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Port Placement for 30day interferon??

Forums General Melanoma Community Port Placement for 30day interferon??

  • Post
    awg
    Participant

    I am interested in hearing from other folks who have taken the 12 months of Interferon.

    5 days a week (infusion) for first month

    3 weekly injections from remaining 11 months

    Did you have a port placed for the infusion portion of the interferon?

    Seems excessive for 30 days of use. ( I hope!!)

    I have no problem with needles and at this point have really good veins that make for easy sticks, I may be under estimating the effects of the interferon on my ability to stay well hydrated thus leading to issues with IV sticks.

     

    Thank you,

    I am interested in hearing from other folks who have taken the 12 months of Interferon.

    5 days a week (infusion) for first month

    3 weekly injections from remaining 11 months

    Did you have a port placed for the infusion portion of the interferon?

    Seems excessive for 30 days of use. ( I hope!!)

    I have no problem with needles and at this point have really good veins that make for easy sticks, I may be under estimating the effects of the interferon on my ability to stay well hydrated thus leading to issues with IV sticks.

     

    Thank you,

    AWG

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  • Replies
      ChrisTheWilsonZoo
      Participant

      I had a port put in, and never regretted it.  I am not afraid of needles, and like you, have really good veins/easy sticks.  However, I gave careful consideration to why I wanted one.  First, since they took out all the lymph nodes under my right arm, that arm is now off-limits for needle sticks, leaving me only one useable arm. I wanted to "protect" the veins in that good arm.  I knew that during that year of interferon, I would be undergoing countless needle sticks for a variety of reasons (at least monthly blood tests) – a port could take the brunt of that.

      Second, I knew that during the infusion portion, my cancer center's procedure is to place the IV on Monday and leave it in until Friday.  I had a LOT of concerns about that – I'm a clutz, I have 3 large, rowdy dogs, and 4 cats (with a litter box I have to clean) – so I didn't really consider this a "safe" option for me.  I had real concerns about either accidentally pulling the IV out altogether, or being able to keep the IV site clean/sterile.  Infection was a real concern to me.  (The port is in your chest – much easier to control/keep clean.)

      No doubt about it, a port definitely makes things much easier for the nurses.  IV sccess is fast and easy, even if you're dehydrated – no poking and prodding for veins.  Also, some drugs were easier for them to give thru the port.  I ended up using the port several times during the year for IV antibiotics and a even couple of unexpected surgical procedures.  During the ensuing 11 months of treatment, the port has to be flushed every 4-6 weeks.  But since I had to see my oncologist monthly for monitoring blood tests, it wasn't an issue – the port can be used for blood draws and flushed at that time.

      IMO, the port made things a lot easier for me.  I kept it until after my first post-interferon PET/CT scan.  If the melanoma ever comes back, I would seriously consider getting another one.

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      ChrisTheWilsonZoo
      Participant

      I had a port put in, and never regretted it.  I am not afraid of needles, and like you, have really good veins/easy sticks.  However, I gave careful consideration to why I wanted one.  First, since they took out all the lymph nodes under my right arm, that arm is now off-limits for needle sticks, leaving me only one useable arm. I wanted to "protect" the veins in that good arm.  I knew that during that year of interferon, I would be undergoing countless needle sticks for a variety of reasons (at least monthly blood tests) – a port could take the brunt of that.

      Second, I knew that during the infusion portion, my cancer center's procedure is to place the IV on Monday and leave it in until Friday.  I had a LOT of concerns about that – I'm a clutz, I have 3 large, rowdy dogs, and 4 cats (with a litter box I have to clean) – so I didn't really consider this a "safe" option for me.  I had real concerns about either accidentally pulling the IV out altogether, or being able to keep the IV site clean/sterile.  Infection was a real concern to me.  (The port is in your chest – much easier to control/keep clean.)

