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Chemo veins

6 REPLIES 6
MAC66
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Hi.
I had a Hickman line fitted after my first chemo which is threaded in through the neck to the chest under local anaesthetic. (my unit tried to do anPicc line, which goes in through the arm and is a slightly simpler procedure, but my veins didn't let it in,)
Other than not being able to swim, I've had no problems at all. It ached slightly for the first day or so and I go to the chemo unit every week to get it flushed and the dressing changed, but I can still bath and shower and there is no discomfort at all. If I ever have to do this again, I would definitely have a line fitted over having a canular every time.
Good luck whatever you decide. X
Tweasel
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Hi agallanagh. I had 6 x FEC-T chemo and decided to have a port (portacath) fitted before my first chemo, mainly because I was worried about damage to my veins. I'm not sure whether most hospitals offer this option, but I'm very glad I chose to have it. I'm having Herceptin until next Spring and I have that through the port too. Having chemo via a port doesn't cause vein problems, I think because it goes into a bigger vein and is much closer to the heart so doesn't have as far to travel. Sorry to hear you are having problems. How many chemo sessions do you have left?
kitten_mad
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Hi - I had this problem 3 years ago whilst having my first lot of chemo Fec-T - it happened around the 3rd dose. I couldn't straighten my left arm at all - and it never recovered. I then got the vein cut in a local operation, it wasn't sore and I was quite relieved to be honest - it "pinged" when he cut it!  I am not saying this will happen to you though. I am now having different chemo for the second time - for 18 weeks - weekly and so far I am still using the same arm as I did last time. Not sure if it will last though - so I may well have to have a PICC/Hickmann put in too. I was speaking to another patient with one last week and it looked really good and not nearly as bad I had expected it to be. If it is possible to see someone else with one at your hospital that may reassure you and is better than seeing photos etc online! The lady assured me that her chemo was so much easier because of it. 

Your veins will get a bit better once you finish the FEC part of your treatment, but in the meantime keep massaging it with oil and use the heat if it is painful! I did find it very weird having one arm shorter than the other and it was really tough (the vein I mean) it felt like a small bone and was a great party piece as people liked touching it!

Take care

K M x

vic55
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Heya, if you mean having a Hickman line, I got one ahead of chemo, and so far so good. Have got rubbish vein, and oncologist wanted it in. Please don't worry if you have to have one. Honestly not that bad x
Bondgirl
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Hi, I felt the same as you after my 3rd chemo, I had 8. I just want to put your mind at rest, I am now nearly 1 year from last session on 27 August I was so worried coz my veins did the same, get some moisturiser any will do and massage your hands and arms as often as you can. Although painful stretch your arm a few times a day. The best thing for helping them is also warmth I used to sit with one of those baby hot water bottles (in a cover) on my arm swooping from front to back. Also before chemo drink plenty of fluids and ask for a warming pad for half an hour before chemo is put in, this helps the veins.

I won't lie they get worse before better and by the end of chemo you will think what the hell has happened as they look as if they have collapsed. BUT keep massaging and stretching. Mine have 95 percent got better. They still loom a bit caved but do not hurt at all.

My breast care nurse had BC 7 years ago and she. I was worried she showed me her arm and I trusted her with the tips and mine are ok. Also she now has lovely shoulder length hair so I knew my hair would get there eventually.

Time is a great healer and we do get there.

Hugs - Michelle
Sam_BCC
Member

Re: Chemo veins

Hi agallanagh

 

Firstly welcome to the BCC forums, I'm sure some of the users will be along shortly to offer you their experiences of this procedure.  In the menatime whilst you ae waiting do give the BCC helpline a call on 0808 800 6000.  Here you can talk through this procedure and any questions you may have with a member of staff who will offer you practical information and support. Lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

 

Best wishes Sam, Facilitator  

agallanagh
Member

Chemo veins

I am 36 and this is my second time having cancer but my first time needing chemo. I've had 3 rounds and my veins are now in an awful way. All 3 veins used have hardened and I can't straighten my arm out, reach for things or have anyone even brush against my arm. There was talk last week of putting a line in through my chest. Could someone pls give their advice. I'm worried that all I'll be doing is giving myself a whole new set of worries, except this time instead of the pain being in my arm it will be in my chest and that will frighten me more. I take it that FEC T does the same to the veins in the chest as it does to the ones in the arm. Is there something Im not understanding about all this? Advice would be much appreciated. Kind regards and best of luck to all. 😊