Hi Evie, this is very helpful thanks and it does make sense. I like the idea of the journal for my symptoms. I do keep a diary already where I have the date of my diagnosis and surgery etc.
I have seen the link to the chemo monthly so will definitely follow that, this is a great place of support for newbies and those who are going through the treatment.
Thanks again for your kind wishes, will keep you posted xx
@Corina - thanks for your reply, I’m glad to hear you are feeling better and that the nurses say all is fine with the wound/scar.
Please do come back and ask me any questions about chemo. I’m sure others may have suggested you look at joining one of the chemo monthly threads so that you can chat with others at the same stage - let me know if you can’t find them and I’ll send a link.
I hope I didn’t confuse you with my comment about painkillers and chemo. I’m not medical, but this is what I learned from going through chemo - I’ll see if I can explain a bit better. Chemo knocks your immune system so you will need to take your temperature daily - this will show you whether you might have an infection that could need antibiotics, or medical advice. Your nurse/team will explain all this in detail, if they haven’t done already. As painkillers can reduce body temperature when you have a fever, you need to be careful taking them while on chemo in case they hide an infection - does that make any sense? But as you haven’t started chemo I can’t see any reason for not taking painkillers to ease any pain from your port incision.
My nurse suggested that I keep a journal, to record my symptoms every day. That way I would have a record for when I next saw the oncologist or nursing team, but also I would know that any bad days would pass each month.
All the very best to you for chemo - it affects everyone differently so don’t be alarmed if they read you a list of side effects, it doesn’t mean you will get all of them. Your team are there to help you every step of the way too. Evie xx
Hi Evie, thanks for the advice that thought never occurred to me. I have only been taking paracetamol but I’m feeling better I saw the BC nurses yesterday and they changed the dressing on my neck and said it all looked fine. The pain is more manageable and I have another checkup next week.
I start my chemo in just less than two weeks time. No doubt you’ll hear from me again 😊
@Corina - sorry for the late reply, how are you feeling today? Have you already started chemo or is that soon? Only asking because I was in the middle of chemo when I had my port fitted and was told to be careful with painkillers as they can mask a high temperature and sign of infection. If you are still in pain do speak to your BC nurse and get their advice - all hospitals can vary with their advice. I really hope the pain has eased and wish you all the best as you go forward. Evie xx
So I had my port catheter fitted yesterday. The op went well but last night I was very uncomfortable sleeping in fact I hardly slept. The incision on my neck was worse than the port, I felt very stiff and bruised although there are no obvious signs of bleeding or bruising. I was just about to recover from my surgery and now my right side is out of action too. 😔
I’m managing my pain with paracetamol I wonder if I need something a bit stronger.
@Corina - like you I was nervous about the procedure and grilled my poor surgeon with loads of questions! But it was fine. I had a local anaesthetic/sedative - so I was completely out of it, but without the need for a general. I had 2 chemo sessions before I had the port inserted, and the port made the rest of the sessions so much simpler. I had it inserted in between sessions, so I think I had about a week between the fitting and the next session. It was a bit sore afterwards, as you would expect after a minor operation/procedure, but it was fine for the chemo. Painkillers helped ease the pain, but I didn’t use them for many days. I don’t recall having to cover the port - I had mine about 4.5 years ago and I think my memory has started to erase some of that period!
One thing I remember is being given Emla cream to put on the port area about an hour before chemo to numb the area. I’m not good with pain and whether this helped or was a placebo I don’t know, but do ask your nurses about it. I’ll let you know if I think of any other tips.
Mine was removed when I had my mastectomy. The scar is hardly noticeable now.
All the very best to you - please do ask if I can help with any other questions, anything at all. Evie xx
Thanks Evie-S and everyone for your useful and reassuring comments. I’m brand new to this and am having my port fitting in a couple of weeks time.
I take it it’s a straight forward procedure to fit it in? Did you do it a week before chemo started? How long will it take to settle down or heal?
Do you always have to cover it when you shower?
I just wanted to jump in on this thread and reassure anyone thinking of having a port fitted in their chest that my scar is tiny, less than 1cm and is covered by my bra. My surgeon was really thoughtful when he fitted it and we discussed where would be the least obvious place. I’m happy to answer any questions if anyone has any. Evie xx
I did chemo first so there wasn’t time to sort a PICC line before my first treatment. It meant I had to spend the whole treatment with one lower arm out of action because of the drip so it was harder to do anything like read or knit 9which I used to take in with me. I was a bit squeamish about having the PICC fitted but the team were lovely and I just looked the other way while they did It and I did t feel a thing. It will make your life so much easier as you then have no more needles as they take blood through it after too. Definitely recommend doing it and my scar after taking it out looks like a insect bite scar on my inner arm as opposed to a friend who had a port who Has a one inch scar right on her chest.
I had a picc line earlier this year, took little while to settle but most of time forgot about it.
I did have a blood clot but that got sorted quickly - just make sure if you are uncertain of anything you mention it.
Went weekly for care and still see my picc line nurses now - they were like family for me through covid.
It was done under local and a friend came with me.
I am not great with needles so a picc line does eliminate alot of that.
Thinking of you xx
I have been told I need a picc line fitting before treatment begins.
I am terrified of needles and I have to say the thought of this being fitted is making me want to throw up and pass out everytime I think of it.
I know it will make the treatment easier to go through, no cannulas and blood tests in arm but OMG how aweful is this x
if you have any questions about surgery/radiotherapy when the time comes just ask 👍
onwards n upwards ... mini mad xx 💖💖
I was very nervous about getting the PICC but the staff fitting it were so expert and it is so much easier now I have it for everyone. Bloods give. In 5 mins instead of searching for veins and as the EC is now going into my upper arm if I keep looking forward I can almost ignore the fact that it’s happening. It was sore of a couple of days after but now apart from when I am having to cover it up for showering I don’t notice it that much.
Thanks mini mad,
It's just so worrying when you read leaflets about side effects etc!!.
Onwards and upwards!, 3 rounds to go, then surgery, then radiotherapy!.
Sense of humour and sheer stubborn determination is a must !! 😉 ❤❤❤🌻🌻🌻
Hi Mermaid 1971
i had to have a picc line in as my veins where pretty bad and they could only use one hand. Everything is so much simpler, no cannulas n no pain and you cant feel anything.
dont worry, it'll be fine.... ask if you think of anything else.
mini mad xx 💖💖
Hey lovely people!!
I am currently half way through my FEC -T treatment and about to start the T part. Unfortunately I developed phlebitis in my arm after round 3 . The chemo nurse said they could try to calculate on round 4 but to consider having a picc line fitted instead to save my veins.
I've read the info leaflet and looked it up online but am slightly concerned regarding the fact it goes above your heart as have had heart palpitations and heart burn as the beautiful side effects of FEC and wonder if it would cause any other issues?.
I'm probably being a banana but you do worry about EVERYTHING dont you!!.
Any info , greatly accepted. You guys are so positive on here. Much love ❤❤❤🌻🌻🌻