      No doubt about it, a port definitely makes things much easier for the nurses.  IV sccess is fast and easy, even if you're dehydrated – no poking and prodding for veins.  Also, some drugs were easier for them to give thru the port.  I ended up using the port several times during the year for IV antibiotics and a even couple of unexpected surgical procedures.  During the ensuing 11 months of treatment, the port has to be flushed every 4-6 weeks.  But since I had to see my oncologist monthly for monitoring blood tests, it wasn't an issue – the port can be used for blood draws and flushed at that time.

      IMO, the port made things a lot easier for me.  I kept it until after my first post-interferon PET/CT scan.  If the melanoma ever comes back, I would seriously consider getting another one.

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      King
      Participant

      No, I didn't have a port nor a PICC line for the high dose month.  I had a peripheral IV….an IV in the arm.  The nurse would insert one on Monday (discontinue the IV bag and tubing and put a "lock" on it after the infusion) which would usually last until about Wednesday.  They would remove the needle/catheter after the infusion on Wednesday, put a new one in on Thursday and pull that after Friday's infusion….IV free for the weekend.  I think one week, I had to have 3 new starts but overall it worked fine for me and I don't have great veins.

      Actually, my medical oncologist thought I would be at higher risk for infection with a port or PICC line.

       

      Stay Strong

      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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      King
      Participant

      No, I didn't have a port nor a PICC line for the high dose month.  I had a peripheral IV….an IV in the arm.  The nurse would insert one on Monday (discontinue the IV bag and tubing and put a "lock" on it after the infusion) which would usually last until about Wednesday.  They would remove the needle/catheter after the infusion on Wednesday, put a new one in on Thursday and pull that after Friday's infusion….IV free for the weekend.  I think one week, I had to have 3 new starts but overall it worked fine for me and I don't have great veins.

      Actually, my medical oncologist thought I would be at higher risk for infection with a port or PICC line.

       

      Stay Strong

      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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      akls
      Participant

      I had a PICC line and was really glad I did it.  It was a pain to keep dry during my showers, but other than that it was much better than getting poked all the time.  My veins aren't good and I didn't stay hydrated well at all.  I ended up having to get fluids and potassium during my second week of infusions and was really glad I had the PICC line. 

      I did get it pulled the day of my last infusion.  It was an easy process both getting it in and out.  The only problem was they hit a nerve when I had it placed, but they said that rarely happens and it only hurt for a moment.

       

      Good Luck.

      Amy S. in Michigan

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      akls
      Participant

      I had a PICC line and was really glad I did it.  It was a pain to keep dry during my showers, but other than that it was much better than getting poked all the time.  My veins aren't good and I didn't stay hydrated well at all.  I ended up having to get fluids and potassium during my second week of infusions and was really glad I had the PICC line. 

      I did get it pulled the day of my last infusion.  It was an easy process both getting it in and out.  The only problem was they hit a nerve when I had it placed, but they said that rarely happens and it only hurt for a moment.

       

      Good Luck.

      Amy S. in Michigan

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      SusanE
      Participant

      My husband had the port put in. We weren't given any other option. His port got infected and he ended up septic. It was terrible! We would choose a Piccline over the port any day now that we know it is an option. Jerry had a Piccline for Iv antibiotics and 6 rounds of chemo. It gets in the way a bit but our port experience was just awful.

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      SusanE
      Participant

      My husband had the port put in. We weren't given any other option. His port got infected and he ended up septic. It was terrible! We would choose a Piccline over the port any day now that we know it is an option. Jerry had a Piccline for Iv antibiotics and 6 rounds of chemo. It gets in the way a bit but our port experience was just awful.

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      ockelly
      Participant

      My husband was offered a PICC line at the beginning of his high dose month.  I am an RN and thought we should give peripheral IVs a shot knowing he could always get the PICC if it wasn't going well.   He did great with peripherals throughout.  Like King above… he had an IV start with his labs on Monday, that would come out after Wednesday's dose. Then another IV stick on Thursday (along with labs again since his white count was low throughout) , that came out on Friday.  So really he only had the catheter in for 3 nights a week.  He LOVED not having an IV for the weekend.

