- Carmel, IN
- Member Since Aug 2011
When planning for the future, life can start to get pretty intimidating. Especially if you have children, property, and aging parents. There is so much to consider: debt, college tuition, retirement, inflation, etc. Oftentimes we become so overwhelmed by these subjects that we procrastinate or put it out of our minds entirely.
The problem is, life has a tendency to throw curve balls — especially when we least expect it. A cancer diagnosis forces you to accept the future sooner rather than later. Being unprepared will make it that much more uncomfortable, but with a little extra time and some small efforts at life planning, you can be in a better place for what life might throw your way.
Make A List
Sit down and make a list of your priorities for down the road. Sure, include five or ten years from now, but also list priorities for when you retire, when you're are faced with college tuition payments or when your parents can no longer live alone. Make a list of what you realistically think you need and what you can make happen. Having it on paper gives you a great starting point. Then it’s time to consider how to prepare for the unexpected. What if you die tomorrow? What if you have an accident that changes your life forever? What if your cancer goes into remission?
Discuss possible outcomes with your oncologist, as well as any therapists you might be working with. Could your cancer cause physical problems that might require home modifications? Are there any new therapies or treatments being tested that you might want to set aside money for? If your cancer diagnosis is terminal, is your family prepared for hospice care, or should you plan for a paid caregiver? The questions and answers will both be tough, but the more you can prepare for whatever comes, the more confident you’ll feel about moving forward.
Plan End Of Life Factors
It’s difficult to address the topic of death when cancer is a reality in your life — whether or not you’ve been diagnosed as terminal. Still, it’s important to plan for anything so that your family isn’t scrambling to figure out finances later. A solid beginner’s life plan includes a will and life insurance. If you are married with children and have a mortgage, you are a prime candidate for life insurance, and so is your spouse. Life insurance can help make up for the loss of your income after you’re gone and help pay for things like college, mortgages, and debt.
A will helps determine how things play out if something should happen to you. For example, if a married couple dies in a car accident, their will can stipulate their preferences for guardians and how their assets will be managed for their children. Not having a will throws an estate into the hands of the courts, which can equate to a prolonged and difficult process.
As a cancer patient, take the time to discuss your wishes with your family. Your spouse should be an integral part of your estate and financial planning, but you may also want to go over things like how you want to be laid to rest. If there are specific burial services you would want, go over them in detail. Your family might struggle to talk about such morbid, frightening topics, but it’s still better than them being caught off-guard by your wishes after the fact. Let them know that planning ahead — including planning for worst case scenarios — will not only put your mind at ease, it can help them be calmer and prepared amid their grief.
Other supplemental options worth considering include disability insurance and long-term care insurance.
Making a Will
Having a will drawn up can be a quick and easy process. You can use a law office, an online program, or some companies offer free or low-cost will services to their employees through various partnerships. If you have a substantial amount of wealth, it’s worth considering a trust, which can help your beneficiaries avoid probate.
If you have adult children, talk to them about how your personal possessions will be distributed in the event of your death. There may be certain items that are more important to one sibling than another. Plus, giving your family some input can make them feel slightly more in control in an often powerless situation. Younger children may have strong emotions about being able to keep certain items, as well, but depending on their age you may need to frame the conversation carefully. Sometimes, it’s enough to ask which things are most important to them and why.
Do You Have Property and Assets?
If you own your home and are married, make sure your spouse’s name is on the deed. This ensures the property will automatically pass to her/him upon your passing. If you are single, set up a transfer-on-death deed for your designated beneficiary. This sort of deed enables the beneficiary to take possession of the house without the need for probate. Make sure the person you’re leaving your property to is aware of both that fact as well as your cancer diagnosis. If you think there may be a dispute with any other friends and family — for instance, if you designate your sister as beneficiary but suspect your brother won’t be pleased with that decision — try to give them a heads-up. Explain which choices you’ve made and why, and be prepared for their questions in return. It’s important to ultimately do what’s best for you, but taking the time to talk to others about your plans will give them insight and even help them better carry out your wishes.
For your bank accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance, you can (usually) avoid probate by designating beneficiaries. This means the accounts will automatically pass to them upon your death.
Who Will Take Care of Your Children or Aging Parents?
Make a point to list in your will who you wish to care for your minor children or aging parents/disabled relative. By making these wishes known, the courts are more likely to follow your lead. The declaration of your preferences ensures that your children do not end up in the foster system and that your aging parents/disabled relative do not get sent to a state facility.
