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Picc line

17 REPLIES 17
Member

Re: Picc line

Hi Monicanatura

 

can I ask how your getting on now? 

I’m currently having the same with surgery planned for November. Currently having new adjuvant chemo FEC T, will be having my 2nd cycle tomorrow. 

 

Marie x 


@monicanatura wrote:

Hi steffih 

I understand your concerns, I had neo adjuvant chemo June 18 to December 18, I had my mastectomy in December 18, I had 2 drains, one for a week, the other for 10 days. 

The picc line is nothing like the drains, I found the drains very uncomfortable. I did not feel the picc at all. 

Whatever you decide, will be right for you. 

Lots of luck 


 

Member

Re: Picc line

Hello ladies. The nurses pursuaded me to go for the picc line even though I was adamant I didn't want it. My veins had been playing up but then 2 male nurses cannulated me fine. I went for the PIIC line but the nurse gave up after 2 attempts and I felt sick and dizzy and there was a fair bit of discomfort. I'm of the opinion that it's your body so up to you what you're comfortable with. For me, the PIIC procedure and having something in my arm all the time was enough to put me off but I allowed myself to be talked into it. Go with your instinct and all the best xx 

Member

Re: Picc line

Let me know how you go as I too am a phobic and have been known to faint. I am dreading it so feel the PICC might be best. At least I may only faint the once 🙈 


@mini mad wrote:

Today i had my second of 12 weekly treatments - Paclitaxel and every 3 weeks Carboplatin.

again it was a nightmare trying to find a decent vein for the cannula.   I have a " needle " phobia so before i left my house this morning i was totally stressed 😲😲

the chemo sister said i should consider a picc line....  well i didnt even know my hospital offered them.... so had a visit from a bc nurse who explained it all to me and i'm going ahead with having one fitted...  to not have that stress and worry and nerves will be heaven ❤️

Should get a call on monday with a date.....

big HUGS everyone 💖💖


 

Member

Re: Picc line

Today i had my second of 12 weekly treatments - Paclitaxel and every 3 weeks Carboplatin.

again it was a nightmare trying to find a decent vein for the cannula.   I have a " needle " phobia so before i left my house this morning i was totally stressed 😲😲

the chemo sister said i should consider a picc line....  well i didnt even know my hospital offered them.... so had a visit from a bc nurse who explained it all to me and i'm going ahead with having one fitted...  to not have that stress and worry and nerves will be heaven ❤️

Should get a call on monday with a date.....

big HUGS everyone 💖💖

Member

Re: Picc line

Thank you for the information blueash. I too found out yesterday that I would need Chemo and was advised that I would require a Picc line. I have an appointment with Oncology next week so will know more then. Its good to know that there are nice ways to cover it. (got to look on the bright side) x

Community Champion

Re: Picc line

To those Ladies waiting for a PICC line to be fitted...

I had one put in prior to my chemo in October last year...it doesn't hurt as you're given a local anaesthetic! Once the line is in you have an x-ray to check it's in the right place! It's a bit tender for a couple of days but a similar pain to when you cut yourself..nothing major! 

You do have to have the line flushed every week and the dressing changed but the District Nurse came to my house to do that... it's far easier for your chemo and blood tests, antibiotics can be administered through the picc line and I had a blood transfusion through mine too... 

The thought of having it done is quite scary but honestly, it's such a relief not having needles when you have dodgy veins!

 

Stay strong Girls...thinking of you all x 🎀💕

 

 

Member

Re: Picc line

I too have been advised to have a PICC line fitted. I have had 4 rounds of FEC and my veins are tricky to find and aching post chemo. I am very nervous, but after the latest episode of trying to get blood out I feel it is the best way forward. But Chloe, like you, I am super nervous. I have bought a cover from ebay for £5. It is really soft and comfortable. Keep us posted about how you get on. Mine will only be in for 21 days, but they will do two (minimum) lots of bloods and two chemo from it, that's 4 fewer cannulas, it has to be a good thing. 60466256_10216627879602713_2595162086560497664_n.jpg

Member

Re: Picc line

Thank you for the PICC info... I am ( probably ) going to go for one. I had hoped to avoid the PICC as didn't like the idea of the initial procedure, always being aware of a 'something' in your arm and feeling even more like a 'patient' all the time, then the extra weekly visits to the hospital etc . However, on my fourth cycle, after an episode of extravasation,  when the epirubicin leaked out into the surrounding tissue, the staff recommended a PICC line for the next infusion. 

The extravasation was pretty scary and the emergency procedure afterwards, not one I would want to repeat. I understand the PICC is safer, though I will have to have it one the side where I had the sentinel lymph node removed and the breast surgery. I have a blood clot in the superficial vein, next to where the  extravasation happened, so I don't think I can have a PICC on that side ?  Chloe

Community Champion

Re: Picc line

I think you need to stand your ground and ask WHY you have been offered this procedure . As someone else has said it is not routinely offered, so there must be a good medical reason for it. Your body, your choice. Personally I would take whatever is on offer. I have very narrow veins, some of which have collapsed after repeated cannulations for CT scans and bloods.

Just to be clear, a PICC line is the least invasive. I was told it lasts the shortest length of time. It is inserted in the arm and is no more painful than being cannulated- I'm told. Covered with a sleeve.

A Hickman line is inserted in the clavicle and into the heart. It needs a surgeon and a theatre. No anaesthetic is used. This line can be used, I was told, for 6 months. It's a bit messy as it dangles around your boob, but you just tape it up. I had this one. These two lines have to be cleaned a week after the chemo. So an extra trip to the hospital for me.