      My concern with the PICC line, besides being a nuisance, was infection.  I was happy he didn't have one when his white count dropped so low.  However, if he had trouble with IV starts the PICC would have been a great choice.

      Good Luck

      Kelly

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      ockelly
      Participant

      My husband was offered a PICC line at the beginning of his high dose month.  I am an RN and thought we should give peripheral IVs a shot knowing he could always get the PICC if it wasn't going well.   He did great with peripherals throughout.  Like King above… he had an IV start with his labs on Monday, that would come out after Wednesday's dose. Then another IV stick on Thursday (along with labs again since his white count was low throughout) , that came out on Friday.  So really he only had the catheter in for 3 nights a week.  He LOVED not having an IV for the weekend.

      My concern with the PICC line, besides being a nuisance, was infection.  I was happy he didn't have one when his white count dropped so low.  However, if he had trouble with IV starts the PICC would have been a great choice.

      Good Luck

      Kelly

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        Becky
        Participant

        My son had the option as well and chose not to have the PICC. Like the others, it was just twice a week he had to get a new IV and then then he had nothing for the weekend which he liked. He did get tired of being poked, especially by certain nurses that couldn't seem to find his veins, but all in all it worked out ok.

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        Becky
        Participant

        My son had the option as well and chose not to have the PICC. Like the others, it was just twice a week he had to get a new IV and then then he had nothing for the weekend which he liked. He did get tired of being poked, especially by certain nurses that couldn't seem to find his veins, but all in all it worked out ok.

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      Wendi Lynn
      Participant

      When I started my high dose, we put the IV in and kept it for the week, but I found it really hard to keep it dry and it turned out to be more hassle than I wanted, so beginning week 2, I just got stuck daily.  I think it was just prepping me for the 3x a week shots.

      Hope its a smooth month with minimal side effects!

      Wendi

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      Wendi Lynn
      Participant

      When I started my high dose, we put the IV in and kept it for the week, but I found it really hard to keep it dry and it turned out to be more hassle than I wanted, so beginning week 2, I just got stuck daily.  I think it was just prepping me for the 3x a week shots.

      Hope its a smooth month with minimal side effects!

      Wendi

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      triciad
      Participant

      I got a new IV line each time I went for the high dose.  The first week, they put in an IV line in on Monday but said they would have to put a new one in on Wednesday.  It was a pain and a little uncomfortable, so I decided to just do it daily.  It was easier for me that way.  No regrets…it worked out really well for me.  Like you, I have no problem with needles.

      Good luck with your decision and with the Interferon.  Remember to drink A LOT of water.

      Tricia

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      triciad
      Participant

      I got a new IV line each time I went for the high dose.  The first week, they put in an IV line in on Monday but said they would have to put a new one in on Wednesday.  It was a pain and a little uncomfortable, so I decided to just do it daily.  It was easier for me that way.  No regrets…it worked out really well for me.  Like you, I have no problem with needles.

      Good luck with your decision and with the Interferon.  Remember to drink A LOT of water.

      Tricia

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      CKasper
      Participant

      Are they still doing that????  I heard it was a therapy that wasn't used anymore.  My port was placed in my left arm in the inside of the elbow and it was terrible.  I had three hanging things from the port so they could use it for the drug, and for blood and for whatever.   Interferon therapy was terrible.  Don't take my word for it, because everyone here will tell you its hell but its putting up the good fight.  Go on the net and read about it.  Its a terrible drug and I think soon it will be on the list of 1-800 bad drug.

       

      Anonymous

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        akls
        Participant

        I don't regret my year of interferon at all.  It has been a year since I had my last shot and so far so good.  Can't say it helped, but can't say it didn't either.  I worked and lead a fairly normal life during that year.  Attended a Jonas Brothers concert with my girls which is hard to do even off interferon!  It's a personal decision and you have to be the one to live with it.  It was the only thing offered to me and I have two girls that I want to see grow up.  I made the decision to do everything in my power to fight it.  At the time I was diagnosed the University of Michigan melanoma clinic was still recommending it. 

        Just my two cents.

