Getting my port a cath

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Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/8/2005 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all
 
Just wanted to give an update. I have my surgery on Wednesday and hopefully my first chemo the same day. I was supposed to go back to work but not now. I will probably go back to work Friday if I feel okay. Did most of you have chemo the same day as your port? I figure Im going to be down already so why not take advantage of it.
 
hugs:)
Bernadette

JUJU8872
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 8/8/2005 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Absolutely, and I believe they stick a needle in the port during surgery to check it. Tell them to leave it in so your RN onc won't have to stick you again. Good Luck with this. Remember first that it is a surgery and you will react accordingly, second, remember to be proactive about your nausea medicine. Ask them when you can first take it and follow its directions for at least the first 3 days.  Also remember that the steriods will keep you awake the first night, so be sure to take your sleeping pill.

Good Luck and let us hear from you.

JUJU


Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/8/2005 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Juju

I still have to wait until next Wednesday to have my first chemo session, my Dr is on vacation this week.....darn. Do all of the chemo medicines have steroids? Im going on TAC I was hoping to loose weight not gain. What did yo do? gain or loose? Thank yo for all of the advice.

Bernadette

JUJU8872
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   Posted 8/8/2005 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I am not sure what TAC is. For my chemo and I believe for most, steroids are given so you will not have a reaction. There were a few other pre-meds for me. I did not gain weight, as a matter of fact, I have lost about 15 pounds( I had gained 10 pounds after a 2003 auto accident). Part came when I had the port and got a terrible sinus infection afterwards, I was sick for about 3 weeks. Also, part of the weight loss has come because I have changed my diet. I no longer eat "sugar". By this I mean, no cookies, no candy, no cakes, no pies, no icecream.

JUJU

Tavish
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   Posted 8/8/2005 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Bern, steroids are given by many oncs as a pre-med and for the first couple days after chemo. I think it helps with nausea but I am not sure exactly of what it does to help. I took it for about 3 days, decadron. I actually slept great the first couple nights, even when I was on chemo. It was the in between weeks that gave me a hard time when I learned about ambien. 

As for weight, I lost about 10# or so before chemo. I think it was from stress and going off the Pill.  My weight stayed exactly the same during chemo. Some people gain weight from metabolic changes, others just eat junk because they may not have a taste for healthy foods....just be cautious and remain smart about what you eat.  I did gain weight slowly, from Tamoxifen...now recently finished I am trying to drop the weight (but not doing well with dietary changes).

My advice is to eat what you need to in order to be comfortable during chemo..don't go hog wild but don't worry about your weight, just worry about feeling good and staying healthy.

Lori



Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/9/2005 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Juju & Lori


thanks for the info Im not sure why I worry about all of these things. Iam such a control freek that I just want it all MY way. Unfortunatly this disease takes the control away from you. Did both of you work during chemo? I have read that you are supposed to stay away from crowds and people that might have colds. My job is selling I stand at the front counter and greet everyone and then sell to them. Im kindof worried about that. But I love my job and miss it, I have been off for 2 weeks and probably wont go back until Monday. I work will 18 men and they are like my kids and brothers.

about the weight thing I thought everyone lost during chemo. I was hoping that if I had to feel that bad that at least I would get something out of it! Do they sit down with you and give you a dietary guide?

Juju how did you get a sinus infection from the port a cath surgery?

Have a great day, Im off to have fluid drained from my breast and then to the wig store! I figure I will get one now so that I will be ready.

A friend is like a good bra...its all about the support!
Bernadette

JUJU8872
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   Posted 8/9/2005 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   

I did not get a sinus infection from the port surgery. I have bad allergies, it was February, it was cold, and it just coincidentally happened. The sinus infection just extended how long I felt bad after the port surgery. Sinus infections always make me very sick.

I have not worked during this. I am in sales and I travel 3 states. I did not want to be on the road sick. As it worked out, I was not very sick. Why don't you try working to see how you feel, and work accordingly. Again, your chemo is different from mine.

I, too, am a control freak. I just had to "get over it."

JUJU


Post Edited (JUJU8872) : 8/9/2005 10:13:48 AM (GMT-6)


Cathi
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   Posted 8/9/2005 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi

So glad you are getting a port..I love mine ! Makes getting chemo so much easier, especially if you have bad veins.

My 1st round of chemo 5 yrs ago I worked almost full time, and the same my 2nd  round which was this spring. I did avoid malls and places with big crowds and I tried and stay away from the gtandkids on days when I knew my counts would be low.

Hope all goes well,

Cathi

 

 



Sometimes it is a slender thread, Sometimes a strong,
stout rope; She clings to one end, I the other;
She calls it friendship; I call it hope....

