Monday, 25 November 2013

Stage IV Snapshot: Why get a PICC or a Port

These are my arms after a week in hospital without a PICC or Port. Oh, how I missed them!

Perhaps I'll get one before my next treatment.

10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. That must hurt. Get a port/picc.

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    1. Yes, but I can't decide which one, Caroline. Both have a lot of cons for me, I lean towards the PICC although it is higher maintenance. ~Kate

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  2. I went through a year of treatment without my port. My arms looked like that only one time. But unlike most, I really hate the port. I don't mind being poked and the port sticks out an inch, catches on stuff, is uncomfortable, gets in the way. I know it's a necessity - it only took one infusion of Navelbine, my first drug after being diagnosed with mets, to know I had to do it - that stuff hurt my veins for days....awful.

    You might as well get one, you are going to need it eventually. Sadly.

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    1. I went with the PICC line this week. It sticks out worse than the port but is generally painless, and that is a huge consideration for me. ~Kate

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  3. dear Kate,

    whatever you end up choosing, it's going to be such a relief; I am so sorry for the pain and bruising you have had to endure. i was a hospice nurse for 30 years - both ports and piccs have come a long way. i chose the port, a newer version called a power port, which allows some types of infusions to run faster if need be; it also has 3 tiny bumps that are the guides to access the port much more painlessly and precisely. the surgeon can even place it so that it can accommodate a bra strap to avoid any irritation. it can last for years, and since i was recently diagnosed with yet another cancer, i have instructed my medical team and my family - I DO NOT EVER WANT IT TO BE REMOVED. IT'S MINE, I PAYED FOR IT (only partially true with insurance covering most of the cost,,,but still). I LOVE IT AND AM SO GRATEFUL NOT TO HAVE HAD MY VEINS COMPLETELY SHOT! i rarely even notice it, and i never even feel a thing when it is accessed for treatment. a speck of numbing cream can be applied just a few minutes before accessing - or, what we've learned is stretching the skin as the needle goes in makes it glide easily - with not a bit of pain. i can only share my experience with personally having a port. the experiences of my patients who have had PICCS has been quite different - a range of discomfort from mild to more restrictive, a lot more maintenance, and not always as trouble free. but you must decide what is best for YOU.

    i wish you all the best in making the decision - please let us know how it goes for you. meanwhile, i hope your poor arms are feeling much better.

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxo

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    1. Hi Karen! I decided on the PICC and had it put in this week. It is more uncomfortable than the previous two I had, but my muscle may be bruised. I like the PICC because it is painless. I am glad your experience with the port has been so good. If my experience had been the same, I would still have it and happily so. We will see how this goes. ~Kate

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