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portacath

I just had a port put in last tuesday, exactly one month past my mastectomy/reconstruction.  I went to my surgeon yesterday and begged him to take it out.  It hurts so much.  So much more so than the intitial surgery.  He of course refused...

I cant sleep any more..Im a side/stomach sleeper and now both sides are uncomfortable...and lets just say the stomach is virtually impossible at the moment..

How long will this port hurt?  I am so sleep deprived that im actually dizzy now...i just want the pain to go away...
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13 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a port put in because my veins are miserable and it was a life saver every time I had chemo or needed blood drawn.  It was uncomfortable now and then - especially when sleeping - but never "painful". When you went to your surgeon did he examine it and make sure all was okay?  Maybe you can have someone else check it out in a second opinion.  You need your sleep.
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325698_tn?1216332354
I have faith in my doctor and believe him when he says that it was placed correctly..i am extremely small framed with very little body fat..the port sits out promptly from my chest.  i swear i can feel the cath inside the vein when i move or rotate my arm...ibuprofen is now my best friend...but it seems to help more than anything...

i just have to remind myself that this is only for 18 more weeks.......

thank you for your response.
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312701_tn?1193405472
OW!!!!  I'm feeling for you!!!  I never had a port, so I can't equate that pain.  I hope it gets better!!!  And, you are right, it's only for 18 more weeks.  You can do like me and count everything down!!

I had to do progesterone shots in the buttocks during both my pregnacies.  To get through them, because they are equisitely painful, I would count each week down.  It made the 40 nights seemed more doable by counting from 7 each week.  I had my calendars lined up for the 40 weeks of pregnancy, too.  

Have you had blood drawn or a treatment yet?  Is that easier or not than a stick?  I'm curious.
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325698_tn?1216332354
my first chemo is next friday...ill tell you more then...i am terrified of the pain AFTER chemo from that port...

I am a sissy and proud of it.  Pain is not my friend.  I only go to the gym because i HAVE to not because I like it....this is NO different!

As some friends were saying...if they could open the port and pour wine down it, well then, thats another story!
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312701_tn?1193405472
I like your friends!
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325698_tn?1216332354
lets just say, if it werent for them, this would be A lot harder...its hard to cry when youre snorting with uncontrolled laughter!
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had my port since Sept. 21, and it has given me no discomfort other than a little soreness when it was first put in. I am a nurse and have worked with portacaths with children. I've never heard anyone complain about it hurting. I would get another opinion.
Sally
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Avatar_n_tn
I went in last week to have a port installed but the surgeon couldn't do it.  He couldn't get a vein that he could thread the catheter into.  Said he'd never had a problem in 20 years.  I'm 48, relatively thin and healthy (well, except for the cancer thing, of course) I meet with the surgeon tomorrow night along with a vascular specialist to see if we try again to install a port or just have the chemo pushed through my veins.  The nurses at the oncologists' office said my veins are "mediocre" and I probably want the port.  My regimen is going to be Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cytoxan (TAC) x 6.  Does anyone have any perspective on this?  How tough is it taking the meds through the hand / arm veins, if you have "mediocre" veins?
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Avatar_f_tn
I worked for an Oncologist for four years and have seen what can happen when you have the chemo iv.  Make sure that the nurse giving the meds has lots and lots of experience.  Ours had 25 years and things still happen.  If the meds "spill" out of the vein during treatment it can cause tremendous problems for your tissue and skin on your arm/hand.  Of course that also depends on the type of meds given and I am not an expert on which ones cause the necrosis of the arm/hand tissue.  Of course these were very rare occurances. But you should know the good and bad before making a decision on how to proceed.  You do have choices of the nurse that administers the meds and maybe another surgeon could install the port.  Just like nurses that can find a vein when others fail, it is the same for Physicians.  Some are just better at it.  You know how you can have your blood drawn and tech after tech tries to get the vein and you feel like a pin cushion, then in walks that one tech or nurse who sits down and one two three DONE.  Same with doctors.  I recently found a large mass in one of my breasts at 46 years of age and am just in the beginning of the process but can understand your pain.  For 4 years, I watched all types of cancer patients from 21 years of age and up undergo treatment for their cancer.  Good Luck, hang in there, it is not forever and be glad you are at least able to receive treatment as an option to cure your disease.  Some are not so fortunate.  D
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326352_tn?1310997895
I did not get a port, but I have fairly good veins.  The nurse missed on my 3rd (out of 8 total) treatments and refused to try again (chicken!  I told her to go for it, but she got gun shy).  The oncologist took over from there.  He was excellent.

There are tricks to getting your veins to "plump up" before a stick.  Drink lots of water first and foremost, this helps especially on blood draws.  Hang your arm down to get the blood to pool in the lower extremeties, pump your hand a bit.  That's mostly what we did.

It's possible, but I'm told ports are easier, to have chemo delivered without the port.

It could just be possible that the surgeon was having an "off-day".  They are human too!  

Best of luck with your chemo!
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Avatar_f_tn
A warm towell placed around the arm will also help plump up the veins.  I have terrible veins and have many times over my life "fired" nurses and asked for replacements.  Usually after 5+ trys.  My rule now is you get one try per arm then you need to get someone else to try.  D
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216614_tn?1195668672
I did not have the port, but only had 4 treatments of AC.  I had an excellent onc nurse and my onc always let her make the decision on whether the veins were good enough to work with, since she would doing it.  The chemo will take a toll on veins, good or bad.  Also keep in mind that once you have nodes removed you cannot have labs done in that arm.  Six years later, I have had only one nurse that could not get a vein. And I get blood drawn every 3 months for other issues.  
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216614_tn?1195668672
I did not have the port, but only had 4 treatments of AC.  I had an excellent onc nurse and my onc always let her make the decision on whether the veins were good enough to work with, since she would doing it.  The chemo will take a toll on veins, good or bad.  Also keep in mind that once you have nodes removed you cannot have labs done in that arm.  Six years later, I have had only one nurse that could not get a vein. And I get blood drawn every 3 months for other issues.  
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