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Chemo ports - don't tell me what I'm feeling!

Susan Cornett

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Most of the time, I just go with the flow on this whole cancer nonsense. But yesterday aggravated me. I had lab work done last Thursday for yesterday's CT. While I was waiting in the lab, a nurse came to the lab to tell me I was scheduled for a port flush. I said I wasn't because it would be flushed when I had my CT. She insisted so I just let her do it. She went too fast, skipped a step, and bruised my chest.

Fast forward to yesterday. I had my port accessed for my scan. Different nurse said that last nurse's actions aren't what made my port area sore. Excuse me? How many thumb-tack sized needles have you had pushed into your chest in the last week? None? Then you don't know! 

Rant over. Just figure some of you can probably relate. Have a good day, friends. Remember - forward is forward; speed doesn't matter.

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Hi Susan!

Oh I can relate....kinda!

I had a guy doing an IV for an MRI. He was just going the vein route as it was quicker. OMG...he WRECKED my arm! He was training a new guy so I think he was showing off a little and tried a hard to get vein in the middle of my arm. Yeah he didn't get it...but the BRUISE...well I took pics. Took a month to clear. so NEXT MRI..only a week or so later.....I said just have a nurse access my port this time. In case that dude was there again...LOL

So next one they access the port no prob....then afterward when the nurse was removing it...she was talking and may be a lil distracted......and oops she removed it but forgot to flush first. I get to do it again now 2 minutes later just for a flush!🤣

I'm not bashing the port....I like it mostly. Yesterday I had 7 hours of infusions and that port is wonderful for that.

But there are always those lil moments!!


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Kleo - ouch! I did my first round of chemo in 2016 without the port and it was miserable. One session took 7 sticks to get started. I added the port in 2017 for that round of chemo. 

I realize we are not the medical professionals but maybe they should listen to us because we do know what's going on. After one of my surgeries, I had an allergic reaction to betadine and ended up in urgent care getting steroids. When I met with the doctor to place my port, I told him about my reaction and he said it had nothing to do with the betadine and that it was related to that specific surgery. Yeah, I ended up in urgent care two days later with another reaction to the betadine. Argh!

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So, you had an encounter with a Carly Simon nurse! (I'll let that percolate to display my advanced age and vast vein puncturing experience).  

Thankfully and most hopefully, my treatment mayhem is over but not blood donation.  At every oncology consultation, job one is drawing blood and I always seem to get the new idiot that doesn't read the memo! The worst is the admonition "don't worry, it's just a little stick."  My response is always "want to trade places."  Others may read this and therefore I'll link my tome on blood letting for reference.  As always...

Stay the course.


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As and ex-phlebotomist and RN of 33 years, I make sure the person sticking me knows exactly where they stand!!! I’ve seen people stick others for IV or lab draw and they are literally slashing around inside the tissue. Some of these “professionals” don’t realize that the beveled end of a needle is like a razor blade on all edges, making it possible to sever a vessel, muscle fibers  or nerve as well. The first time you sense someone doesn’t seem secure in what they are doing, speak your mind and remember that the patient always has a right to choose their caregiver and that doesn’t mean just the doctor. If any caregiver does not treat you with respect, care and compassion, don’t put up with it. Blessings to all.

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Oh, my goodness!  My port is painful ALL the time.  It always has a rash even though I use cortisone cream on it as I am allergic to the bandages they use.  This is all new for me as I have never had an allergic reaction to adhesive bandages or band-aids in the past, but I do now!  I will be so glad to get rid of this thing.

My last ordeal with lung cancer almost five years ago, I had a PICC line.  I pretty quickly had a DVT that went the entire length of the line and had to have it removed.  Of course, I spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital, most of it in ICU.  Most of my chemo treatments were direct infusions and they had a terrible time finding a "good" vein to use.  Ever since my first cancer, there is only one spot where they can access blood or do IV's because my veins are so bad.  This time I have the port and while I am sure it is better than having direct infusions every time in the one vein that sort of still works, it is very uncomfortable.  I guess I was expecting it to be just a little bump under my skin that I hardly noticed. Boy, I notice and know it is there every single second of every single day! 

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I'm not a doctor but I was in pathology and I have some knowledge of what may be going on. 

  Cortisone cream is shutting down the immune system reaction which is one way to stop a rash etc.. 

  You may need the exact opposite.You may need to activate and let the inflammatory response take care of what is the cause of the skin irritation

   I would go to a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to get you a cream with anti-inflammatory in it. Make sure that it is not a cream that is just a pain killer. Then take the cream and put a little cream on one tiny spot to see if it stops the inflammation. Make sure that the small spot that you are using to test  the cream is free from cortisone.

  See if this helps the irritation


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