not sure if i know my picc line from hickman from portacath!!
but i have a portacath (as no lymph nodes either side) which is completely under the skin (in neck/chest)& makes chemo much easier! plus no issues keeping it dry
was inserted under general & i had to wait 10 days before used but do believe others have used theirs straight away
good luck to all
love jk x
Just read what everyone has said and find it very reassuring, going for picc line before next chemo as each one is getting worse(I think my knees reached my chin with all the squirming in seat)lol good luck everyone X
Chemo was so much easier once picc line was put. I had absolutely no problems with it.
Thanks for your replies makes me feel alot better about it. many thanks xxx
I had a PICC line too, throughout all my chemo. I absolutely swear by them, it made everything easier.I had always been difficult to get a PICC line in. Had chemo in 2008, and last year I had a stubborn bout of cellulitis in my breast and needed to have i/v antibiotics - they couldn't find a vein, 4 of them tried, even in my feet and after 11 stabs I got another PICC line in.
I'd have another one anyday. It was a bit of a pain going in for line maintenance/cleaning once a week, but I actually found it quite reassuring seeing the (lovely) chemo nurses every week and used it as an opportunity to ask any questions I had.
hi Debbs38, I too had a PICC line which was put in just after my 2nd cycle of FEC, (which can sometimes affect veins in a bad way). Despite having really big and prominent veins which are normally no problem for taking bloods etc, the FEC turned mine hard, sore, and very strange colours - it was becoming a problem for the nurse to access my veins, and when I got my pre-chemo bloods taken, my arm was very bruised which had never happened to me before. My only wish is that the PICC line had been put in sooner, as my veins were in such a bad way. However, they didn't get any worse after the PICC line was put in, and it made the chemo (and the pre-chemo blood samples) a much simpler procedure. It was a bit of a hassle not being able to get the arm wet, but they gave me a clear plastic sleeve-thing with elastic cuffs at each end called a Limbo, which I used when showering. Had to go to hospital once a week to get the PICC line cleaned and flushed, which was also a bit of a hassle on a practical level, but on an emotional level was quite ressuring being able to speak to nursing staff every week about side-effects etc. If your veins look in any way like they might be problematic then in my opinion the PICC line is for you.
It took me a while to decide to go for it because the risks I've read and the inconvenience that comes with it.
Because I was having weekly chemo and was restricted to only one hand/arm, the nurses had a very difficult time. The day before I had the PICC line, the nurse had 8 goes and still couldn't find my vein (ouch!!). I guess I didn't have much choice then. But I'm glad I did go for it and wish that I had it sooner.
The arm was a bit stiff and sore the first week after they put it in, but after that it was sooooo convenient for treatment. However, I have to go in every week to get it cleaned, even on my off week.
Hope that helps
Hi, I finished chemo in december and apart from the first cycle i had a picc line throughout. It was a bit of a pain having to keep that arm out of the bath, but i wrapped it in clingfilm to keep dry. I think after reading some of the difficulties people have with veins i am glad i had one. I will say though that i was glad the day it came out, very liberating. If i was unlucky enough to need another one, i would do it again, but would be tempted to try the portacath instead.
i have had a hickman line in for a couple of wks now, starting a new course of chemo tomorrow, so far so good with it.
re- the picc-line i have met a couple of people who have had one in and they said it is much much better, no problems with hard veins or finding veins, so i think it would be a good idea, they don't really get in the way when you have a shower, you can get them wet.
incase you are wondering about the hickman line it is in my chest as i have no lymph-nodes on either side so picc line no good for me.
when my hair came out last time i had chemo i just got my daughter to shave it all off, it feels much better.
just a question to take my mind off my new "monk" look hairstyle (think I'll have it cut off as looks ridiculous with a circle of bald on top...aaghh)
just wondered if anyone has had good/ bad experience with picc lines-I think quite alot of people have them but not sure about practicalities- getting in the way/ getting wet shower etc. the are recommending I have one after my arm is abit sore after only 2nd FEC and my arm feels abit tight so agree its probably the best thing to do and will hopefully get more info from the nurses but would be grateful for any advice or experience.