        Amy S. in Michigan

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        Melanoma Mom
        Participant

         

        My 14 year old son had a PICC line placed and it was great! A port seems like a big procedure for only once month of use and the IV could turn into a drag. We wouldn't change a thing!

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        Melanoma Mom
        Participant

         

        My 14 year old son had a PICC line placed and it was great! A port seems like a big procedure for only once month of use and the IV could turn into a drag. We wouldn't change a thing!

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        CKasper
        Participant

        If that's what you wanted to do, then I guess it helped you.  I have heard of many people not being helped by this therapy and it literally puts you through hell.

        When I first melanoma, I was pregnant with my second child and had a 4 year old.  I had surgery and I opted for nothing afterward.  I got through the pregnancy, it was normal and raised my children before it decided to come back with a vengence and even then I only did one dose of high dose INF therapy at 10,000 per week.  MY friend Stage 4 wouldn't do any therapy, she diagnosed in 2005 and went through kelation therapy and organic herbal diet and herbal detox, she is still alive. 

        Most every member of my family has had some time of cancer and some fatal.  Doctor's told my father he'd live 6 months to a year without treatment and he had no insurance so he opted for no treatment and lived almost 8 years.

        My grandfather had pancreatic cancer and was gone in 3 weeks.  My father's sister Breast Cancer had a mastectomy and no other treatement and died in her late 80s she lived over 20 years out from her surgery.  My mother as well.

        I believe in quality of life.  If the stuff they put in your system that makes you so sick cures you then fine, but quality of life whether its your husband, father, mother, sisters, brothers or children should be a big priority.

         

        JJ

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        Melanoma Mom
        Participant

         

        Dear Anonymous,

        My 15 year old son is in his 4th month of Interferon. He is a full-time Freshman at a difficult prep school where he got a 3.84 GPA last trimester. He is playing varsity lacrosse and recently got his driver's permit. He administers his own meds each week. He will be going on a 500 mile bike ride this summer along the West coast. 

        Quality of life? We've got that one in the bag. 

        You seem to advocate no treatment …. good luck with that.

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        Melanoma Mom
        Participant

         

        Dear Anonymous,

        My 15 year old son is in his 4th month of Interferon. He is a full-time Freshman at a difficult prep school where he got a 3.84 GPA last trimester. He is playing varsity lacrosse and recently got his driver's permit. He administers his own meds each week. He will be going on a 500 mile bike ride this summer along the West coast. 

        Quality of life? We've got that one in the bag. 

        You seem to advocate no treatment …. good luck with that.

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        CKasper
        Participant

        If that's what you wanted to do, then I guess it helped you.  I have heard of many people not being helped by this therapy and it literally puts you through hell.

        When I first melanoma, I was pregnant with my second child and had a 4 year old.  I had surgery and I opted for nothing afterward.  I got through the pregnancy, it was normal and raised my children before it decided to come back with a vengence and even then I only did one dose of high dose INF therapy at 10,000 per week.  MY friend Stage 4 wouldn't do any therapy, she diagnosed in 2005 and went through kelation therapy and organic herbal diet and herbal detox, she is still alive. 

        Most every member of my family has had some time of cancer and some fatal.  Doctor's told my father he'd live 6 months to a year without treatment and he had no insurance so he opted for no treatment and lived almost 8 years.

        My grandfather had pancreatic cancer and was gone in 3 weeks.  My father's sister Breast Cancer had a mastectomy and no other treatement and died in her late 80s she lived over 20 years out from her surgery.  My mother as well.

        I believe in quality of life.  If the stuff they put in your system that makes you so sick cures you then fine, but quality of life whether its your husband, father, mother, sisters, brothers or children should be a big priority.

         

        JJ

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        akls
        Participant

        I don't regret my year of interferon at all.  It has been a year since I had my last shot and so far so good.  Can't say it helped, but can't say it didn't either.  I worked and lead a fairly normal life during that year.  Attended a Jonas Brothers concert with my girls which is hard to do even off interferon!  It's a personal decision and you have to be the one to live with it.  It was the only thing offered to me and I have two girls that I want to see grow up.  I made the decision to do everything in my power to fight it.  At the time I was diagnosed the University of Michigan melanoma clinic was still recommending it. 

