Hi, my name's Ali. I was diagnosed in Nov 18 with IDC HER 2 positive in my left breast and lymph node. I've had chemo followed by wide local excision and lymph node clearance. Currently recovering from that ahead of radiotherapy. I'm coming up from Taunton by train. Feels like quite an expedition and the furthest I've been since treatment started! Looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow.
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I've got a PICC line, I just have to be careful not to lift anything too heavy/awkward, and of course how I pick the thing up to carry it. They do fix it down with thoroughly with first the sticky on triangle containing the clips to keep the line stable, and then the dressing on top. It's been a huge blessing for both getting blood for testing, and for the treatment itself (saves a lot of time, as I already had dodgy veins before treatment started). As you are unwell, it would be wise to seek assistance for any big/heavy items you need to move about, hopefully your work would accommodate that adjustment. I can move small boxes/piles of books etc without much difficulty, but I wouldn't risk lifting anything quite big or heavy, in case it slipped and hit the line. If you are able to go private, you could probably ask for a port - when my first PICC line had to be removed, I asked my oncologist about them, but she said ports weren't usually available on the NHS. I was going to get a Hickman line put in, which is like a PICC line but in the region of your collar bone/chest (the NHS will provide this option), but in the end got a 2nd PICC line in as my skin recovered. They are also really easy to remove, while the Hickman is more involved (not sure how much more effort involved in removal though)
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Thanks for posting.
Some people do have a central line put in for chemotherapy. This is usually preferable to using other sites such as the ankles. These lines can also be used for taking blood.
As Anniej says your treatment team will have come across this before so do ask them if there are any modifications you need to make at work.
It might help to know that central lines have a small cuff which sits under the skin which keeps it in place. It’s likely you will also have a clear dressing over the site to help keep it clean and secure. Your treatment team will let you know how to care for the central line and reduce the risk of any complications with it.
Our information about lymphoedema may be of interest.
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Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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