I've got total empathy with everyone on this thread as I am the same. I have suffered all my life with cold hands and feet and my veins are terrible (I think I have a form of Raynauds). When I had my last cycle of FEC it took them 50 minutes to get a vein. They had to take me to a side room away from the other patients and my OH looked so distressed I had to tell him to go for a walk and a cup of coffee.
By the time I got to Taxotere/Herceptin the only places they could use were either my wrist or between my knuckles; they used the latter for the last infusion and it punctured a vein in the middle of the back of my hand emerging as a dreadful blistered burn 10 days later (my immunity packed up as well so I was in isolation for a week). I ended up having all sorts of tests done as they had to rule out that it could have been an infection. When it was confirmed it was a burn, I was taken to have it photographed as someone was writing a paper on it!
I had to try using my foot for Herceptin, you don't even want to go there as it's way too painful. I was terrified of having a line as I hate tubes (I was really scared about being attached to a drain in hospital) and my Oncologist said she only used them for patients if it was a last resort.
I had to have a nuclear xray for my heart on Thursday, and as always I got prodded and poked and it was an uncomfortable experience. My veins are shot even though all my chemo/herceptin was done via a portacath (the same as you 2 years post treatment). I have to have 3 monthly blood tests for thyroid/diabetes problems.
I hope you feel better today and that you don't wait too long for the results as the waiting is so worrying.
I too have a problem with my veins. I swear they go into hibernation whenever a health professional comes near them. One phlebotomist suggested I ask future 'vampires' to use a 'black' needle which is finer than most. When I was having an MRI recently I explained my problem to the radiographer and she said there are even finer 'yellow' needles they use for infants.
Good luck with future 'vampires'!
Thanks ladies, knew you'd understand. It feels liie most of my arm is black and blue today!
Anyway, thanks for your support and hope everyone's enjoying the sun today.
I sympathise too - I had a port fitted recently (which was a nightmare in itself - finshed up back in surgery 5 hours after first op), but it isn't working properly so often have to use a vein as well. I will be having IV drugs every 3 weeks for a year - so no respite. Having said that the nurses are very good - but if you have shy veins its's never going to be fun.
I also get overly emotional. I had my first appointment with my radiologist this week - and just started crying in the waiting room! Thank goodness for sunny weather and I can wear big sunglasses most of the time - because I cried most of the way home on the train in rush hour too! I'm fine with my onc and so used to her. She's very kind and gentle and I know she tries really hard to keep everything positive - we don't talk about survivall rates - but I guess reality hits when seeing someone new.
Hugs to you all
just wanted to send you hugs tonight and hope you are feeling better. It is just awful getting bloods taken when the veins are so damaged, ends up an ordeal. I now have a hickman line put in as it was turning into a farce every time with me ending up in tears, i just could not cope with it, and like you taking up to 25 - 30 mins sometimes several members of staff trying to get blood out. Not pleasant, and just wanted you to know thinking of you
Big hugs to you all.I too am overly emotional at times.This disease is so much more than BC.It really messes with your head.I often feel close to tears at work and its exhausting trying to stay dry-eyed at times.But sometime when I get home I have a good old greet (scottish for weep) and it does feel better.So maybe the down times are a safety valve?
Sorry to hear the bone scan technician/radiographer was not very professional Sandra,don't let it upset you too much,maybe he was just the straw that broke the camels back.Maybe that safety valve?
I am a healthcare professional and I am so aware now of how worried/fragile my patients may be.I suppose thats a plus point of my BC.
Hope everyone feels better tomorrow.
Love n hugs
Two years or two months, we still have rotten days, mine was something as 'simple' as a bone scan, still waiting to start chemo! For whatever reason the chap made such a fuss about putting the needle in, not sure why, just kept mumbling to himself, my only consolation was others were complaining about him too!!
Then l had to go back three hours later, and he was still talking to himself, got to the stage l didn't know if he was talking to me or himself, l kept saying 'pardon'
Being in a very sensitive state of mind at the moment, l have been in tears ever since!! roll on tomorrow!
I realy feel for you , as i too have the same problems with blood tests . I was DX almost 3yrs ago and since chemo my veins are still knackered , it is a nightmare getting blood and like you it often takes 30 mins with many different attemps and a few different nurses trying , i always tell them which viens are shot but they still insist on trying anyway which realy upsets me , i usealy end up with having blood taken from the back of my wrist now and its such a painfull area arghh i always end up with lots of bruises .
Im having 3 monthy thyriod blood tests now also which doesnt help matters, and the nurses have mensioned using my feet next which i realy do not want. Needles never used to bother me but i now dread them and get very anxious before haveing bloods taken.
I hope your blood tests come back ok, if its any consolation i still get realy tired too.
All the best to you and i hope that you will start to feel better soon.
I'm coming up for 2 years since dx, next week. Having blood tests as feeling inexplicably knackered.
It took 2 of them and 3 stabs to get 3 tiny vials of blood - 1 from each vein. The 2nd one asked to use my (mildly)lymphoedemic arm - no way!
It took over 25 mins, and so many people came and went during that time that I just found it really depressing.
Hope everyone else has had a better day than me!