Post Edited (Cathi) : 8/9/2005 11:24:28 AM (GMT-6)


Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/9/2005 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Juju & Cathi

Thanks for the encouragement again I just hope all goes well. Im not afraid of the surgery Im more annoyed by it. I have my port done at 7:30 am tomarrow. I have not healed all the way from the last surgery and here we go again!

Juju were you just diagnosed in June? I see that is where you started here. I will try to work through all of this as much as possible, I feel lost without something to do everyday. Is your job still open when you feel good enough to go back? I hope so I really like my job. And I think it will help to keep busy. Juju and Cathi how old are you? Im 45.
Well Ill write back tomarrow after my surgery to update you.

Bernadette

Tavish
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   Posted 8/10/2005 6:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Bern, I totally know how you feel....but try to think of it differently....you do not have control over having had cancer or undergoing treatment, but you DO have control over a number of things. I too was determined to be in control of everything, which is why I cut my hair before chemo took it. You are in control of your emotions, reactions, and how you approach things. Are you going to be passive or advocate for yourself? SIt and mope or show people how beautiful you can be? I also read and learned as part of my way to take control. Decide what you do have control over and don't let cancer take one ounce from you if you can prevent it.

For dietary issues, I consulted the cancer center's nutritionist, you may want to ask about that too. The ACS has lots of information on diet and nutrition during chemo. I lost weight before chemo, and stayed exactly the same for the whole time (too bad I gained it after, but that is another issue).

As for work, ask your onc. It may depend on what you do. I worked the whole time and avoided malls and movies during the period when counts were too low. But I have an office/ desk job and it was ok. If you work with the public, they may want you to take precautions. I worked through it all, but took a couple days off each chemo cycle (worked from home a little those days).
L&H,
Lori


JUJU8872
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 8/10/2005 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed in December 2004 but found this site in June. I have just turned 59. And no, my job won't be available, but I am not too worried -- not that I am financially secure, but I believe God will provide. Take it easy after the surgery.

JUJU

skeeter1
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/10/2005 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Bernadette, good luck with your chemo, I started all my treatments and on same schedule as JuJu so I know how hard this is for you and how many questions you have. It looks like the girls have been great with you and giving you good answers. I too am a control freak lol... no really the unknown is the worst for me. I only have 6 more radiation tx left and will be done... my biggest concern now is going back to work. I have been on light duty at a desk since I was diagnosed and work about 20 hours a week but in Oct I will have to jump into 12 hours shifts with day night rotations.. and worried to death about if I can handle it..see I will not be able to adjust slowly they say I need to be able to jump in like before and do the job right away. I will be on my feet the whole 12hrs...yikes.... I like you love my job and the people I work with are great its just my management I have problems with....uuummm ... right now you need to concentrate on getting through your treatments and getting rid of the cancer.... work if you can... but don't over do it k... does your job had short term or long term disability??? that will help money wise??? do what you can when you feel like you can and don't feel bad if you can't do things like you did before treatment!! I think during my chemo and surgery that thought really bugged me that I wasn't able to do things like before and it seemed like it would never come back but now that I am in rad tx and almost done I realize that I am starting to feel more like my self and that there is an end to this long tunnel I entered in the beginning....

everyone handles this adventure we are on differently... but we all seem to have the same concerns so hang in there k .... it will get better... skeeter1


chantry31
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 8/10/2005 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Sorry if this isnt the right thread to post this, but what i am really having difficulty with, is that right now, I feel fine!Last year at this time I was jogging three times a week, and very active. When I got pregnant in sept. i continued joging into Nov. and after that walked almost every day up until the birth. Now, at two and a half months later, I was just getting back into jogging, and (trying) to get my body back. Now i am recovering (again) from surgery. Once i am recovered from the surgery, i hit chemo... I realize that its necessary, but if I feel healthy now, why put myself through such a physically taxing procedure?? (I know i need to, i'm just venting) 


There are no wrong turnings, only paths we did not know we were meant to take - Guy Gavriel Kay


Brnadebt
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 8/10/2005 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all

Had my port a cath today and have had NO pain I had surgery at 2:00 got home at 5:00 and it is now 10:00 I keep wondering when the pain is going to kick in. My hubby and I just got home from going out to dinner. Iam getting tired though so will be heading to bed. Did any of you have the (super glue) instead of stitches? This is great they say it stays on for 7-10 days and as it comes off you just peel it off.

Skeeter thanks for your post too, I always like hearing different peoples adventures through our cancer journey. You sound alot like me, I too feel guilty about not being able to work like I used to. At this point I have not been back but will try to go on Friday. Thank goodness for short term disability or we would be broke already. My work covers you for as long as you need to be out with 100% pay.


Did any of you bruise from your surgeries??? I look like someone used me for a punching bag, I still am not healed from the lumpectomy and now this. I should take pictures so that I remember how awful it looks. You know life is still good I worried about the port and it was very easy, so maybe the chemo will be too :)

Hugs
Bernadette

JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 8/11/2005 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   

I am so happy you are doing well! Yes, I did have the glue and it does come off. It may drive you crazy in a few days, but it will not scar.