Planning for the future as a cancer patient may not be easy, but it’s important for both you and your family. By tackling the big questions ahead of time, you can focus your energy on your treatment and care without any lingering concerns on your mind.
Today's Guest Blog Post is from Jackie Waters from Hyper-tidy.com she can be reached by email HERE
Do you have any Life Plans that you can share with others? Please comment below. Would you like to submit a Guest Blog Post? Contact Us.
#BCSM - Breast Cancer Social Media Support
Community Resource: Breast Cancer Social Media (#BCSM)
Breast Cancer Social Media (#BCSM) is but one example of how Twitter is much, much more than tweets about celebrity gossip or what someone had for dinner. This very active community includes patients, doctors and other health care providers, researchers, caregivers, advocates, and other supporters. I found #BCSM two months after my diagnosis and participated in my first chat four days after my first chemo infusion.
A Dream Team of Cancer Advocates
The topic that evening was the American Society of Breast Surgeons, an organization that would later be led by Dr. Deanna Attai (@DrAttai), one of #BCSM's co-moderators. Dr. Attai had joined #BCSM shortly after its first chat on July 4, 2011. That initial chat was moderated by Alicia Staley (@stales), a three-time cancer survivor; and Jody Schoger, who died from metastatic breast cancer in May 2016. I feel privileged to have known Jody, for far too brief a time, via these chats.
In her tribute to Jody, Alicia wrote, "Our backgrounds were so very different, but we were always drawn to advocacy. I’m an engineer through and through, Jody had the writing chops, public relations, and marketing background, and Deanna, the surgeon, provides the medical oversight, infrastructure, and community support. It's a dream team of cancer advocates."
Dream team is right. On Mondays at 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific, we gather on Twitter for at least an hour. We open with introductions, hellos, and catching up, and we close with virtual hugs and cookies. Most times we chat about a specific topic -- survivorship, genetic testing, caregiving, chemo, radiation, palliative care, clinical trials, scanxiety, metastatic breast cancer, nutrition, survivor's guilt, reconstruction and going flat, and more. (A chat on patient advocacy gave me resources that in turn helped a good friend of mine last year.) Or we get updates on conferences like the Miami Breast Cancer Conference, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, and meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Society of Breast Surgeons. Those conferences are also live-tweeted, often with photographs of slides and poster sessions. Occasionally we have an unstructured "open mic" chat, where we can talk about anything and everything.
#BCSM's overarching goal is "providing evidence-based education and support for anyone affected by breast cancer." Participants in our "Ask the Docs!" chat last year included six breast surgeons (including one from Venezuela), two medical oncologists (including one from the UK), a radiation oncologist, a plastic surgeon, and at least two cancer researchers. Most of them are chat regulars.
Our first chat of 2017 (topic: building a more collaborative community) had 48 participants and collectively we generated 407 tweets. Each Monday night the hour seems to fly by. Some of our newcomers are also newcomers to Twitter, so we also provide tech support where needed. The #BCSM website has a helpful guide at http://bcsm.org/bcsm-tweetchat/.
Collaborations With Other Advocate Groups
Some of our chats are cross-cancer collaborations. We've held joint conversations with Lung Cancer Social Media (#LCSM), Brain Tumor Social Media (#BTSM), and others. Our chats are open to all, and we, in turn participate in various community discussions, like those at Healthcare Leadership (#HCLDR) and #Hcchat, an official chat of the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Participation goes well beyond the chats because #BCSM runs 24/7. Links to articles about the latest research are posted, along with links to entries in cancer blogs. As I write this, I am preparing for my quarterly checkup with my oncologist. The questions I'll be asking him include two that are based on studies (presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December) that I learned about through #BCSM.
Camaraderie is central to the community. If someone posts about having scanxiety, we see it on the feed and offer comfort. We grieve losses and celebrate cancerversaries and good reports together. We provide input if someone asks about how to handle side effects. We have our version of a "bat signal" -- a way to contact the community, including doctors if someone needs urgent support. In addition to Twitter, #BCSM offers a resource-rich website at http://bcsm.org. Our transcripts can be found at http://www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/bcsm/.
#BCSM is my go-to online cancer support place in addition to WhatNext. I received a warm welcome when I tweeted as a newbie back in May 2014. Ever since then, the #BCSM feed has been a top information source for me and the chats have been a highlight of my Monday nights.
