Hi, I have another question since you were all so helpful before. My boyfriend's father starts Chemo next week for colon cancer and is having the port used for treatment put in this Thursday. Do any of you have experience with this who would be willing to tell me what the procedure for that is like? He doesn't seem too worried but I think he's trying to fool everyone else. In the meantime we're all concerned about every tiny step in this thing. Also, he will begin a routine of 10 minutes of radiation every day (mon-fri.) He is also having the "marking" procedure done on thursday. What does that entail? Does it hurt?, etc.
I told his wife that I was talking to you guys via this board so some of my questions may be me relaying them for her. She already thanks you for your information and support.
my mother had the port put in also. It makes it so much better for her. Before they would have to poke her again and again trying to hit the vein. Now it is a breeze. They gave her some numbing cream to put on it before she goes for her treatment and they just connect her chemo right into the port. I think he is making a good decision by getting it. The only this my mother says is that she can feel it in her chest, That it feels a little heavy. But she is glad she did. Hope this helps you feel better about it.
There are different kinds of port. The one husband had was into the main artery in his elbow. It sounds grusome but it went all way up his arm, under shoulder and stops between collar bone and heart. A radiologist puts it in using some kind of xray machine that guides it in. Husband was fully conscious, had some cream to numb his elbow and in it went..... not a single drop of blood. The end of the port sticks out at elbow and is a tiny flexible tube with a valve and bung on it to which they attach the chemo pump. Husband had to rest up for a couple of hours and keep a heated pad on his arm and after that he was fine. A bit fiddley at shower time but he managed with a plastic bag and 2 rubber bands. The nurses cleaned it up when his pump was changed every week. The first port (PICC line) was in for 3 months and the second was in for 6 months.
The marker thing you mentioned is for positioning of the machine that zapps him. They need to place marks so that the machine is aligned to the correct angle. Husband had three tiny dots tattooed onto him and you have the look really hard to see them, they look like freckles. They will probably do some scans so that he is calibrated to their machine. This takes about 10 mins or so but after that each treatment for husband only lasted a few minutes.
There are some do's and dont's for radiotherapy and chemo in terms of nutrition, medications to help with diearhea and so on and also what soaps/shampoos to avoid. Please ask the nurses as they are a great source of info.
I had my port put in this past October. It was done in the day surgery area of the hospital. For regular surgery they wheel you down in a bed, for this it was in a modified wheel chair. The surgeon asked me how out of it I wanted to be. I told him totally. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. The anesthetic only keeps you out about 15-20 minutes. When I had a chance to recover, they wheeled me to xray to make sure everything was positioned correctly. Then I could go home. They recommend having pain pills on hand in case you need them. The port is a bump by my collar bone. The recovery nurse said how much better the port is than trying to use the veins. Chemo is very hard on the veins. I don't think they will do chemo for colon or rectal cancer without a port because the treatment is so long. Today at chemo I saw two patients that were getting chemo thru their veins. One it took 2 nurses to find a vein, and the other patient had to use a heating pad to try to dialate (sp) her veins. They also check your blood thru the port so you don't get all kinds of pokes.