JUJU


skeeter1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/11/2005 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   

Bernadette, I think we are alot alike too.. I worry about little things too instead of the big stuff like Ca. I think by doing that I don't have to think about the future and if it will come back. I have done this all the way through. lol. I had super glue too as I call it. They used it for my port and for my surgery too, so when I came home I never had a dressing on. That was cool. I never worried about when it will come off, but it does on its own. Yes I looked very bruised after port. I actually had my port put in at the beginning of my chemo treatment before surgery. When I had surgery they took out my port too. I really bruised when they removed it but it didn't hurt. The docs had big debate at surgery time, about, if to remove my port or not, but I was so sure everything would go well that I pushed for them to remove it...and lol I was right!!!

You will do fine with chemo.. at the time of chemo I worried alot.. had tons of questions. I read alot of articles on what to eat and drink, and the girls here gave great advice. I hated the taste in my mouth, metallic) I drink alot of ginger ale, sonic has a limeade drink that has strawberrys in it and that was great too I got the recipe for it. I loved to drink that.. I also drink favored bottle water, can't remember brand but look for the kind that doesn't have carbon in it. I couldn't handle the carbon, there are several brands out there, if it says sparkling it has carbon in it!! My brother told me to make my own gateraide, can't remember exact recipe but you take water add 1/3 to 1/4 cup jucie (whatever you like) and put pinch of salt in it. I drank that too. They said to eat certain things but I never really did, ate what I wanted. The first few treatments I ate alot of chicken strips, or grilled chicken and mashed potatos, then moved on to grilled hamburgers or steak and potatos cooked anyway I liked. So eat what you want or think you can handle k. I always rebounded on my labs the week after my treatments I got treatments every two weeks. They gave me neulasta shots at end of each treatment. So these are some ideas sure you will figure out what works for you.

My biggest worry now is going back to work... seems like always something to worry about huh! I am like you without my short term and now long term disability I wouldn't have gone broke, mine was 70% and now 60% of normal monthly income. My insurance has been great too!! Once I do get back to work I won't have a huge medical bill to pay off just a do able bill that a big relief too...

life is still great for us..... and sometimes.... we need to stop and smell the roses.... skeeter1

Limeade Recipe: 12 oz sprite, 3 lime wedges (1/8 each) and I used 1/4 cup cherry juice (libby's) fill 16 oz cup with ice and mix ingred.

 


BAK
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/12/2005 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
It's good to hear that you did so well, Bernadette!

I also bruised horribly but it didn't really hurt with the port.

I'm sure you will do fine with chemo too.

The taste of things was hard for me. I ended up eating frozen fruit juices, popsicles, frozen yogurt and other stuff and it helped alot on those days. And I couldn't drink coffee at all....it tasted awful. And McDonald hamburgers tasted good to me. lol
If you get bad indigestion or heartburn be sure to ask for prevacid or that purple pill because it really helped me ALOT!

I'm still in chemo until Oct but have to return to work August 22.....and may only be able to work part time if the fatigue kicks in after treatments.

After starting the taxol I gained 15 lbs...maybe from the steriods and feeling hungry all the time! lol

HUGS

Beth

Brnadebt
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 8/13/2005 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all
 
It has been 3 days since port surgery and still not much pain. Im very happy about that. I get a (zizzle) now and then but that is it. I go back to work on Tuesday and start chemo Wednesday. I think all will be fine, I have kept a good attitude through it all and none of it has been too bad.
 
I went out yesterday and bought my first wig! I took a friend with me to give me advice. I picked one close to the same color and a little shorter. I hope I will be able to stand wearing it. I thought I should at least have one to be ready when the time comes.
 
I have another visit with the oncologist Wednesday to go over my Ct and Pet scans this way I will get to know a little more about the spots on my lungs and spleen. I hoping for the best.
 
Have a great day!!!!! tongue
 
Bernadette

Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/13/2005 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Beth

Thanks for the post sounds like you are on the downside of treatments. Are you having rads after chemo? I will be doing that.

I think you are the 2nd person to tell me they could not stand coffee during chemo, I love my coffee too. The idea of Mcdonalds hamburger is not bad I like those. Did you loose any weight during chemo? I thought Taxol was given after chemo was done. I still have a million questions, Im sure when it is done I will feel like I know all there is to know about breast cancer.

You have been off completly during chemo? Im going to try to work as much as I can, but worry about being around all of the customers and their germs. I dont want to be even more sick. As far as indigestion goes I already take Zantak but will take anything to keep from having a sick tummy.

Take care
Bernadette

BAK
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/14/2005 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Bernadette,

Yes, after chemo I am supposed to have rads too...and hormone therapy. Taxol is chemo....are you thinking of tamoxifen?