A Port is done under anaesthetic and is for prolonged use, or palliative care. It looks like a little jelly dot on the clavicle . Hope you get some clarification. Good luck. X

Member

Re: Picc line

Hi steffih 

I understand your concerns, I had neo adjuvant chemo June 18 to December 18, I had my mastectomy in December 18, I had 2 drains, one for a week, the other for 10 days. 

The picc line is nothing like the drains, I found the drains very uncomfortable. I did not feel the picc at all. 

Whatever you decide, will be right for you. 

Lots of luck 

Member

Re: Picc line

Thank you, Kathy and Blueash. I read a bit about both yesterday, and I think for me personally I would still prefer to just get a cannula each time. My main problem is that the staff at my hospital don't seem to have time to explain anything to me properly which isn't helping my anxiety. Putting the guide wire in at my operation and my biopsies were really traumatic and I think getting a port or piccline implanted  would feel similar, at least from what I can read online. Right now I just feel terrified and I need to find a way to get over that, I think I want treatment that feels the least invasive (although maybe I am stupid). I just spoke to my gp and he said patients opt for both, either a port/piccline or cannula.

Member

Re: Picc line

They're not routinely offered because they cost too much - let's be honest about it.  As for "semi permanent", that's a bit of an overstatement, I feel. I had my port put in the day before I started neo adjuvant chemo and removed at the same time as my lumpectomy - 5 months later.Smiley Happy

Community Champion

Re: Picc line

Let me tell you the difference between a port and a picc-line. They are both semi-permanent lines/tubes which they give drugs via or take blood from.

 

The port has to be done by a surgeon because it involves a larger incision and the displacement of tissue hence they are not routinely offered. You don't have to cover it when you shower.

 

The picc can be inserted by a specially trained nurse - in fact the nurses are better than anyone else because they do them more frequently. 

 

The reason to get a picc is because if a drug seeps it can give you chemical burns plus repeated pricks into the same hand can cause your veins to crash. Sometimes they can use both hands but often in breast cancer they can't use the  hand on the side the breast cancer was in.

 

I took this from https://www.dermnetnz.org/

 

Skin necrosis

Skin necrosis is the term used to describe dead skin cells, which blacken and peel off. Most chemotherapy drugs are toxic when exposed to the skin. Drugs that are meant to be delivered into veins and arteries may leak into the subcutaneous tissue (extravasation).

There are two types of skin necrosis reaction:

  • Irritants – The chemotherapy agent causes a phlebitis (inflammation of veins) and chemical cellulitis (inflammation of the deeper layers of the skin).
  • Vesicants or blistering agents – The chemotherapy agent causes severe tissue necrosis (death of cells), resulting in ulcers and eventual scar formation.

Which drugs are responsible?

Most chemotherapy drugs are irritants if they extravasate. Doxorubicin is the most vesicant and can cause necrosis, ulceration and thrombosis (blood clots).

 

Honestly get one!

Member

Re: Picc line

Would it be possible to have a port fitted - that's really the best way if available.

 

Member

Re: Picc line

Hi Steffih

 

I completely understand your being freaked out. However, I had my picc line fitted on Friday. I have VERY fibrous tissue so it wasn't an easy procedure but it was relatively painless. And yes, it freaks me out that there is this thing permanently going to just above my heart. But the pros outweigh the cons. It's not a needle prick every three weeks as you will need to have blood tests too. They may need to access you veins for other drugs (eg treatment for illnesses etc) and this allows a quick, easy access. My oncologist was great. He pretty much said 'picc line' but he went on to explain why. One of my drugs can be very dangerous if it escapes into the surrounding flesh. I believe it since a friend witht he same concoction started with a cannula and had that experience so she hd to change to a picc line half way through. She says it's the best decision she ever made. 

I would suggest you be brave and do it! Let us know how you go. You got this!

Sharon

Member

Re: Picc line

Hi, Blueash, thank you so much for replying. I do get that it makes it easier and painfree, but I really hated having the drain in after the operation and I think having the piccline would feel similar and a constant hazard/reminder for me for those 6 months, I think I would prefer just to be pricked every 3 weeks and not worry about it inbetween. The nurse today didn't take any time to explain anything to me or talk to me about my options, but just stated that that's what I was having, but I am wondering if it's also ok to have a cannula each time ( I am having 8 cycles). I feel very scared right now and googling what the piccline actually is  without having it properly explained to me has made me so much more anxious.

Community Champion

Re: Picc line

Get it! They usually only offer it after your veins have crashed!

 

I was lucky in that I was offered like you at the beginning and I thought everyone was but they are not.

 

They give you a local anaesthetic in your arm so it does not hurt - then all your blood is drawn from there, all your chemo goes in there etc. Seriously just go for it.

 

You will need covers if you don't want to have the stockingette wrap they supply

https://picc-me.co.uk/

 

AND you will need a water proof cover but you GP can give you a prescription for that. It is called a Limbo and this is it:

https://www.limboproducts.com/configurator?selected=elbow

 

It has to be flushed about once a week/10 days but it makes your life so much easier and pain free.

 

 

Member

Picc line

Hi, I have found out today that I will need chemotherapy and the nurse said I would have a picc line fitted. After reading up on it now I am terrified,  and not sure if I should opt for not having it, but having a cannula inserted each time. I would love to hear your experiences with it.  Steffi