"Ejourneys" is a long time WhatNexter providing support, answers, motivation and inspiration to other WhatNexters on the site. She is a perfect example of why WhatNext was formed, for one person who has been through the traumatic experience of a cancer diagnosis, treatments, all the side effects that come with them, and moving into survivorship, to share those experiences with others.
You can view her profile page at WhatNext HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE.
What Social Media Resources have you found that you would recommend?
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Cancer Patients Have Heroes Too
Many people describe those who are battling the disease as “heroes.” But the truth is, every cancer patient needs a hero of their own. Someone from whom they can draw strength and hope. Someone to look up to, to keep them going when the going gets tough.
After asking members of the WhatNext community who inspires them most, we found that cancer patients – people who fight a real battle every day – have different kinds of heroes than everyone else.” You won’t find athletes, actors on this list … but you’ll still find plenty of inspiration.
Here are some of the kinds of heroes that inspire cancer patients:
Naturally, the first source of inspiration for many cancer patients are those that have made the journey before them – and lived to tell the tale.
“Herman Cain was my first inspiration,” writes WhatNexter BoiseB. “I saw him on Fox News and he talked about his battle with stage IV colon cancer. That was while I was in treatment for my first cancer.”
But celebrity or notoriety is hardly a key factor. Usually, it’s just those cancer patients who learn to endure the struggle with a quiet dignity. WhatNexter banditwalker, a breast cancer patient, recalls a woman in her neighborhood.
“Out of the blue one day she told me she had been battling cancer for several years,” says banditwalker. “When I told her I was about to lose my hair, we became even closer. To watch her go through life as if nothing was wrong was a huge bump to my expectations."
2. DOCTORS AND NURSES
While those battling cancer are often called heroes, the doctors and nurses who dedicate their lives to the fight sometimes don’t receive much recognition. But many patients are happy to acknowledge the efforts.
Generations of cancer patients are forever grateful to Sidney Farber, the father of modern chemotherapy (and namesake of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute).
3. CAREGIVERS AND SUPPORTERS
Ordinary people just doing decent, thoughtful things are often huge heroes to cancer patients. WhatNexter cllinda calls her friend Karen her hero.
“She would stop by with a smoothie, or just herself, and really listen,” cllinda writes. “She was my go-to person who wouldn't judge me, and would try to give me the right ideas to think about.”
Ejourneys remembers “the generosity of neighbors – one who mowed my lawn this past summer just because, and the farmer's market manager who offered to deliver my groceries to my door free of charge during treatment.”
5. OTHER WHATNEXTERS
BuckeyeShelby writes that she doesn’t “have much in the way of a ‘real world’ support system, so I depend on my What Next family.”
We were gratified to learn that WhatNexters are finding their heroes right here on our site. The fact that WhatNexters are getting strength and inspiration from one another is the primary reason that this site was founded.
“My heroes and inspirations are everyone here on WhatNext,” writes Ejourneys.
Lynne-I-Am agrees that coming to the site connection with other members of this community and “hearing the stories, sharing their ups and downs, celebrating their triumphs are part of my daily life.”
“I'm glad our community is there for each other,” writes BuckeyeShelby. “Even when some go back to their regular lives, new people always show up.”
Who has inspired you during your cancer journey? Write about them on the WhatNext forums – who knows, you may even become someone else’s inspiration!
What to Expect From Cancer Treatments
A cancer diagnosis can cause a whirlwind of questions and emotions. Often the specifics of the road ahead are unknown. Many WhatNexters agree that it felt easier once they found out more, got familiar with treatment plans, and found ways to stay positive and cope in their everyday life.
“I took it one thing at a time. I keep thinking each procedure, each treatment, is one more step towards recovery and that keeps me moving forward.” -- Beannie, Breast Cancer, Stage I
WhatNexters recommend reading the American Cancer Society’s Guide on Treatments and Side Effects of Cancer to find out about types of treatments, clinical trials, cancer drugs, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), physical side effects, emotional side effects, and information on palliative or supportive care. This guide may give you an overall view of what to expect and help you wrestle with the unknown that is ahead.
The best information may come directly from those who have been there before and have first hand experience with cancer treatments and all of the side effects that are associated with it. By connecting with and talking directly to a person that has been diagnosed with the same type of cancer as you is very valuable and informative. That's the premise WhatNext was founded on.
Related Article: It's cancer, what next?
