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How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

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How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Colon2007 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:00 pm

My husband finished chemo last December and has had his port in since. The doctor says they prefer to keep it in for 1 year for you know God forbid the just in cases. My husbands white & red blood cells are taking a while to come back up so we thinking maybe thats why.


What did you all do? How long after did you wait to have it removed?


Thank you,
Monica
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby seussfan » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:43 pm

My oncologists is having me leave it in for 1 year from the end of my last treatment. That would mean that I could have it removed in December if I continue to do well. If I was having issues with my port, he would have me remove it earlier, but I have had no issues.

My red and white blood cells are still low and I am 8 months out. The scored today at 3.4, which I was told is most likely my "new normal" and that I shouldn't be concerned.
Stage 3 Colon Cancer-6 of 15 lymph nodes positive/Surgery & Dx 3-5-07/Finished Folfox4 11-28-07
Stage 0/Grade 3 Breast Cancer/Double mastectomy 5-15-09/Undergoing reconstruction
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby KalisaO » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:40 pm

I finished chemo in Jan 07 and my port was out that same month. After chemo...I had a clean scan and my oncologist gave me the blessing to take it out. I didn't give it a second thought. It didn't cause me any medical problems - I was just very self conscience of it. He said we can always put it back in...but I am determined to keep it out! Two years NED and feeling pretty darn good.

Best wishes to you and your husband
Diagnosed Stage III colon cancer - June 06
1/14 lymphnodes positive
Chemotherapy: Aug. 06 - Jan. 07

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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby wwroam » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:43 pm

My onc leaves the port in for 2 years from the last treatment. it's never been a bother since the day it was put in. Six months out my platelets are barely at 150 but red and white blood cell counts are back to presurgery levels. Now about these feet......
Stage 3a DX 25/06/07
Folfox complete 30/01/08
7 years NED
Port scheduled for removal 8/02/10 Gone.
PSA .54 No prostate problems
Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby vancouver eve » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:18 am

Seussfan do you get tired with your blood counts? I seem to be more tired since chemo finished.
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby willtowin » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:24 am

A newbie w/ a naive question here. Do you have to have your ports flushed every so often after chemo while they are left in? Acessing my port has become a real pain, and would not be looking forward to flushes either. I am just hoping mine makes it through my 6 months of chemo.
Stage 1 -4-25-08 (lymphovascular invasion)
poorly diff
Hnpcc negative
TAH/BSO 5-08
Folfox COMPLETED 12-26-08
NED as of 12-09
gallbladder removed 3-09
appendectomy 11-2012
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby wwroam » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:28 am

Port gets flushed every 6 - 8 weeks. Blood is tested and the onc checks me over.
Stage 3a DX 25/06/07
Folfox complete 30/01/08
7 years NED
Port scheduled for removal 8/02/10 Gone.
PSA .54 No prostate problems
Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby janey » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:50 am

I finished my chemo November and my port is still in. Doc says far too early to take it out. My blood counts still go up and down. Just out of interest, here in France they do NOT flush the ports out, this used to be done years ago but they have now decided it is absolutely NOT necessary.Also here there is no way you touch the port yourself, this is only done by a professional.
Janey
Dx stage 3b colon cancer Mar 07
3/14 lymph nodes cancerous. Diverticulitus.
Surgery for left colectomy Apr 4th 07(opened up braline to bikiniline)
Chemo,Folfox May 07, 5 sessions severe reaction to Oxalyplatin so changed to Xeloda, Finished end Nov 07.
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby seussfan » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:26 am

I have not been tired due to my low WBC/RBC count. Thank heavens!

As far as being flushed, my doctor has me do it every 8 weeks. :roll:
Stage 3 Colon Cancer-6 of 15 lymph nodes positive/Surgery & Dx 3-5-07/Finished Folfox4 11-28-07
Stage 0/Grade 3 Breast Cancer/Double mastectomy 5-15-09/Undergoing reconstruction
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Joanne 814 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:41 am

My Onc said my port was to stay in for 2 years, as if a reoccurance happens it is most likely in that time span. He said if it bothered me I could have it out after I am done, but then it would have to go back in if needed.

A girl in my "club chemo" had it taken out, and told me not to have it out early, as it is an "omen". Also, because of scar tissue, she could not have hers reinstalled in her chest, she has it in her thigh, which I think would bother me more than the chest.

Mine is flushed while still on treatment each week. Once treatments stops I think every 8 weeks or so they said for flushing.

ONWARD!!!

Joanne
Age: 49
Dx: Nov 07 @ age 43
Stage IIIC, RCa
Colon Resection: Nov 07, 4 of 27 LN
Chemo/Radiation: 28 treatments w/constant 5FU (Jan-Feb 08)
Chemo: Folfox, 12 cycles (Mar-Aug 08) DONE 8-8-08
CT Scan 1-09 NED
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby MadamJoJo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:16 am

I am amazed at how long you guys and gals in the US keep your ports in. In the UK, they like to remove them as soon as possible after you get the post chemo all clear. I just had mine out today, three weeks after my PET. I spoke to my Onc about keeping it in - just in case - and her view was that the risk from infection was too great to support that plan. In any case, if there was a recurrence, or spread, there was a possibility that I might be put on a different chemo regime, which didn't require a port. I can't say that I am complaining as I am now looking forward to having a swim, and being able to shower without putting on the waterproof bandages beforehand.