        Just my two cents.

        Amy S. in Michigan

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      CKasper
      Participant

      Are they still doing that????  I heard it was a therapy that wasn't used anymore.  My port was placed in my left arm in the inside of the elbow and it was terrible.  I had three hanging things from the port so they could use it for the drug, and for blood and for whatever.   Interferon therapy was terrible.  Don't take my word for it, because everyone here will tell you its hell but its putting up the good fight.  Go on the net and read about it.  Its a terrible drug and I think soon it will be on the list of 1-800 bad drug.

       

      Anonymous

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      Janis B.
      Participant

      PICC line or port?  I had a picc line and I know that that's a much less invasive procedure than a port.   For me, having the picc line really cut down on the daily stress of the IV insertion, but a port does seem to me a bit of an overkill.

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      Janis B.
      Participant

      PICC line or port?  I had a picc line and I know that that's a much less invasive procedure than a port.   For me, having the picc line really cut down on the daily stress of the IV insertion, but a port does seem to me a bit of an overkill.

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      patobs01
      Participant

      Dear AWG,

      I had a port put in for my 30 day high dose interferon in 12/09-1/10. It was all very easy from getting it installed through removing it (after my post interferon PET Scan). I knew that I did not want to limit the mobiity of my arms during the treatment and I just felt that a PICC line in the arm would get in my way (and maybe hurt if I wasn't careful). I found that even showers weren't a problem with a port- you slap on a piece of Glad Press n' Sealcover and it doesn't get wet! Hoping the best for you during your interferon treatments – it's not easy, but there isn't one side effect that you can't handle. Be sure that you talk with your physican about the side effect of depression and don't take it lightly. Take care,

      Pat O. – stage IIIA

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      patobs01
      Participant

      Dear AWG,

      I had a port put in for my 30 day high dose interferon in 12/09-1/10. It was all very easy from getting it installed through removing it (after my post interferon PET Scan). I knew that I did not want to limit the mobiity of my arms during the treatment and I just felt that a PICC line in the arm would get in my way (and maybe hurt if I wasn't careful). I found that even showers weren't a problem with a port- you slap on a piece of Glad Press n' Sealcover and it doesn't get wet! Hoping the best for you during your interferon treatments – it's not easy, but there isn't one side effect that you can't handle. Be sure that you talk with your physican about the side effect of depression and don't take it lightly. Take care,

      Pat O. – stage IIIA

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      patobs01
      Participant

      Dear AWG,

      I had a port put in for my 30 day high dose interferon in 12/09-1/10. It was all very easy from getting it installed through removing it (after my post interferon PET Scan). I knew that I did not want to limit the mobiity of my arms during the treatment and I just felt that a PICC line in the arm would get in my way (and maybe hurt if I wasn't careful). I found that even showers weren't a problem with a port- you slap on a piece of Glad Press n' Sealcover and it doesn't get wet! Hoping the best for you during your interferon treatments – it's not easy, but there isn't one side effect that you can't handle. Be sure that you talk with your physican about the side effect of depression and don't take it lightly. Take care,

      Pat O. – stage IIIA

      Loading spinner
      patobs01
      Participant

      Dear AWG,

      I had a port put in for my 30 day high dose interferon in 12/09-1/10. It was all very easy from getting it installed through removing it (after my post interferon PET Scan). I knew that I did not want to limit the mobiity of my arms during the treatment and I just felt that a PICC line in the arm would get in my way (and maybe hurt if I wasn't careful). I found that even showers weren't a problem with a port- you slap on a piece of Glad Press n' Sealcover and it doesn't get wet! Hoping the best for you during your interferon treatments – it's not easy, but there isn't one side effect that you can't handle. Be sure that you talk with your physican about the side effect of depression and don't take it lightly. Take care,

      Pat O. – stage IIIA

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