WhatNexters have faced their treatment plans and side effects by:
Focusing on today
Trusting their doctors
Starting healthy eating habits
Distracting themselves with hobbies
Finding a helpful support system made up of family, friends, and others going through the same thing.
Below are just a few examples of the tips WhatNexters have shared on WhatNext.
Making Life Easier After Surgery
“I focused on practical preparation for a hospital stay and recovery. I was caught up on any paperwork, bill paying, correspondence, housework, projects, etc. so I didn’t have those to deal with as soon as I got home from the hospital. Decide what to take with you to the hospital and what preparations you need to have when you get home.” -- nancyjac, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Stage IIIB
Taking Care of Yourself After Chemotherapy
“I took especially good care of my body during the chemotherapy period...I also talk to my doctor if they (side effects) kept getting worse.” -- attypatty, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage IIA
Considering Clinical Trials
“I read up a bit on the types of trials, then inquired as to which type of trials I was being presented with. Every drug that we have ever received has gone through the trial process. In a trial, I (personally) feel we have the advantage of receiving cutting edge treatment.” -- po18guy, Lymphoma, Stage IV
Related Page: Clinical Trial Experiences
Being Positive in the Face of Life Changes
“After diagnosis and getting over the shock, I decided to be happy, not worry about things, enjoy each day, be thankful for life, and spread as much cheer as I can. They say laughter is the best medicine and I believe it. I find humor in the smallest things and truly enjoy myself. If you are already beaten in your mind, you can't beat the cancer in your body. I guess I am saying go for it, let the cancer know you are ready to fight, enjoy life, and be happy.” -- GENMAR47, Prostate Cancer, Stage II
Related Page: My Mind/Sense of Humor Experiences
Related Question: What kind of cancer jokes have you used with your medical team?
Staying Emotionally Strong
“Emotional health is so important. I made sure I had someone to talk with.I wasn’t afraid of all the emotions...from fear and sadness to laughter and joy and everything in between. To have the strength to move through the journey, my mind had to be strong too.” -- CarolLHRN, Colorectal Cancer
“I maintained a positive attitude and got all the support I could. Regarding support, I went to a support group of people with the same type of cancer as the shared experiences can be both emotionally beneficial and informative.” -- Afterglow, Prostate Cancer, Stage II
WhatNexters emphasize that no one is alone. WhatNexters can help provide personal insight about those feelings of shock, confusion, fear, and anxiety may come with the initial diagnosis, treatment, and side effects. WhatNexters also suggest using the American Cancer Society’s website to get more information about treatment and dealing with specific side effects. What helped you get through treatment and the side effects of cancer?
It's Cancer, What Next?
Telling Family and Friends
Telling Your Children
Chemo Induced Facial Acne and Remedies
Chemotherapy is notorious for its side effects. But while hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea get all the attention, there’s one lesser-known side effect that can be just as tough: acne.
It’s true: your chemo treatment might end up taking your face on a time trip back to those thrilling days of puberty. Who says chemo can’t make you feel young again?
It might seem minor, but the reemergence of facial acne during cancer treatment is an added source of low self-esteem for patients. You can get a wig, a scarf, or a ball cap to cover hair loss; facial acne is tough to hide.
“Since I've started chemo, I've started breaking out with acne,” “Sore zits, mainly around my chin. Another woman I spoke with, said she has them on her cheek bones.” writes WhatNexter SnoopyMoody.
To be sure, facial acne during treatment is a common problem, but it’s important not to confuse blemishes with the acne-like rashes that can occur with some forms of chemo and radiation therapy.
Shoeless writes that his oncologist warned him that acne could be a potential side effect. “Pretty much there isn't a whole lot you can do except go off of the chemo,” he writes. “It's more or less something you'll have to deal with ‘til the chemo is over.” To a certain degree, that’s true. But you don’t have to just sit there and accept it. Here are some tips to help fight back against a bad complexion during your chemo treatments.
KEEP SKIN CLEAN
The basic principles of avoiding acne don’t change from the time you’re 13 – you need to keep your skin clean. But what has changed is your medical condition, so you can’t just go to your old standby over-the-counter acne medicines. Many of those contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid that can irritate skin.
Be sure to check with your doctor before buying medicated skin cleansers; your oncologist may even be able to recommend a prescription strength skin cleaner with milder ingredients like Cetaphil (such as clyndamicin or metrogel).
Some cancer patients have reported good results with using sunflower oil to clean and moisturize their skin.
