Hi Wendya how has your session gone on? I was due to have 1st fec 10th Jan but now moved to 11th Jan. X
Good luck with yours too. Got my portacath - done with sedation and local anesthetic. Very sore, however, nothing to how my arm felt after a week of IV antibiotics and six canula sites! At least I will be able to go into the chemo without fear of pain during the actual delivery of the medicine.
Managed to get s nasty cold - head all stuffed up - don't think it will delay anything though
Wendy good luck for the 3rd I'll be thinking of you I'm going for my 1st session on 10th. X
Thanks revcat it really helps to know someone else understands. My husband has been my rock thru out this and i no if i did lose my hair it wouldn't be an issue to him. But to me i don't no how I'd cope and how to face him or my 2 kids of 4 and 1. Just can't talk to him or anyone else about it because it's just too much at the min. I think i just need to take each day as it comes x
Having a portacath fitted end of this week ready for chemo on 3rd Jan. My health insurance covers the procedure, however, I will have to pay for the actual portacath. Anyone know how much they cost?
Not the least bit silly... there's some outdated, wrong and even downright dangerous stuff out there. Best to stick with the main BCC website, MacMillan and Cancer Research UK as they are all up to date, properly researched and relevant for UK patients.
You comments about hair don't sound vain either btw, just normal... we only dsicover how much our hair is part of our ID when this happens... but most of us surprise ourselves by coping brilliantly, and you will be just as brilliant as anyone else.
Be gentle with yourself,you have alot of stuff to take-in and process, but you will get there.
revcat Thank you i shall check the website out. Probably sounds silly but i try not to go on net about this stuff as just frightens the hell out of me and everything is just so raw. Brings it all to life. X
Thanks Alison and Jo. I had no idea, that sounds much better i Will call my chemo nurse tomorrow. X so nervous about the chemo my main concerns are i Will be able to manage with my kids and hair loss. I probably sound really vain I'm not but always been very self conscious about myself almost paranoid sometimes. Finding it hard to deal with. X
as I noted already on this thread, I was a direct cannula only patient. If you want some good general info on the three main kinds of lines/ports then this page on Macmillan website, with links to pages for each of central line (Hickman), portacath and PICC, http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertreatment/Treatmenttypes/Chemotherapy/Linesports... is worth checking out.
Hope you find what works for you... if your veins can stand the cannula method, it is probably the least disruptive/invasive, but you will know what's right for you.
To those wondering what a portocath is, it's a device inserted under the skin in your chest which allows access to your veins for chemo or any other drugs you have to have intravenously. I had one put in when I had to have lots of canulas in hospital and had a terrible time with them. It'd usually a general anaesthetic to have one put in, some have had a local but I wouldn't fancy that!
The portocath is invisible on the outside apart from a small scar whe it ws inserted and a bump where it's lying. Then every time you have chemo, a special needle is attached to the outside and off you go. It's brilliant and I'm so please I had one.
Some places apparently don't offer them unless you fight for one,unless you're private. I was lucky in that the hospital I ws being treated - royal marsden - Did offer them. But well worth fighting for.
Hi Mary C
Could I suggest that if you don't get any answers to your question over the Christmas break that you give the helpline here a ring after the Bank Holidays and they will explain what Hickman and Portacath's are.
marian wat is a portacath? And could someone explain wat a hickman is pls x
Thank you so much everyone for your advice. I'm really sorry my baby has been teething and not too well so not had chance to come on. Really do appreciate everyone advising tho. Mmh i think I'm going for the canular just because i think my daughter who is 1 in a few days may think it's interesting to play with! Who no's tho i may have to have pic if veins get bad. Hope you've all had a nice Christmas. The smile on my kids faces made my day this morning when realised Santa had been! X
Try asking for a portacath. Its brilliant, had mine for almost 2 years. Had it taken out in October. Best thing ever
You can always ask why. The better informed you are, the more you can co-operate in your own treatment. Most of the people who treat you will be happy to explain everything, because they know this better than anyone.
my hospital hasnt give me a choice yet
i have second Fec next wednesday and am dreading it .
last time i ended up black and blue as the nurse kept trying to get a vein , she just kept saying i have very small veins that apparantly keep popping whatever that means.
also been ill with shingles and had the same problems again last week when i had to go for bloods .
Do you think guys i should ask for a different procedure , ime always a bit wary of saying anything as i always think that these people must know whats best but after reading your posts i wonder if i should start asking more questions
I had a Hickman line and although I did not trust it at first it was a doddle when you get used to it, it is now out and I miss the security of having it. No needles fantastic.... Removing it was almost free of any discomfort ,
Ive had a Hickman line in from the beginning, when they told me I need 6 chemo's and 12 months of herceptin, I said im not having that many cannulas!