Nope....didn't loose weight...I just gained! lol

I know what you mean about questions...new ones pop up all the time.

I have not worked since surgery....6 months now. My first chemo AC was every 2 weeks with nuelasta shots the day afterward and I really didn't feel good with it.... Flu-like symptoms (aches and pains and fever) and extreme fatigue. I had short term and long term disability so I got by financially ok....still LOTS of bills though.

But many people are able to work so you could do just fine! I work with dual diagnosis (developmentally disabled and mentally ill) adults..mainly men..who can be quite aggressive. And I'm a supervisor of 8 staff too. My job can be demanding physically and mentally and I had chemo-brain pretty bad. I even forgot names and what my job title was! LOL But I will be returning in a week and I am pretty nervous about that.

I had 3-4 kinds of anti-nausea meds so I wasn't sick too much. Mainly I was just sleepy all the time. They work pretty good. And some people don't feel sick at all!
The nurses said I just had more problems with side effects than most...so don't use my experience to go by! LOL

God bless you lots!

Beth

Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/14/2005 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Beth

When were you diagnosed? I was just diagnosed on July 15th. How many chemo treatments do you have left? Iam going to be taking 3 chemo meds taxotere, adrizemycn & cytoxan. My job is just very busy and I work with alot of people. I alreday feel like I have chemo brain, I start to say something and then forget the name of what I was going to talk about. I think I will probably have the most trouble with being tired all of the time. I tend to be a high energy person so not being able to go go go will probably bother me.

How old are you? Im 45. I live near Seattle. I love the area here there is so much to do and its wonderful when the weather is good. I have great insurance and all I have to pay out of pocket is 3,000 the rest is picked up by insurance. I also have short and long term disability so if I end up taking more time at least AI will be covered.

Thanks again for the letter.
Bernadette

BAK
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/14/2005 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Bernadette,

I'm 52 but feel 35 LOL.

I was first dx in Feb, surgery in mar and started chemo in April. I used the same chemos as you. I had 4 sessions of AC 2 weeks apart and then 12 sessions of taxol (similar to taxotere) 1 per week for 3 weeks then one week off. I think I have 4 or 5 treatments left. Then rads.....6-8 weeks and hormone therapy for 5 years. It seems like forever.......

I've never been to Seattle but have heard it is wonderful. I was born in NY, then lived in Illinois, Arizona and CA...and now have been in Kansas for 5 years. It is very pretty where we live in the Flint hills near KState U.....not flat like people think of KS.

If I had lots of money I would prefer to live by the Pacific coast somewhere. I miss vacations to Moro Bay, Cayucas, and Monterey areas.....and the feel, sounds and smells of the beach, surf and air. My sister from CO drives all the way there just to stick her feet in the sand! lol She used to live in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

I'm glad you have good insurance and disability.....that helps alot with peace of mind.

I think my chemo brain is getting better but some days I'm not too sure! : )

Take care,
Beth

Brnadebt
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   Posted 8/14/2005 1:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Beth

Thanks again for your reply. Yes you would love the Seattle area, it is very pretty when it is not raining. I love all the green, everything here is green Tuesday in downtown Seattle looking through all the shops and going to the aquarium. My best friend met me there and surprised me with a cruise around the Seattle waterfront, it was great except I got sunburned. Then we went to Ivars (famous here for seafood) to have fish and chips. It was a good way to keep my mind off of surgery the next day. I can understand why your sister drives so far just to put her feet in the sand there is something about being at the beach.

Is taxotere a steroid? I tried to look it up but it didnt say. That is one of the drugs I will be taking for my 18 week chemo treatments. It sounds like you had treatments a little different from mine. Good luck with the rest of them and keep me posted.

Hugs:)
Bernadette

possitive
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 8/14/2005 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Bernadette,I was on adriamycin and cytoxin the first two months of treatment and i lost 15 pounds and felt yucky.and the next two months i was on taxol and gained my weight back and had a good appetite.My bones hurt really bad but they have meds for that.I started losing my hair the day of the second treatment(2 weeks)Get you some bandanas and scarves,i thought i would wear a wig but i dont i just wear scarves.After the first treatment then you will know what to expect.I read that you have surgery on wed.im having surgery on thursday,ill be thinking of you.Hugs and Prayers.....Tammy

Brnadebt
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 8/14/2005 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Tammy

Thanks for the info I will actually be taking 3 drugs the other is taxotere. I thought maybe the first round I would loose some weight (or hoped I would) everyone I talk to says they gain on taxol so Im not looking forward to that. I bought a wig and a hat but no scarves yet. I wanted to be ready when the hair started coming out.

My surgery to put my port in was last Wednesday, this week it is my first round of chemo. What type of surgery are you having? Good luck and remember to keep your breast buddies updated.


Bernadette
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