KEEP SKIN MOISTURIZED
Chemo treatment can dry your skin. Most oncologists will recommend a prescription topical cream or ointment to use before a standard moisturizer. This might be applied before or after using another product. Again, the goal is to protect skin that’s made sensitive from chemo, and to avoid any undue irritation.
Whatever regimen is recommended, be sure to moisturize your skin in the morning and in the evening before bed – or even at times during the day.
If you can, be sure to drink as many fluids – especially water – as possible. Dehydration is a common source of dry skin and can exacerbate acne.
KEEP AWAY FROM EXTREME WEATHER
As a chemo patient, you’ll likely want to avoid excessively hot or cold temperatures anyway. But these are also situations that are not good for your skin. Dry and windy conditions can lead to cracked, rough, and flaky skin to begin with, and you’re even more at risk for these conditions while undergoing treatment.
KEEP CLEAR OF SCENTED OR PERFUMED PRODUCTS
There can be hidden irritants in many of the products in your home that you previously would have considered harmless. Many cosmetics, soaps, lotions and body sprays contain perfumes or aroma agents that can worsen already dry skin. Be sure to use only products that are labeled allergen-free or “for sensitive skin.”
KEEP CLOTHES CLEAN WITH MILD DETERGENTS
Like lotions, many laundry detergents are full of scents and perfumes that can embed themselves in your clothes and irritate your skin. We’re talking about facial acne here, but your chemo treatments affect all of your skin (and your shirts are in close contact with your face pretty much all day long). It’s a good idea to choose laundry detergents made for babies, since these often don’t have scents or allergens. These are more expensive than usual detergents, but the cost is worth it.
Are you experiencing problems with facial acne during your chemo treatments? Share your solutions on the WhatNext
What is a Chemo Port and Why You Will Want One!
A chemotherapy port is sometimes referred to as a mediport, cancer port, or port a cath, is a vascular access device that is implanted under the skin so that people with cancer can be given chemotherapy. A power port is a port that enables patients to receive IV therapy as well as contrast CT scans.
For more information on chemotherapy read our guide: How WhatNexters Prepared for Chemotherapy.
Over a thousand WhatNexters have shared their firsthand experiences with chemotherapy ports. We encourage you to browse through their experiences, along with questions others have asked around chemotherapy ports.
We also recommend reading our blog post, To Port or Not to Port, where we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of getting a port based on the opinions of those living with cancer.
Below is a summary of many of the things WhatNexters have wanted to know, along opinions shared by various WhatNexters on the topic of cancer ports; The following information should not be substituted for medical advice.
Chemo Port Placement
A port is usually placed surgically under the skin of the chest or upper arm. Some WhatNexters have had to choose between port placement either in their arm or chest. Conditions for port location and implant vary from patient to patient; it is okay to be nervous about your port placement. The best way to know what to expect is to talk to your doctor about what specific options for a port apply to you.
Chemo Port Insertion and Port Surgery
WhatNexters have said that during their surgery they were either placed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Surgery is different for everyone. WhatNexters are sometimes anxious that the surgery will hurt. Most say that it was a fairly simple procedure and that there was some pain or discomfort afterwards. This may not be the case for everyone and experiences post-surgery will vary. Your doctor can talk to you about common side effects and typical recovery time.
“I was nervous for the port surgery but I love my port; it was so much easier every time I went to have chemo.” - cris, Breast Cancer, Stage III
“My port was inserted in an outpatient type of environment by a radiologist. After the procedure I was taken to the cancer center and received my first chemo treatment. I've had my port for over a year now and really have no problems.” - bobhess, Colorectal Cancer
“I underwent the port procedure in the morning under 'twilight' anesthesia, and I received my treatment through the port on the same day. Discomfort (versus pain) was minimal and although it took a little while to get used to it being there, I think it was well worth it and makes treatments so much easier.” - RuthAnne, Lung Cancer
“My port placement was done in a "mini operating room" of the office complex. I was given something to relax me, but I was awake. The doctor and nurses were compassionate and caring. It went well. Afterwards, I went wig shopping. I had it removed at the same facility. The male nurse sat next to me and told me to squeeze his hand and I did. Five minutes later he asked if he could have his hand back! For me, having the port for chemo was a blessing as I do not have the veins that I would have needed. I was aware of its presence and felt a sense of freedom when it was removed.” - JennyMiller, Breast Cancer, Stage IIIA
Chemo Port Cleaning and Care
The video below is provided by Maine Medical Center and describes the procedures they use when accessing, cleaning and getting treatment through a port. While your facility might not use the exact techniques, they will be very similar.
