Help re PICC line

I have just read the threads on the pros and cons of a PICC line, but feel very apprehensive about having one inserted. I have been through chemo with episodes of phlebitis and the torture of cannulation and the blessed relief of radiotherapy. I am on my 8th three weekly dose of Herceptin and now dread each one, due to my useless veins. My onc suggested that I have a picc line inserted. I think the reason I am resisting is because being on the “home run” after chemo (and now having hair!!!) I feel quite unreasonable that it is a “step backwards” totally unreasonable, I know. Any advice out there that can help me decide? I have info leaflets etc, but would like to hear about personal opinions.

Hope that 2009 will be a good year for you all. Apart from the above I feel quite positive, which is a nice feeling.

Love and light

hi judka, I had problems with my veins and had picc line inserted after two epi, it was more of an inconvenience than anything else but I was so grateful for it yes I had phlebitis and infection but the hospital soon cleared this up, weighing up the pros and cons I would definitely go for it, I was able to have my blood tests done from it and also had a blood transfusion through it, by the way my chemo finished yesterday and my line was removed no pain whatsoever. I feel quite free today, I would go for it again if I had to hopefully not but yes I would recommend it, take care junieliz

I had a PICC for my Herceptin as my veins weren’t great.
I hated seeing it and somehow it made me feel as though I was ill and I felt it held up my mental recovery.
I got DVT in my arm after having a second line put in, (the first was removed when I went on holiday and wanted to go swimming) and have been on Warfarin for the past six months. My arm is more swollen than my original affected arm.
I think my experience is quite unusual and most people seem to have found it OK, but with hindsight I wouldn’t have had it.

Good Luck

I too have useless veins. I had a PICC line for 3rd chemo and got a blood clot so it had to come out and then I was on Clexane for 6 months. I then had a central line for the 4th one and had problems with that, ending up with an infection and neutrophils of zero, so I was in a bad way. No more chemo for me after all that, but I did have all 18 Herceptin mostly through a vein inside my elbow which they don’t normally use for chemo but it is ok for Herceptin. If this hadn’t worked, they were going to insert a portacath which I felt was a better option as it is inside your body so doesn’t stop you doing things like swimming. Because the Herceptin treatment goes on for a year and I was back at work, having holidays, going to the gym and swimming etc, I really didn’t want a line again. But I was lucky and the one good vein lasted out. Still I was really apprehensive every time so I understand how you dread each treatment.
Good luck with your decision.

Hello Judy

My onc suggested that I have a line or portacath but I really didn’t want either and said ‘definitely no’. I preferred to carry on with a cannula and I did so through 6 chemos and a year of Herceptin.

When my veins were at their worst they had several attempts to find a vein each time but once I had finished chemo my veins did recover gradually and by the time I got to Herceptin 3 or 4 they were usually managing to get the cannula in pretty quickly.

If you really don’t want a line then stand your ground and refuse. It’s your choice.

Good luck
Anthi x

hi judi had picc line put in while having chemo and got it taken out before surgery as i kept taking infections. but i was glad i had it to start with as it make having chemo and bloods done so much easier.
take care

Thank you everyone who has replied. I have not been on this site for a week or so. After reading your comments I think I will hold out for a bit longer and see if my veins hold out! I have a real gut feeling against having a line put in. Maybe its right to go along with instinct.

Thank you