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Chemo & veins Chemo & veins

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Unread 07-23-2004, 12:08 PM
Chemo & veins

Hi all,

I'm 10 days post my 2nd chemo treatment and one of my biggest concerns is the condition of my veins. I've always had good veins, never had a problem giving blood or getting an IV....and I opted to try to make it thru my 6 treatments without a port.

I noticed today when I went for my blood draw that it hurt a lot

I'm worried. I dont' want a port...and you might ask why?...and My answer would have to be.."I more surgical thing, one more invasive thing...something else to worry about...." and probably a good old fashioned "BECAUSE I DONT WANT IT!!" I dont want to worry about getting hit in the chest with a ball (as if I'm playing softball now, anyway...6 weeks post-op)...or falling off my horse (as if I am riding right now, anyway) ..swimming in the ocean (have I Mentioned I hate sand and never swim at the beach?) know, I have every kind of excuse. The point is, I just want to make it thru my treatments with my own veins holding up.

SO...I ask you ,my more knowlegable did YOUR veins hold up during treatment? Did you get any advice on keeping those veins good and 'juicy'? The nurse told me to get a raquet ball and squeeze it a couple of times a day, and to make sure I drink lots of non-caffeinated liquids...but did anyone find a "SECRET" to vein health?

And again, I ramble. Must be because I was at a friend's house and drank a pot of coffee. ..OOPS!...BEFORE my blood draw! Wonder if that had anything to do with it...hmm....

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom you can offer
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Unread 07-23-2004, 01:00 PM
Chemo & veins

Hi again....Chemo is VERY hard on veins. I don't know of many women who did not have a port. I have had mine for 10 months now. My veins didn't even make it through my initial hospitilization. I do everything I did preport and more because I feel better. I NEVER even think about it until it's time for my monthly port flush which takes all of 5 min to do.

Unread 07-23-2004, 01:34 PM
Chemo & veins

thanks for the reply, Bertha!

I have seen women at treatments with no port..but I have no clue as to what they are getting or how many treatments they have had.....

I dont even know why it's such a big deal to me. But I realised today that the anticipation of that needle prick was worst than it's ever been in my whole life...and I'm only just over my second treatment!
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Unread 07-23-2004, 01:53 PM
Chemo & veins


I didn't have a port either...God i wish i had. My doc is an expert in the field of gyn/onc and for some reason he is against ports. I diod okay, but my veins have all gone into hiding!!! But, I did okay, got to be a glutton for punishment hurts like Hell when someone can't find a spot to hook up. I had four sessions of three days each for the first half of my clinical trial...they just left the IV connection in place for those...but then i also did 4 courses of carbo and taxol....right ABOUT THEN IT WAS GETTING BAD...NOT TO MENTION THE THE BLOOD TESTS EVERY WEEK....BUT i DON'T KNOW IF ALL OF THAT WAS PART OF DOING A CLINICAL TRIAL??? A port is definately the way to go if you have one. My veins are shot!! Good luck to you and God bless.

Love, Sally
Unread 07-23-2004, 01:59 PM

I'm pretty sure SirenSong who posted recently and had six "major chemos" and a year of weekly low-dose did not have a port. Hopefully she'll be along and can tell you about it.

Mary D.
Unread 07-23-2004, 02:25 PM
Chemo & veins

Hi K9

I just wanted to share with you how easy my port was to install surgery was at 10:45 general anesthesia, just an i.v. sedation.......

Wheeled into the o.r. and then next thing i remember, I woke up, still in the was all over......didn't even have to go to the recovery room. Went right back to my pre-op prep room. Had some sprite and a cracker and left the hospital at 12:00. An hour and 15 min.

Can't shower for a couple of days, and the port site is just a little sore today, but I don't think i'll regret it. I have awful hard to find and crooked veins.......

Let us know how you do....
Unread 07-23-2004, 02:48 PM
Chemo & veins

Hi Lori,

Yep, I saw your posting on another thread..and that got me thinking about MY options. LOL!

Unread 07-23-2004, 03:13 PM
How Many Chemos Planned?

It's hard on your veins. The more a vein is used, the more scar tissue can build up. My former best vein is no longer usable.

The port surgery is not hard at all and makes it easier. I will say that the needle going into the port hurts more than going into a vein--then, nothing. No multiple sticks, no infiltration worries--one stick and that's it.

I had a friend go through over a dozen (minimally) Doxil treatments without a port (she had a PICC line for her first series) and now she wishes she'd had one and will get one when she goes back on chemo soon.

It gets tiring having all these tests and pokes and draws and feel like a pincushion. And now my second best veins are for me the port is a good deal
Unread 07-23-2004, 06:33 PM
Chemo & veins

s K9

In the cancer center where I am treated, it was never discussed.
I was on the OR schedule early in the morning of my first chemo treatment to have the infusaport inserted. And I must say I have no regrets. My port is now over three years old and that little bump is just one of many on my body. My onc feels it is bad luck to remove them. Now that my checkups are every four months, they do suggest that I get it flushed one time in between. I just had it flushed this past Tuesday. I never even bothered to use emola cream. That little local anesthetic that some women use on their skin at the port site before a needle is inserted.
To me having the port accessed is no worse than a venous puncture.
I'd advise anyone to get a port!!

Unread 07-23-2004, 07:51 PM
Chemo & veins

Hi K9

I did 6 treatments of taxol and carboplatin and had my bood drawn constantly also.

I never had a port put in and one was never talked about.

When they gave me the chemo, they used the veins in my hand. This was a tough one for me and I had to take a tranquilizer before the treatment just to insert the needle. Once it was in I was fine.

Whenever my blood was tested it was from the crook of the arm. My veins held up fine.


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