A common question that WhatNexters have is whether or not their port will take daily care. Ports are not commonly high maintenance; some say there was soreness after the surgery, most patients go on to maintain their normal quality of life. You will still be able to shower; it may take some getting used to or finding a new sleeping position. Many people stay completely active with their ports. A port should be routinely flushed if it is not used for more than a month or so.
Some WhatNexters have experienced a slight itching or burning when it comes time to have their port flushed. The time between flushes is often 3-6 weeks depending on the recommendation from your doctor.
“If it wasn't going to be accessed for a long time then I would have had to go to my port flushed about every month. I was very thankful for my port.” - lynn1950, Breast Cancer, Stage III
Possible Port Complications
There are possible complications with having a port. It should be monitored closely and you should report any problems to your doctor right away. A port can break, become swollen, or become infected; signs of infection are if the site is red, hot, or oozing. These descriptions are not meant to scare you but are a reminder that you should be attentive to any changes and report them to your doctor.
A port may even quit working completely, while not common, it has happened to many WhatNexters.
“I had two put in, first one quit working, but it was swapped for another and I kept it for 10 years after I quit treatment! Both were done in the operating room under local anesthesia. The second one was taken out just a few years ago after me refusing to let it go. I was very attached to it, literally and figuratively. It was a very nice thing to have!” - GregP_WN, Hodgkin Disease, Stage II
Possible Port Pain
Many WhatNexters wonder if the chemo port implant will hurt. Some have complained of port pain including soreness after port surgery or some irritation when their clothes or other items such as a seatbelt rub against their port site. The area may feel tender. Some WhatNexters say that their shoulder felt heavy or that there was some bruising; not many say they have experienced a lot of pain, but everyone reacts differently from the insertion. For those that experienced port pain, they talked to their doctor and were able to regulate the pain. Some have simply experienced worry or discomfort from the change of having a port there.
“After I had my port for over a week it became a lot easier to think about. It bothered me a lot at first, but I finally started to forget about it a little. I know it would just take time for the adjustment.” - nobrand, Lymphoma
Chemo Port Removal
The port pictured below has just been removed from a patient. This procedure can be done in an operating room, procedure room or even in your local PCP's exam room. Usually done with only local anesthesia.
A port can be removed when you are finished with chemotherapy. Some WhatNexters have wanted their ports out as soon as possible, but some have kept theirs in for future use. Some have even kept their port for years and continued to do routine flushes. This is an option that should be discussed with your doctor; you will have the opportunity to discuss the technical pros and cons of keeping it or having it removed.
“I had the port out about a month after my last chemo. I was so glad to get it out. It was a sense of freedom for me, another hurdle, a positive event in my journey. The time frame would most likely depend on the doctor and individual case though.” - JennyMiller, Breast Cancer, Stage IIIA
Why You Would Want a Port
When there are multiple options of how to receive chemo, sometimes the deciding factor comes to a personal preference. Some reasons why WhatNexters wanted a port were that they wanted to save their veins from getting pricked every time they got chemo, they felt it made chemo treatments go quicker, they thought it would be worth it because they were going through chemo for an extended period of time, and that some ports can also be used to do blood work or contrast CT scans. Your personal reasons for wanting or not wanting a port may be unique to your own preferences.
Chemo is also hard on your veins, and repeated treatments in the arms or hands can make the veins hard and inaccessible. So if treatment is expected to involve several sessions, a port is recommended.
Emotional Reactions of Getting a Port
WhatNexters’ initial reaction when their doctor presents the option of a port is often one of uneasiness. Everyone will react differently, but some reject the idea of another surgery or worry that a port implant may be a constant reminder of their cancer. Fortunately, in most cases, the uneasiness faded over time and they were thankful for their port. Even if you find you have a love/hate relationship with your port, many survivors say they would not change their decision and that it made going through chemotherapy more bearable.
“I had a love-hate relationship with my port. I was so grateful to have it because it spared my veins, but I didn't like that it was a constant reminder even when I wasn't on chemo. Despite all the problems I had with it, I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.” - IKickedIt, Colorectal Cancer
Ultimately the decision to get a port is between you and your doctor. Have you chosen to have a port implant? What do you like and dislike about it? What insights can you offer others who have not made their decision?