I started my chemo 4 weeks after my surgery. I had a picc line fitted the week before the chemo started. Unfortunately I had a bad reaction with my first chemo and ended up on a drip with IV anti-sickness drugs. I was so glad I had the picc line as I didn't have to have another needle put in me. All the blood tests were also done through the picc line.
It took about 30 minutes to fit. It was a bit uncomfy to start off with but now, 2 weeks later, I hardly notice it. I have even gone back to lying on my arm at night.
The downsides would be not being able to have a good deep bath, and it is a little bit bulky, but at this time of year it doesn't really matter as I am wearing baggy sweatshirt most of the time. I will keep mine in until I have finished herceptin, so around 18 months, so I may feel differently in the summer.
I have a couple of friends who refused to have a picc line but I don't really understand why as it is not only easier for me but also for the nursing staff as they don't have to struggle to find veins (it took 4 attempts to get the general anesthetic into me).
For me it was the right decision but obviously you need to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself.
Thanks for your replies- thats another question do alot of people have a hickman or picc line? does it make it easier or less painful. They havent mentioned it yet but seeing onc next week.
Hi, I had a two month delay between surgery and chemo - partly at my request to allow me to decide if I wanted chemo, also to allow me to have a week's holiday and then another week waiting for my hickman line to be inserted.
My onc said good practice is to have chemo within two months of surgery/diagnosis, so I wouldn't worry too much - make the most of it!
If it was urgent that you had chemo I am sure they would make sure you got it quickly.
That's about right, I think they like to make sure that the wound had healed sufficiently before they go ahead. I had the same and started my 6x FEC about 6wks after treatment. Also, it gives you time to get it all sorted in your head- which is also an important part of this journey!!
Hope all goes well for you
hi there, just wondering how long it took people on average from surgery lumpectomy to starting chemo- just been told I'll be having FEC x 6 and my doctor says could be 6-8 weeks after surgery, but this seems quite a long time waiting and just wondered what others had done, or if this is standard elsewhere.