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Chemo vein pain Chemo vein pain

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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:24 PM
Chemo vein pain

I have had my second chemo last week, and the pain in my vein where the IV was inserted is still noticable. It radiates and feels slightly burning.

Is this normal? Does this mean my vein is damaged? What happens if it gets used again for my next chemo? Will it collapse?

How are those of you going through chemo finding your veins are holding up?

I have issues as it is with finding veins for blood tests or IVs so this is really, really tough for me.

Anyone who has some experience with this and can enlighten me by sharing would be much appreciated.

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Unread 01-20-2009, 09:41 PM
Chemo vein pain

Sorry to hear you've having this problem. Sounds to me like you have a little nerve damage. I ran into that on my first chemo but it went away.

After the second round of chemo I got a port but that doesn't help on blood draws.

Here's my all-time favorite HS post. Hat tip to SirenSong. (The link for the full post is below.)

Hope this helps! After getting poked a few times on a hot summer day, I followed SirenSong's advice and it definitely worked.

"...I was one of those people who also refused to have a port. I had very good veins, and they're probably a bit damaged now, but I made it through six major chemos AND roughly 33 low-dose chemo treatments without having to get a port.

There were a few times where my nurse would stick the needle and be unable to get blood. One time, I had to endure six needle sticks, but that was only one time.

Here's what I found worked. The night before chemo, drink a ton of water. If you get up to pee in the middle of the night, drink more water.

Also, have a big bowl or double-size mug bowl of strong miso soup. The high salt content will help hold the water in your body. You can buy miso paste (usually refrigerated, but some types are in packets on a shelf -- don't buy "instant" or things in a box, just get the paste) and add it to hot water, and that's all you need to do. It tastes good as well.

The morning of chemo, have some more water and more miso soup. The more water you can get in you and the more salt, the better you'll find that your veins hold up. When I started doing this (after that six-needle-sticks episode, which of course made me cry), I never had another problem."

s and best wishes,

Unread 01-21-2009, 01:24 PM
Chemo vein pain

MaryAnn tell your doctor or chemo nurse what you are experiencing. I had this happen to me toward the end of carbo/taxil. The vein was inflamed but I can't remember their terms now. They did use my other hand the next time.

I went for the port, if that is a consideration for you. I don't know how many more treatments you need. They accessed the port the day after for chemo and I haven't had a problem since. Blood draws on the day of my chemo were done through the port as well. Ask about this.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 08:28 PM
Chemo vein pain

I just mentioned this to my oncology nurse at my last treatment, too. She said it was nothing for me to be worried about, the slight pain would go away in time. I've got horrible veins, so it takes quite a lot of searching to find one that will work for the IV, but luckily, my chemo nurse has always been able to find a good one on the first try (unlike the hospital.....5 pokes with terrible bruising before they found a good one).
Unread 01-22-2009, 09:53 PM
Chemo vein pain

I have decided to not get a port. I have 4 chemo treatments left, and if the nurse finds the vein, as she has both times thus far, then I can do this, right? Who knew the extraordinary pain I would feel for a whole week later though! The chemo drug must be quite an irritant.

I will see if she can dilute it better next time. I even feel it burn as it goes in. I just hate this whole chemo ordeal!

Trying to be strong,
Unread 01-23-2009, 12:53 PM
Chemo vein pain

LL, I've never felt a burning at infusion. Have you mentioned this to your nurse as well? Any discomfort you feel, don't tough it out, ask. There are many ways they can relieve any discomfort. Good luck. Two down and four to go.
Unread 01-23-2009, 01:05 PM
Chemo vein pain

I've never heard of chemo hurting (past the pain from the IV needle being inserted). If you are feeling a burning sensation as the drug is being injected, you should definitely tell your nurse. Perhaps you are having a mild allergic reaction to the drug?
Unread 01-23-2009, 01:15 PM
Chemo vein pain

Thanks, Ladies. I did tell the nurse, and I think she diluted the IV further. The burning I am talking about is an irritation I feel radiating in the vein from the site of the IV poke to my elbow after chemotherapy is through, beginning the next day and lasting me for a good week.

It is an ache right in the vein, a sensation of irritation or slight burn, also throbbing. I will tell the chemo nurse at next infusion in two weeks, but I think this will be an ongoing problem for me. I've had many problems with lab technicians even being able to get a vein to draw blood. I've had times where the blood stops its flow. On the operating table for surgeries I've had, the nurses have difficulty finding a vein.

I wanted to kiss my chemo nurse last time because she found this one with minimal pain or any extra poking. She is expert. But I did not expect this vein pain after the chemo and for it to go on for a week.

I could hardly use my arm, it ached so much. I started using a heating pad on it, and it seemed to help.

Thanks for your responses.
Unread 01-23-2009, 02:51 PM
Chemo vein pain

Glad to hear you were able to find some relief to your pain.

As for your comment about the chemo nurse finding a vein with minimal pain, I agree completely! They do seem to be experts. And not only in the medical sense....the chemo nurses at my facility are all kind, caring, and compassionate, far beyond what I have ever experienced in any other medical setting. I have always thought it took a special kind of person to be a good nurse, and this seems to definitely be the case with chemo nurses.
Unread 01-23-2009, 03:04 PM
Chemo vein pain

I completely concur with you, Trish! My chemo nurse (I called her an angel last week, and she said she is just doing her job) has such a warmth about her I felt immediately upon meeting her.

She took time to explain things to my husband and me. I just love her. I feel "maternal" feelings toward her for some reason (with her as the mom and me as the child, even though I'm the older one). Probably because getting a chemo treatment is the lowest point in my life right now, and she is the one who is there for me at that moment. I feel I want to buy her a little trinket to somehow thank her for making me comfortable, or as comfortable as one can be with an IV hooked up to your arm for hours.


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