PICC line

Hi, sorry its me again. They have offered to fit a PICC line has anyone else gone down this route? Did you find it ok whilst having your treatment - really not sure what to do about this. Having Chemo induction tomoorrow, but would love to hear from anyone. Thanks again.

I had a terrible time with my veins on chemo, because I was also going to have 1yr of herceptin I was offered either a PICC line or a portacath.

I went for a portacath, in fact I had it taken out last Wednesday. The people I met who had a picc line all said it was great. They said the only down side was it had to be kept dry, so bathing or showering had to become a bit inventive, but far far better than trying to find disappeaing veins in the wonderful game of hunt the good vein in the chemo unit.

Hi Krissie

If you are having 6 FEC, the Epirubicin (the ‘E’ bit) is very tough on veins, so it might be worth serious consideration.


Hi Krissie

Like you i was looking for advice on picc lines a little while ago and had lots of people say how great they were and only a couple said they had problems, unfortunately i turned out to be one of the minority that has had problems. I have just got home from a 2 day stay in hospital as my temp shot thru the roof couple of nights ago, i had an infection in my picc line, dont know how as ive been really careful with it but i dont think it ever properly settled as ive not been able to straighten my arm since ive had it but thought this was normal. They have had to take it out now so only one chemo went through it. I am now having to have next one through canula before i can get fitted for a hickman line which is in the chest area.

Just thought you should have both sides of the coin info. It does seem to work out for many people tho so its completely up to you. Best of luck x

Hi Krissie, I had 6 FEC and had a PICC line fitted after the first one as they found it very hard to get a vein. I am so glad that I did, its great for Chemo and getting your bloods taken. District nurse came every week to change dressing and flush out the line, only problem I had was that it leaked once but it was replaced that same day. When I was taking a bath or shower I just wrapped that arm in cling film and it was fine.
Hope all goes well for you.

Hi Krissie,

If you can , ask …Portacath all the way, the tampax of catheters !! You can sing, dance and get it wet !!! Good luck x

I had a picc line fitted in time for my 3rd EC chemo. Best thing I ever did! No problems now and no pain! Mine has been in since July and I made some nice covers that slip over it and keep everything nicely in place.

Thank you once again for your comments, very useful info. Great. Best Wishes

Hi Krissie

I started my chemo with 3 FEC but by the time I had had the last one my veins had packed up so even having blood samples taken became problematic. Because I will be on herceptin for a year I had a port inserted ready for my 3 Docetaxels. I wasn’t too keen on the idea, but they have to get the stuff into you somehow, and because of having herceptin every 3 weeks for a year I opted for the port. No need to have it flushed weekly, no risk of infection and no risk of it leaking or getting pulled out either. Hopefully, my veins will improve with time.

Hello Krissie
I was one of the lucky ones. It weas suggested to me that I had a PICC as I was having my chemotherapy every fortnight so lots of ins and outs. The chemo nurse said it was to preserve my veins for my long life ahead.
I have to say it has been troublefree apart from the nurse putting it in. Se was experienced, it didn’t hurt, bit it wanted to go the wrong way! You have to go to xray to check it’s in the right place. It took 4 hours to get it right. We were both on the verge of tears or screaming at the end. After that it has been very well behaved.
You have to have it flushed once a week, only takes a few minutes and it painless.
I did have to go into hospital a couple of extra times during chemo and had antibiotics immediately via the PICC, no problem.
I finished chemo nearly three weeks ago and my PICC will be removed on Monday.
Hurrah! Good luck with yours.

Hi ladys i have to have a central line wich goes in under skin by the coller bone , as had bilatral mastectomy so cant use my arms , will come back and let you no how it goes as having fitted next week for chemo . Has anyone eles had a central line xx bev

i had a portacath fitted in Dec 2009 and had it removed 2 weeks ago. As I had finished treatment. It is wonderful and so easy to use for the chemo nurses for blood tests and chemo.

I had a centre-line fitted after my veins damaged by Chemo-drugs. It made the chemo much easier and did not give me any problem. It was removed after my Chemo finished. Anyone who has been offered a centre-line should take it.

Hi there, I had a PICC line fitted after a friend of mine who is a chemo nurse said if it was her going thru it she would have one so I did. For me it was thebest thing, easy for bloods, administering the drugs and my husband cleaned and flushed it each week at home. It was painless being done and didnt feel a thing when it was taken out. Ibought one of those plastic sleeves that covered my hand and arm whilst in the shower which worked a treat. hope everything goes ok for you. Ness xxx (I had 4 fec and 3 tax, lumpectomy, axillary clearance, and radiotherapy now on tamoxifen) x

I was supposed to have a PICC line put in after they had three goes trying to put the needle in for my first FEC. Trouble was, when it came to put the line in they had four goes and couldn’t do it! I came home bruised all over my arm. Luckily (and hope it continues) I have had no problems up to know with the needle all happens first time after heat pack. 2 more sessions to go on TAX and I can’t wait to finish - FEC I was quite OK with - TAX is a different matter altogether and am not looking forward to my next session at the end of November.

Yes, I agree with you on TAX being a different matter altogether.
I started with 3 FECs followed by 3 Docetaxels and I know which of the 2 I prefer!!! OK - the FEC made my veins collapse so that I now have a sub-cutaneous port inserted as I am on Herceptin for a year, and I was sick on the 1st evening after FECs 1 & 2, and it did give me a headache, but compared to the ‘Dreaded Docetaxel’ FEC is a doddle. I am now 6 weeks after my last Docetaxel and the dreaded chemo gremlins are still hanging on in there! I have swollen ankles due to fluid retention which is making my legs ache and feel like lead weights, I feel and look like a barrage balloon, and my feet and fingers tingle like mad. I feel worse now than I did after each of my docetaxel doses, and my chemo nurse said that this is often the case with residual chemo effects hanging around for a couple of months after the last chemo dose. My hair is beginning to grow back, albeit fuzzy so that I look like a ‘fuzzy-wuzzy’ badger! I will never, ever complain about having a bad-hair day again!!! However, my eyebrows seem determined to continue to disappear going the same way as my eyelashes. I start my radiotherapy tomorrow so, and am due to have 15 sessions, the last being on December 7th so at least I can look forward to all my treatment (other than the herceptin which is not chemo) being over before Christmas.

All I can say is that at my very first appointment with my Oncologist way back in June I was told that the chemotherapy treatment I was going to receive was referred to by the initials of the drugs in question – FEC-T. For those of you who are fans of Father Ted I would say that never was a treatment so aptly named!