I have also up to now been very lucky with my picc line.
I had it out in in October and have had all my chemo through it, the district nurses came out every week unless it was bloods week whilst I was on EC
now I have to go into the unit to get bloods done 2 days before my paclitaxel.
everything is done through the line, no needles, no cannulation.
you don’t exactly forget it’s there but it isn’t painful.
for me it was preferred.
To give you another PICC line story, my chemo was 9 weekly paclitaxel infusions and I had one fitted for treatment 4 onwards (backlog as only nurse doing them at my local hospital had just been on annual leave). Before the line was fitted, my first chemo was fine, cannula in at first attempt. But chemo can shrink veins so second treatment took 3 nurses 4 attempts using all their little tricks like heating pad. Third treatment I was given their most skilled nurse for cannulation - they do vary - who the others said must have x-ray eyes to see through skin and find veins where others couldn’t! Then finally I got my PICC and it was plain sailing, including being used for taking blood. It has to be flushed and re-dressed weekly but I was there anyway - the extra hospital visits need to be considered if treatment intervals are longer. Insertion was pain-free and straightforward. Removal took seconds and I didn’t feel a thing. Living with it was no problem - I didn’t even buy a shower cover, just double wrapped it in clingfilm and was careful to keep that arm away from the shower head.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
hi, yes it doesnt seem to have been a problem for those here, I saw you said " My oncologist was against the PICC as he says they cause complications" although not many have reported issues there could be many more out there who had a problem.
I would definitely push for a PICC line. Most people cope with them fine and it makes their treatment much easier.
Hardly anyone has posted on this thread - hence why I'm the odd one. If you're having a lot of chemo I would really have a PICC line.
Thank you for posting this, have recently been diagnosed, had RT and now face chemo and this is one of the things that concerns me and not know whether or not to choose PICC. I dont have a fear of needles yet ..
I went for my first paclitaxel yesterday and mentioned my sore veins to the nurse. She says because the EC is so harsh it can damage your veins and they become scarred and hardened. She says the paclitaxel doesn't do this which is a relief. She suggested massaging my arms to help and to take painkillers. It could improve or it could be like that for a long time. She was such a lovely nurse - what a difference the treatments make when your nurse is kind, patient and explains things!
She used a cannula in the back of my hand today and she was amazing at it, I hardly felt a thing and where it was sitting was fine, no discomfort and even going to the toilet was ok.
She suggested wearing a heat pad and gloves on my hand to aid my veins and to drink lots of fluids.
I've had 3 EC so far, with 9 weekly paclitaxel to go starting next week.
After my first EC I had a PICC put in, all was fine with the insertion but it never settled and i was in constant discomfort with it. I couldn't stretch my arm fully and getting dressed really hurt, even stretching my arm to put coat on was agony. I had my second EC via the PICC which was fine but it still remained uncomfortable.
It had been in for well over 3 weeks and I went for a flush and dressing change and mentioned it to a nurse who then sent me for a scan. It turned out my PICC was sat in a very narrow vein and they were worried about blood flow and clotting. So it was decided to remove it. Third EC was via cannula. That was nearly 3 weeks ago. The bruising is just about going from bloods they took 3 weeks ago - so goodness knows what I'm going to look like with bloods and chemo weekly x 9.
My arm however is still very painful. I still can't stretch it fully and my veins in my arm are very tender. My oncologist nurse thinks my vein is damaged but the pain is below my elbow today and the PICC was above that. I also have similar pains in my right leg, which I also mentioned to my nurse. I have no red areas or swelling and I aren't breathless. She's made a note of this.
My oncologist was against the PICC as he says they cause complications, it was me that pushed for it.
Just wondering if anyone else has had this or whether I'm a medical PICC oddity?
Im dreading weekly bloods and chemo and being constantly pricked as I hate it. So disappointed the PICC didn't work out.
Don't know if they would offer me a PORT, not my decision.