessings

Betty

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It is a good thing that you are getting a port. They should even be able to use it for blood tests. I took Cisplatin and now have little scars over the back of my hand and forarm, just from where they pulled out the needle. One week delay won't make that much difference. Hope all goes smooth . Keep us posted. Donna G

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I have a port and am so glad I got it. It is in my upper right side of my chest and does not hurt a bit. It does hurt if you get hit there like my 2 year old can do. The only problem I had was that the catheter floated up into my neck and I had to have a proceedure done to pull it back down to where it was supposed to be but that was not that bad.

David C

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Earl has NO veins and has had a port installed. He has never complained about it and appears to have had no problems.

It was not used for CT scans until the last one. They could get into a vein but then it would collapse, poor baby. Now they put in the dye through the port. Downside to this is that they have to take more pictures and supposedly the films are not quite as clear.

Get an RX for Emla cream. It numbs the skin on top of the port so you feel less discomfort when they insert the needle into the port. But the nice thing is when you go for chemo, they only put the needle in once, when you get blood taken and then they leave a 'tail' there for the chemo.

As Martha would say, the port is a good thing.

Good luck.

Ginny

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My wife has hard-to-get-at veins and had a port installed before her chemo began. Unfortunately, the first one (under the breast skin just under the right collar bone) got infected (one of the risks) and had to be removed. Then a second was installed on the left side and that one has served her well. The port must be cleaned with saline and heparin solutions after each use. My wife finished with chemo last May, but still has the port, just in case. She is not even aware of it most times. Good luck. Don

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I wish I would have had a port installed prior to treatment. I WILL get one if I need chemo again although they said it will be more difficult with svcs as the veins have all shifted in my upper body to compensate. It has been 4 months since I completed chemo and I STILL have a large black and blue mark on my arm from the 1 vein they could always find, lol. I asked the Dr. about it and he said it may always stay that way! I always had good veins until this and now they are little, rolly polly things that it takes 3 or 4 sticks to get!

God Bless,

MO

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Hi Kat,

I did not get a port. I am a very vascular person, but my veins began to roll towards the end. What they would do here at Sammon's Cancer Treatment Center is like a temporary port. The nurse would insert some kind of a different IV with a line, then use that line for atleast three days before removing it. After chemo, the line was heavily taped and bandaged to keep from bumping it till the next day. It saved time and pain.

Cheryl

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Hi Kat,

I did not get a port. I am a very vascular person, but my veins began to roll towards the end. What they would do here at Sammon's Cancer Treatment Center is like a temporary port. The nurse would insert some kind of a different IV with a line, then use that line for atleast three days before removing it. After chemo, the line was heavily taped and bandaged to keep from bumping it till the next day. It saved time and pain.

Cheryl

They had actually tried something like that towards the end of my chemo the last time but it didn't even last till the next day. The nurses then had suggested a port in case I needed a chemo again, but like I said I was kind of numb when I got the diagnosis again this time & I just didn't think about it.

I will know more after Wednesday's appointment for the consult.

((hugs))

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Kat,

3 years later I still have my port. I get to use it to have bloodwork done from my periodic visits to the oncologists, instead of going down stairs to the laboratory the insurance company uses for venipuncture.

I insist they use it for CT and MRI scans, so I'm not all sore and bruised going back to work.(My "great" veins weren't so great after chemo, wouldn't support a catheter for contrast).

I still have it for two reasons. One, to have it removed would be elective surgery, and I elect to have no surgery unless absolutely necessary...lol.

Second. I believe in Murphy. If I have it removed... I'll wish I hadn't. So sue me, I'm Irish and I DO believe in Muphyisms.

All that aside, Yes, even if you have good veins, its a good idea for the long term. Short outpatient surgical procedure to have it done. Very useful gadget. Good luck.

You're in my prayers.

MaryAnn

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I had the consult today and the port will be inserted on Monday next week. This isn't one I've seen before as there will be nothing hanging out of the body, its got a quarter size disk kind of thing that will be entirely under my skin and they will just jab the IV needles into it so I'm still going to end up getting poked on a weekly basis.

I guess thats better then the jab & search I've had to have in my hands & arms. I'm guessing that I'll have a bruise on my chest pretty much all the time though from the pokes. The doc said this is a better one with much less chance of infection.

What really sucks is that I'm not scheduled until 4:45 PM on Monday but they say I have to be NPO (nothing by mouth) after 12 AM so its going to be like 18 hours before I can eat anything. I'm going to be sicker then a dawg, even being late for breakfast makes me nauseated sick feeling. This is going to be miserable. *sigh*

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Daggone, that is an unreasonably long time w/o food and drink. I think you should talk to your doc or someone and see what is reasonable. One time Dave was having something done late in the day and I remember they revised his nothing by mouth order so he could eat first thing in the morning.

