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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/16/2005 3:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys, well I had the port a cath put in Fri., and guess i am ready for the next step, chemo. My doc told me it wouldn't be painful, well guess what, he lied. nono lol. I was wondering if any of you guys with a  port, had pain after the surg. It could be cause my neck is skinny i don't know. Before the procedure, the surgeon told me it wouldn't be painful and you wouldn't be able to tell it was there. Wrong again. When I woke up I couldn't move my neck, and it felt like someone was squeezing the breath out of me. Sat morn i had a 2 inch bruise around the site. Needless to say it is very painful. Any way that is another procedure down, and starting chemo Mon. as far as i know now.I called the oncol office fri. as well, and i start the A/C, " devil The Red Devil", as is its nick name here on Mon morn. When the nurse said that, I said,OK, thats all i needed to know, that's the mean one HUH, she said yes. Just wanted a little info. Thanks to all my friends here, I am sure you all can answer my question. Love and Prayers to all, Carol

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/16/2005 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to ask you all another ques, i think i already have "chemo brain", cause i can;t remember anything. Any suggestions on what to eat or drink, before a treatment. Or is it best not to eat anything? I was reading, and the book says to drink plenty of water, actually it says 3 quarts of water before a treatment!!!!!! If I do that, I will be able to float to my app. I think that is all I have to ask right now. Take Care, Carol

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 10/16/2005 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
HI Carol -- My name is Jackie and I've been here a long time . . just don't post much.  You know you are among friends here and someone can always relate . .My port insertion also hurt a lot after surgery . . sometimes it amazes me what docs say since gee . . they
it's not like they have ever had these procedures themselves.
As for first treatment I was personally scared to death and wanted to scream at my husband who was calmly reading the paper!  Adriamycin does have a reputation, but I sure wish people wouldn't scare people before hand.
My advice to you is:
1.  Go have a great lunch --- drink plenty of fluids (your favorites) because you will find with chemo many things taste different.
2.  Take some music or a good book, breathe,and try to relax.
3.  Make a little chemo journal.  Especiallly with the first -- write down how you feel each day because it will give you a heads up on what to expect from here on out.
4.  Be getting a wig.
5. Spray your entire house with Lysol every day.
6. Buy a new toothbrush every treatment.
I know you must be thinking I'm over the top on this . . just a few words of advice from some one who is forever there.
Good luck and hugs!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 10/16/2005 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello, welcome, and sorry you have to be with us. I, too, had A/C and it is the "A" that is red, done as a "push" that is really bad. I was told to drink lots of water, at least 64 oz per day because the Adriamycin can damage kidneys, bladder, etc. My sis has chronic cystitis that she believes is because of Adriamycin. Yes, my port really hurt, I bruised, and I got a sinus infection on top of that. I was sick for about 3 weeks. Your neck will often feel like it has a "catch" in it, but it is better than ruining your veins with that bad stuff.
Your first treatment will tell you how your body will likely react during this time. Eat beforehand, but not heavy foods. Take nausea meds proactively ( I took mine for 3 days after treatment) because you do not want to throw up. Ask for sleep meds because you will be given some cortizone with the A/C. This med will keep you awake that first night. Insist on a sleeping aid. I would take my sleep med  around 9 pm and get to sleep around mid-night and sleep for 8 hours. Next, on the 10th through the 14th days (I believe) you are suceptible to infection so stay out of crowds. Try to stay positive and active. Walk, lift light weights, continue with arm exercises if you were given them. Let us hear from you and how you are doing.
PS As for chemo brain, I believe that for you right now the problem is a lot of stress. As a matter of fact, lots of doctors believe chemo brain stems from the stress of having cancer and undergoing treatment, the worry of recurrence, etc. I personally do not know, but I have had a terrible time since I FINISHED treatment, so personally, I am leaning towards stress.

Post Edited (JUJU8872) : 10/16/2005 6:51:36 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 10/16/2005 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Carol,

I, too, had ALOT of pain with the port. I was very discouraged. Had to sleep propped up with all kinds of pillows to get comfortable. But the pain did abate after a couple of weeks and I was so glad I had that port. I did my first treatment without and knew I couldn't do a second. The worst part of the first chemo is the unknown. Really, it is a fairly uneventful event -- the actual procedure, I mean. Do drink as much water as you can. When water started tasting like metal to me, I began drinking lemonade with a straw...

Take care of yourself.



Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/16/2005 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon never said that having a port inserted wouldn't hurt. He put it in during my first mastectomy. Mine hurt like the devil for about three weeks, then it settled down. It was inserted in Jan of 1996 on my left side. In Jan of 2000, I had to have a left mastectomy and told the surgeon to, please, save the port. He did.

It is a little uncomfortable now and then, but mostly when one of the grandchildren sits in my lap and, occasionally, the seatbelt in my car rubs again it. Also, I sleep with my arms around a body pillow. It protects the site.

Having had bilateral mastectomies and a left arm with severe lympedema, I am glad that I have that port. We've been together almost ten years.

I didn't have chemobrain before my treatments but I was so scared that I didn't have any room left in the brain to store information. If it hadn't been for my mother and several friends, I would have been more of a public embarrassment than I was.

You will get through this. The pain will settle down and the port will definitely save important veins in your arm.

Hugs, Jo-Ann
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 10/16/2005 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   

I had my port-a-cath put in before my first chemo and I had almost no pain. They sent me home and said to take tylenol if I had pain. Hubby and I went to dinner after coming home, went back home watched some tv and went to bed. I did have alot of bruising all the way from my shoulder blade to my breast, I looked a mess because I was still bruised on the other side from the lumpectomy. Since then I have had some pain while trying to sleep. I sleep on the same side as my port and somtimes it puts too much pressure on it. I could not imagine not having it, it makes chemo so much easier. You can put medicine on it to numb it before chemo but I never have and it dosn't hurt.

I just finished my treatments with AC and will start Taxol in a week. I have had some aches but very little nausea. I have a harder time with the shots (Neulasta or Neupogen) that they give you the next day to build your white blood cells up. As far as your first chemo the not knowing is harder than the actual treatment. I always eat a sadwich before and then take a bottle of water with me. I take a nausea pill before treatment and another 4 hours later and I have never thrown up.

Good luck with your first treatment and keep us posted.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/17/2005 5:20 AM (GMT -6)   
A port is probably most necessary for a/c (unless you have ropes for veins) if it leaks out during infusion it can cause serious damage, you don't want that. You can probably have it removed when you're done with a/c if you choose, even if you're scheduled for a different chemo like taxol next, most other chemos don't usually cause the leaking damage that a/c can cause, check with your onc. Drink lots of water and start taking your antinausea meds right away after infusion whether you think you need to or not, you don't want to wait and see if you get nauseaus or not, it's much easier to prevent the nausea than try to control it once it starts. The hair loss was the worst side effect for me, other than that I honestly breezed through it, everyone's different. Good luck!
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