Goal posts moved again

Hi all

I have posted this on behalf of Coleen



Having thought i’d gotten away without chemo. Now after long thoughs + discussions I’ve managed to get my head aroundit Date given 4th April… Went for my 6month check up with b surgeon today. he told me I need an op to insert a line because my veins are less than useless. Am I on a slippery slope Or have some others of you brave ladies experienced this as well. How long does it take ? does it hurt . Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.
Best wishes to all

Hi Colleen

I’ve just had the bad news I need a line inserted too, check out the thread Central Line which I started and have had some good feedback. This is under the category Undergoing Treatment: chemotherapy.

Hope it helps and good luck


Hi Coleen and Val

I have had a Hickman line inserted because of my crap veins.

The procedure was done with a local anaesthetic and a sedative, but I was awake throughout, it was uncomforatble but it was not painful, it was a little tender once the local had worn off but that only lasted a few hours, I have had it in almost 2 months now and it is not at all painful, in fact I dont really know I have it there, it is situated almost near my bra strap so I cant really wear anything too strappy, but then I rarely do.

I have had 2 lots of chemo through it and I am really glad I have had it put, I do not need to have a needle inserted everytime and they can take blood from it as well. I have heard many people having awful problems with phlebitis and painful veins.

You just have to be careful with infections because it is another infection site but mine has been fine.

The thought of having a line put in is far worse than actually having it put, so please do not worry about it, if I can cope with it I am sure you can


Thanks Linda, really positive and encouraging news for me. The hospital mentioned local anaesthitic but I will ask about the sedaitve if not offered. Also it helps reading how many others have these crap veins, I thought I was unique!!

Since my last posting I felt a strange sensation in my head and yeah, my hair is on its way out. Bad timing when I have the line to cope with, one thing at a time please!

Mmm, is that a sore throat coming on, hope not!

Val x

Hi Colleen,

I had 2 lots of chemo last year, 6 months the first time and 3 months the second. I was recommended a line as my veins were very weak but didn’t like the idea of it. I am also terrified of needles.

I managed to go without with the help of the nursing staff and their tireless patience. I was given sedatives to take the night before and the morning of my treatment which calmed me down and being relaxed (I believe) helped the staff get the needle in each time. Also, I wore gloves to the hospital and whilst I was waiting for treatment to keep my hands warm and they had to soak my hands in hot water every time.

I realise that this may not work for everyone but it might be worth asking again. I know that the lines do make it easier for the nurses but maybe it is not absolutely necessary…

On the other hand, I met many people with the lines in and they were always in and out of the chemo room much quicker than me.

I wish you lots of luck.

Lorna x

Hi Lorna, Thankfully I’m not at all scared of needles I just seem to be running out of veins. whilst in hosp for surgery in Nov. they had to resort to taking blood from my feet!!. Encouraging news from others though! I wonder what is the difference between Hickman + Picc Lines. My surgeon seem to be referring to one that is covered with a flap of skin. Anybody know which one that is ? As usual its great hearing from others in the same boat. Good health to one + all.

Hi Linda. Thanks very much for your input. Once again it sounds do-able. Great to hear from you . i wish you all the very best.
Coleen x

Hi Coleen,

I wonder if your surgeon is talking about a portacath? This would be completely under the skin - no tubes coming out. It is a small dome shaped port that is embedded under the skin - mine is just below my collarbone on left side but some are just above the breast. A special type of needle is then inserted thru the skin over the port and is a relatively painless procedure. Not sure if i am explaining it that well - but it saves the hunt ever time for a vein and because it is all under the skin the risk of infection is cut right back.


Hi Dawn hc, Thanks for that . I do recall he was talking about it being under the skin + less prone to infection. I hadn’t picked up on the name. So thanks a lot All the best



Thanks for relaying the info on the portacath, this sounds more like I was expecting rather than a tube hanging halfway down your body!! Gonna ask about that on Monday, especially if it is less risk of infection.


Val x