The port you describe is exactly what Dave has. I think most of them are like that these days. My oncology surgeon (for my melanoma) was telling us he put the first port in, in our area, and "back then" they had the tube thing permanently sticking out, so the disk under the skin thing is a huge improvement.

The nurses in the emergency room used Dave's port for just about everything they did to him. I have terrible veins and not so fond memories of all the blood draws I had done during infertility treatments. Wish I'd had a port then! I told the emergency room doc I was thinking about getting my own port, just for the heck of it! Ha!

Hang in there, and your chemo will start again soon and you will be glad of the port. Only a temporary delay.

God Bless,

Karen C.

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Kat,

Double check on that time with your procedure. When doing all the crap around my gall bladder, someone scheduled my function test in the afternoon... I had had to get back in contact with my GPs nurse over a pre-surgery check up and mentioned to her that it was in the afternoon and she told me that somebody had screwed up, they want those tests all completed before noon...so I called the schedulers back and guess what! My appointment time went from 2P to 7A because they prefer to have those complete before noon! Hmmmmm....maybe someone should put a note on the code for that procedure, ya think?

Also, check to see if you can have just water - it does put SOME weight in your tummy so it's not so grumbly....

Becky

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When the nurse told me the time I was pretty unhappy about it and suggested that I could get up early that & have a breakfast & still only have to go 12 hours without eating but then she told me the only problem with that is that there is a chance they will call me early incase of cancellations or what have you so it would be best to not eat after midnight.

Now you know what will happen, if I don't eat something early or when I wake up they willnot call me in early but if I do breakdown and eat something they will. Part of me is tempted to just say the hell with it and have a breakfast and tell them NO if they call me in early, after all I made baby sitting arangements based on my appointment time and babysitting isn't not always very easily shifted & changed, then again, if I don't eat and they call me in at noon its a lot less time without eating.

I just feel kind of whiney and goofy on this, I mean with everything else going on in my life I'm pissing & moaning about eating? Except I seriously feel like crap if I skip breakfast and the longer I go without eating the worse I get. And you know if I'm not scheduled until 4:45 its going to be6 or 7 before I can eat. Thats a hella long time :(

I just think that its wrong for them to ask anyone to go that long without eating or drinking anything.. I can't even confuse my stomach with water or juice. *sigh* sorry for keeping going on and on about this.

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Guest Karen C

Hey - don't feel like you're whining and pissing and moaning over nothing. I think you're very justified in feeling that way. I know I would, and I'm no wimp when it comes to medical stuff, ask Dave.

And the cynical side of me (although I prefer to think of it as the realistic side of me) thinks that even if they call you to come in early, they're still going to leave you laying around naked under a sheet in the hallway on a guerny or something for an unreasonably amount of time so if you do eat in the morning you'll probably be fine 'cause by the time they actually do your procedure it will be 12 hours anyway. Plus, the time you're under a general for inserting that port if very short.

My two cents worth.

Hang in there and keep us posted,

Karen C.

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Kat, DavidC is right. That's too long without food or drink. Eight hours of fasting before a procedure is plenty; talk to your doc about it. You should not have to fast for an unreasonably long time to make their operative scheduling more convenient! If an earlier time comes open, so what???? Give it to the poor person whose procedure was scheduled for 5:45. (I just hate this doctor-friendly, patient-unfriendly attitude of hospitals.)

The type of port you are having implanted is the kind Emla cream will help with. You smear the cream on top at home before you go in for chemo, then by the time they puncture the skin, it will be numb. Works well. It shouldn't bruise. The port is a good move. I'm sure everyting will go smoothly.

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Dennis had his port on the far upper left side of his chest and it was also under the skin. He had this done at the very beginning, right after diagnosis. I am so thankful it was there and saved him so much pain and discomfort. He never had any problems with the port and would even forget it was there. On somes day, when he was on a 5 day in a row routine they would leave the line in the port and just tape it up to his chest. Our kittens loved to sit on his lap and rest their heads on his chest. When the tube was left in they were really tempted to play! I would definitely speak with your doctor about that long length of time being NPO. Best of luck on Monday. I will keep you in my prayers!

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Find out who your anesthesiologist will be. Then ask to speak with him/her the day or two before surgery. Explain your situation. Many will let you drink clear fluids up to 6 hours before surgery, especially since this procedure is usually done with sedation and not a general anesthetic.

Good luck,

Faylene

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I agree-PORTS are the only way to go. You can get that cream that was mentioned that numbs the skin BUT you have to put it on about thirty minutes before the port is accessed. I forgot the first time so they just stuck the needle in and it barely hurt so I never messed with the stuff. I have had my port almost 3 years now and just have to go in 1 time a month (when I am not in chemo) to have it flushed. You will LOVE it. No more hunt and stick! Cindy

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