As for keeping the port clean, while on chemo I had my line 'flushed' every other week by a nurse who visited me at home.The flush solution was a combination of anticoagulant and saline. After I finished chemo, I was able to do the flushing myself at home and was supplied with an 'all in one' saline syringe. I had not problems whatsoever with my line, but my Onc says they can be very problematic for many people.
Last edited by MadamJoJo on Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
Dx Sept 2007 age 35
Stage 11B tumour on splenic flexure
Laparoscopic resection on Sept 26 2007
Folfox Nov 20, 2007
Chemo finished May 21, 2008
NERD!
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Magnolia » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:18 am

While it makes some good sense to leave the port in for two years, while the risk of recurrence is highest, I had mine out after two months. The reason was that it was starting to hurt. While I was gaining weight all over everywhere esle, the fat layer over the port was just about gone and everyting that touched it hurt like crazy. My doc said in the unlikely event that the cancer recurred, we'd just put another port in. It's been 27 months now and I'm still cancer free and port free. I did develop an infection at the port site seven months after the removal. That was a bit strange, but not impossible. It can take quite a while for that internal area to heal completely, and I was still on Avastin, which can slow healing a bit more.
Dx Stage IIIC CC 3/10/06
Surgery 3/20/06
Folfox 4/06 - 10/06
Avastin 4/06 - 4/07
NED!


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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Aughhhh » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:02 am

I had mine taken out 2 DAYS after my last chemo treatment. I didn't even ask my onc, I just called my surgeon and scheduled it. I reach the 5 year mark in August, so I guess it was an okay decision.
Stage IIA (T-3,N-0,M-0), sigmoid colon cancer, Diagnosed age 43 on 8/19/03, sigmoid colectomy on 8/30/03, finished 22 rounds of 5-FU & Leukovorin on 6/8/2004. Currently NED!
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Gaelen » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:23 am

Colon2007 wrote:My husband finished chemo last December and has had his port in since. The doctor says they prefer to keep it in for 1 year for you know God forbid the just in cases. My husbands white & red blood cells are taking a while to come back up so we thinking maybe thats why.


My port was placed on May 3, 2004 and I've still got it. I'm a stage IV, and will likely not have it removed unless it becomes infected or there's some type of trauma that causes it to stop working. I've been on chemo infusions roughly half of the time since it was put in--not consecutive time, off and on--and it's done exactly as it was supposed to do, preserve my veins by diverting things like infusions and routine blood draws to a locked access vein. Duiring those times when I haven't been on treatment, or on followups with blood draws that happen every 8 weeks or so, I have it flushed with heparin. It'll be used again for a blood draw on Monday, and a 48 hour infusion, then flushed and deaccessed for another two weeks.

Chemoports, the kind that are placed under the skin and have no open access point, but which must be accessed with a special needle, do not need to be kept dry or keep you from showering/swimming/hot tubbing unless they are currently accessed (needle in for an infusion.) During infusions and when it's been accessed because I've been in the hospital, I just cover the port with a waterproof dressing. No problem showering at all (well--at least no problems from the port!) Other types of accesses can't ever get wet, but if there's no needle in the port, there's no issue at all with getting it wet. MadamJoJo, did you have some type of port which was continually accessed, or a continuous treatment regimen? That would be the only reason (continuously accessed) that you would have to always use waterproof bandages to prevent the port's contamination.

Chemoports, depending on type and site of implantation, are rated for as long as 10 years' use with careful maintenance and no trauma to the site which could damage the area. They do not have to be removed unless they stop working, are a potential infection site, or are a source of infection. Many people have them in for years without incident. Monica, I know you are trying to figure out why your husband's counts are low, but if the low counts were a result of an infection caused by the port, the white counts would be up (because of the infection) and the red counts and platelets wouldn't be low. The port site might also be inflamed and have its own extra touch sensitivity. The low blood counts are probably not in any way related to your husband's port--have you asked the oncologist why in your opinion they are less concerned about this than you'd prefer them to be?
Be in harmony with your expectations. - Life Out Loud
4/04: dx'd @48 StageIV RectalCA w/9 liver mets. 8 chemos, 4 surgeries, last remission 34 mos.
2/11 recurrence R lung, spinal bone mets - chemo, RFA lung mets
4/12 stopped treatment
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Re: How long did you keep your port in after finishing chemo?

Postby Joanne 814 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:30 am

All good feedback. If I had my way I would have it out the day after I finished treatments. As far as swimming, why couldnt you swim, if your port was not being used.

The only time I cant swim or shower is when I take the overnight 5FU pump, and I am dressed over the port with bandage and plastic.

The port is not an open entity. The needle mark is like having blood taken from your arm. I was told I can swim without any bandages on it.

My problem is the oxy, and the tingles,and the pool water being too cold!!!

Onward!!

Joanne
Age: 49
Dx: Nov 07 @ age 43
Stage IIIC, RCa
Colon Resection: Nov 07, 4 of 27 LN
Chemo/Radiation: 28 treatments w/constant 5FU (Jan-Feb 08)
Chemo: Folfox, 12 cycles (Mar-Aug 08) DONE 8-8-08
CT Scan 1-09 NED
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