Portacath

From wigs to water - a forum to discuss anything concerning chemotherapy treatments - tips, questions, advice, experiences, etc

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Linmin
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:00 pm

Portacath

Postby Linmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:58 pm

I have had my PAC box in place for four weeks now. It is still uncomfortable and my shoulder aches. It has been inserted under the right clavicle. This side is my good side, the other side having been jiggered by the original cancer surgery on the left breast. The wretched thing moves when I move and the edge digs into tissue. It is plain uncomfortable and I am acutely aware of it every time I do anything with my right arm. It even makes putting on my eye make-up difficult. Does it ever become unnoticeable? How long before I forget that it is there? I am already so fed up with it, I simply want to rip it out, which of course I can't. Chemo throughthe vein was certainly less of a hastle.At least afterwards there was nothing more than a slightly bruised and painless wrist. Needless to say no warnings about the acute pain immediately after surgery and the long-term discomfort were given before it was put in place. Am I unusual or have others found it difficult? After five good positive weeks, this has really got me down today. :evil: Linda

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Re: Portacath

Postby webmaster » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:34 pm

Sorry to say, Linda, I had problems with mine. I couldn't wait to get rid of it a year later. BUT I know most people have no problem at all and have them in for years. I had trouble driving as it interfered with the seat belt, I couldn't use a shoulder bag as the other side had had the op so that was out, certain clothes were out as you could see the damn thing, it was painful to touch etc....................

It was the one thing that made me depressed as it stuck out of my chest and I saw it all the time, it was a constant reminder of what was happening.

Having said that, the discomfort you have does seem abnormally severe. Have you talked to the hospital/surgeon about it? And on balance, I am sure it was a better way to do the chemo. I have seen people in UK with a real mess when it has been through the vein for repeated sessions.

There are bound to be down days :( , don't be too hard on yourself. Keep smiling when you can :)

A huge hug
Penny

Linmin
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Portacath

Postby Linmin » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:51 pm

Thanks Penny. It's good to know others have had issues. I sometimes feel like a huge whimp. There does seem to be some swelling above the scar, so I will certainly mention it on Monday if it is still a problem. I Did have some good moments today - a nice walk with a friend and the dog; some garden time - the weeds came out nice and easily and it made me feel better to do something about them; some good guitar practice time. Tomorrow is a new day so I hope the fog of today will disappear during the night.

goldenoldie
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Re: Portacath

Postby goldenoldie » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:24 am

sorry you are having problems with your "pont" as my hospital called it. My guy put mine under a piece of fatty tissue just under the clavicle so a good size lump but its been no bother and I learnt to be a bit positive about it,losing hair and nails etc...I wore it as a badge of pride -not worrying whether anyone could see it or not. ..comes in handy sometimes when you meet someone who is not very sympathetic about cancer. They eventually cannot help asking what it is (thinking its a lump of some kind) then I called it my lifesaver against cancer. Sympathetic noises are usually forthcoming!
One reason it is in there is to save your veins from collapsing in the future. I had stem cell treatment and the lead up to that involved loads of jabs/tests etc all needing veins and even now sometimes I get achey veins in my arms...but I am alive! It is also more easy for the staff to check against air traps and allows lab staff to take bloods later on when you reach the stage of routine tests, -AFTER all the chemo etc.
You are not a big wimp its all part and parcel of the effects of the treatment. Give it a name and wear it proudly and do some more "good moments". good luck

goldenoldie
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: Portacath

Postby goldenoldie » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:26 am

sorry...forgot to say DO mention to your specialist because its in there for a good length of time..theres bound to be a solution.

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Re: Portacath

Postby webmaster » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:39 am

You know, goldenoldie,that's a great way of looking at it! If it doesn't hurt, of course. Your badge of pride is a big improvement on my "damn thing"! Sunny here, day in garden for me and hoping the weeds are as amenable as for Linda yesterday!

Penny :D

Linmin
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Portacath

Postby Linmin » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:28 pm

Thanks both. It does feel better today, but there is a faint bruise appearing and a slight swelling above the scar area, so I will certainly mention it on Monday. Received INCa's book on Understanding chemotherapy today. The section about the PAC was quite useful. There are side-effects which include an odema as the body rejects the 'invader'. Hope that's not happening, as I do appreciate the safety the box provides.
Found a great guided meditation on Youtube last night which was all about supporting the cells healing work. So we'll put yesterday down to one of the very few 'bad days' and move on.

goldenoldie
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: Portacath

Postby goldenoldie » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:19 am

Glad your pont is feeling a bit better today. I had always been a "half empty glass" sort of person but my cancer changed all that and so my defence against the bad bits was to try and find the sort of positive side to them. - The old song about a Spoonful of sugar just about sums it up.
Carry on with all the things you can manage but do remember to allow yourself some rest so your body can strut it's stuff and heal you.
Keep in touch and good luck next week when you see "your" man.


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