The line doesnt really get in the way, it tucks right down inside my bra, but I cant go swimming and cant wear low neckline tops as it shows.
I flush it myself every 5-6 days and change the dressings myself, my hospital had no quibble about putting it in, I had it inserted within 2 days of asking, and that was almost 12 months ago now.
I was like you, 3n3, watching the nurses like a hawk, and it must have paid off as I never had any trouble with the line, either with infections or blocking.:)
I had picc line inserted before first chemo but only managed to have one chemo go through it as it got infected and had to be removed. While it was there it was ok but mine did restrict movement to my arm, couldnt straighten my arm not sure if this was to do with the infection or if was normal?
I now have a hickman line which i wish i had from the beginning, i hate needles and having two fec through my arm (after picc taken out and couldnt fit me in for hickman straight away) has naffed up my veins. I barely know the hickman line is there doesnt hurt at all and is so much easier for taking blood and chemo, i pray i dont have problems but so far so good.
Best of luck with whatever you decide x
I had no choice, they never eevn looked at my veins and I have good ones to access. When the DN comes to flush and redress I tell them I want this done really hygienically to avoid infection, even if they get a bit scared of me LOL. I only have the PICC in since three weeks, so far so good. But I still get stabbed for bloods taken etc as no-one wants to touch it except for treatment.
I can't say I enjoyed having a PICC, but eventually worked out how to avoid it rubbing or catching on my clothes. I accepted it because 3 experienced chemo nurses strongly recommended having it to prevent vein damage although I have never had a problem with things like blood tests. Mine was put in after FEC1 because the Christmas/New Year holiday and the chaos caused by last year's heavy snows meant they couldn't do it earlier.
I felt that having one made me more 'ill' than I wanted to be, if that makes sense for someone already being treated for BC. Squeamishness comes into it as well.
But besides making chemo a little bit safer, it also makes blood tests and the like a bit quicker and easier. I live fairly near the hospital, so went there for the clearing and cleaning. I needed to have the fittings well padded, and the nurses used different sizes and types of dressings to avoid too much skin irritation. (Be sure to tell them if you have sensitive skin.) Putting a stretchy (but not tight) sleeve over the lot took care of the catching and rubbing. I didn't have much luck trying to tape plastic bags round it for showering, but I got a really cheap cover of the kind you would put over a cast and just kept that arm away from the shower as much as possible, or draped it on the side of the bath when I felt the need for a soak.
It's doable. Not fun, but doable.
Same here, AnnieK. I hated the thought of a PICC line but I hated the 'search for a vein' even more!
I actually had the PICC line in for nearly a year because I had to have Herceptin.
as you can see we are all different! My hospital just did cannula except for people with very, very bad veins. I had 3xFEC and 3xT by cannula and still evidently have "lovely veins" according to whoever wants blood or access. I appreciate I'm lucky. I did have some vein pain with FEC as DJ describes, but gentle stretching overcame that.
Whatever decision you make will be the right one for you - and I hope all goes well with your chemo.
My veins gave up after FEC2 as well - then I got phlebitis on top of that - I wish that I had my picc line before I started treatment!
It is a little inconvenient having the District Nurse coming in every week but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for me at least.
Hi Mary at my hosp they won't do a Picc line unless your veins are knackered... There is a high risk of infection so they would rather only do this as a last resort.
I had bad veins before Chemo and although they were a bit sore during it I managed 8 cycles.... That was two years ago and now on another six cycles... Managed the first two with a peripheral cannula but now have a Hickman line inserted.... Just on a course of antibiotics now as my Hickman wound is red and oozing so maybe I'm one of the 40% who gets an infection.
Iv not found it restrictive so far but then I'm not very active at the mo so I think if you are like DJ then you could find it restrictive.
Hi Mary C
I had 6 chemos -3 x FEC + 3 x Tax - all through a cannular, with minimal problems. The epirubicin (E in FEC) has damaged my veins, but they are gradually getting better.
I whenever possible I worked and rode horses, gardened etc throughout chemo and I think I would have felt more restricted with a PICC line.
However, if you have small veins, if you've already found they need an attampt or two to take blood, or if you are at all needle phobic, a PICC line might be for you.
I had a Picc line in for 18 weeks without any problems at all. My veins were giving up after just 2 chemo sessions. I had my mx three days ago and they struggled to find a good vein, goodness knows what they would have been like without the Picc line.
Hi all, just had my pre chemo session yesterday and wondered wat to go for pic line or canular? Can't say i fancy keeping pic in for 18 weeks but then was told canular can damage veins. Wat to do? Help pls can anyone advise? X