• I thought I asked.....

    Asked by little_fut on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    I thought I asked.....

    I guess I asked the question only in my mind..LOL I will be getting my first chemo next Wednesday, what can I expect....and does everyone get a "port" ?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • ryan417's Avatar

      I was hesitant since my mother-in-law had so many complications (due to medical errors); however, a nurse friend explained that how well it went depended a lot of the person inserting the IV and also explained the skin breakdown that can occur. Since I'll have 6 treatments with 3 drugs one of which will be infused monthly for a year, I got the port. For me it has been rather uncomfortable, not unbearable, but I am constantly reminded it's there (seatbelts, bumps in the road, have to sleep on back with pillows, etc. - minor in the grand scheme of things).
      Had my first treatment 19 days ago and have been grateful that the side effects have been manageable mostly by drinking tons of water, had to stop coffee (very much miss it), bananas work great for the diarrhea. The first 5 days were amazingly peaceful symptom-wise which I attribute to the Emend - am headed to get the dose for my 2nd treatment on Thursday.
      Hope it goes smoothly for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Not everyone gets a port but my personal opinion is that that everyone SHOULD get a port. It's makes everything so much easier. I couldn't get in to get my port until the morning of my 3rd day of chemo. I received Cisplatin and Etoposide 5 days per week. Those first 2 days through the vein went fine until the phlebitis kicked in. Talk about pain!! As far as what to expect, it's really hard to say because everyone reacts differently. The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, hairloss, anemia, neutropenia (low wbc count). For me, the nausea was HORRIBLE. The medicine helped a lot. It cut down on the amount of vomiting I did. I hope everything goes well for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I'm with tickling when it come to ports -Get one ASAP. I got mine almost 3 months after I started infusion therapy, and by then my veins had become very fragile and inserting the IV painful, not to mention the black and blue marks up and down my arms and hands. It took 2 tries to find a working vein the week before my port was procedure. On the day I had it, it took 3 tries to find a vein that work. I swear they got the last functioning vein on both my arms.

      Another plus if you get your port put in your chest, both hands are free during treatment. I didn't realize what a pain having one arm hooked up for 4 hours could be.

      The nurses at the infusion center will talk to you about the drugs you will be getting. This includes drugs to mitigate side effects as well as the chemo. The first treatment takes the longest because they slow the sped of the drip by 50% to monitor for side effects and bad reactions. I left with a packet of information on every drug they gave as well.

      Take food, liquids, reading material, etc to keep you occupied - it's really boring. Once I had the port inserted I started crocheting during treatment.

      over 3 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      I have a port, was hesitant to get one, but am pleased it is there. I had weekly chemo then every 3 weeks. My veins would have been fair for that amount of chemo, but my veins have lots of valves (bumps) that would have driven staff crazy.
      The port was touchy in the beginning while it healed. Now after having lost some weight (purposefully), the port seems a little closer to the skin and is more noticeable and rubbed. Still not a problem.

      My sister started chemo, has had 3 rounds of the same stuff, and is doing fine without a port.

      May you get inspired in your decision.

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      I'm grateful to have a port. I have a friend who was diagnosed about the same time as I was, who chose not to have one. I hated mine at first, but after having chemo and 2 major surgeries, one without the port and one with it, I learned that a blood test is a breeze with a port, and a pain without it, since I have tiny veins. It seems that they are always "at you" to take blood in the hospital. Before the port, it hurt, I was black and blue and sore, and with the port, it is just a big nothing-at-all. My friend without the port now has veins that are pretty well shot, and wishes she had had the port. As far as what to expect from chemo, if everything goes well, it is pretty boring, so bring a book and something to eat, if your oncol. place doesn't provide lunch. If you do get sick, there are plenty of drugs they can give you to alleviate the nausea. They may have to fiddle with them to get them adjusted, but once they figure it out, you should be fine. Everyone's experience is different, but this was mine. Best wishes to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • MarianneT's Avatar

      I wish I had a port. My last few treatments were miserable because they had a XXX of a time finding veins. They could only use one arm, so my beautiful big fat veins in my right arm were useless. I would highly recommend a port. Although most of our side effects are similar I think we all respond differently. Do what you can to keep life as normal as possible as much as possible. Normalcy helps tolerate things. I hope it all goes well for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • dls1007's Avatar

      I would recommend getting a port. It just makes things so much easier when it comes to your treatment, blood work, etc. I know in my case I was on Herceptin for about 8 years my
      second time going through this and I know my veins would not have held up for that many years of treatment. Just be sure to get it flushed if it's not being used regularly.

      over 3 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      I agree with Tickling also everyone SHOULD!! I hate needles and to me that's the cat's meow!
      :-) I guess depending on what they are giving you. For me I was pretty sick 3 hrs after treatment for 3 days (still went to work ugh) those were every 3 weeks. My every week treatments no as bad. My sister going through it now she is opposite of me she feels sick but has more side effects I didn't have like constipation, she is more tired, ache....

      over 3 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar

      I would have to agree that a port makes chemo easier. But, I don't like it. I don't believe anyone does. For me, it feels so foreign and sometimes I just want to pull it out. But, I am slowly adjusting to it, a month later. Good luck!

      over 3 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more breast cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Breast Cancer page.