Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

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Kathryn in MN
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby Kathryn in MN » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:40 am

I know a couple breast cancer patients that had theirs over 10 years. One was NED for over 5 years and then had to use it again. The main "shelf life" for ports is in correlation to the number of "sticks" it gets. The self-healing material that closes after being poked does have limitations to how many times. But if you aren't in active treatment, you will never come close to hitting that mark. If it is in and not giving you any problems, and you have such awful trouble with veins, it makes sense to keep it. If you don't and even have other medical problems, it might mean a PICC line needs to be placed for you - so if you keep the port you can avoid that.

I agree with the aspirin each day if your doctor clears that (with your other health issues). The biggest risk a port causes is that of blood clots, so the aspirin can help guard against that. Just make sure to get it flushed every 4-6 weeks if you want to keep it in. No point in keeping it if you let it get clogged so that it won't work anymore.

If I didn't have such awful luck with ports, I would have had one for 3 1/2 year at this point, but instead I am on #4. I had no choice with #1 coming out due to infection on insertion (and a hospital stay with that). I was wanting everything to do with cancer and chemo out of my life and out of my body after my first 12 tx of chemo - believing I was cured, so I chose to have #2 removed (which landed me in the hospital with an infection again). I swore #3 was my last port for life (especially since my lung was punctured on insertion), but then it got a hole in the catheter and the plastic was dangling, blocking my subclavien and causing problems there, and anything going in was just being pushed into my chest cavity, not the vein. It isn't a problem to place a second port should you need one later, but if you get to the multiple port point, it can be an issue. The first attempt to place #4 for me didn't work - I had to go back again... (the subclavien was so damaged on the left that they couldn't use that side and I was getting radiation on the right side, so they couldn't go there - after radiation was done they did the right side, but had to move farther out towards my armpit to get away from scarring areas of previous ports)

If you have problems with it, you will know. It felt "off" with a weird popping sensation when they tried to flush it, and 4 weeks later it was worse. By the next time it really hurt and wouldn't work, so I went to the cath lab where they found the problem with the last one. If you get a blood clot, you'll have pain in your chest, and possibly radiating over the shoulder and into the back, or down the arm. just pay attention to anything feeling odd when you get flushed, or pain in your chest, neck or shoulders. It isn't likely you'll have any problems, but if you know what to look for, you'll be prepared if you do.
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Kathleen808
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby Kathleen808 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:53 pm

Hi Bev,

Dick has had his for almost 4 years and has not had any big problems. I few times they could not get a blood draw (now remember he has has 90 chemo treatments so only a few times isn't bad), because of a flap. But, it has served him well.

Aloha,
Kathleen
Kathleen
DH 1/09 3c 51yr rsct
Folfx 3/09
1 l nd 9/09 Flfri Avstn
PET clr 6/10
Folfri Avstn 7/10
ND 10/10
1/11 lng mets Flfri Avastn
ND 2/12
9/12 Flfri Avastn
10/12 grwth lng mts Erbtx Avstn Irintcn
1/13 stabl
9/13 grwth
8/16/14 passed into eternal peace

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horizon
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby horizon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:44 am

Kathryn in MN wrote:I agree with the aspirin each day if your doctor clears that (with your other health issues). The biggest risk a port causes is that of blood clots, so the aspirin can help guard against that. Just make sure to get it flushed every 4-6 weeks if you want to keep it in. No point in keeping it if you let it get clogged so that it won't work anymore.


One of the reasons I love this place is I'm constantly learning. I never heard about the aspirin a day (which I cleared with my doc and am taking) helping prevent potential port problems, but it makes sense when you think about it.
I'm just a dude who still can't believe he had a resection and went through chemo (currently 8 years NED). Is this real life?

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Guinevere
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby Guinevere » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:53 pm

I say if it isn't bothering you, don't bother it. :wink: I love mine and have never had problems with any draws until this last Tuesday. I had to look up and left, look up and right and thought I was going to have to do the cheer "Stand up, Sit down, Fight, Fight, Fight!" but at last it started drawing like it was supposed to. Yea! I definitely thing lohidoc had a good idea about the low dose aspirin and you checking with your doc about that.
Hrt atk - Feb 11
CRC4 DX - Apr 11
APR liver rsct, procto - Jul 11
Folfox/Avastin - Sep 11
Xeliri - Nov 11
Iritux - Jun 12
Break - Jan - Mar 13
Iritux - Mar 13
Stivarga - Aug 13
Folfiri - Oct 13
Exhausted treatment options - May 14

Suze
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby Suze » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:16 pm

I've had mine 5 years, almost to the day. No problems. Susan
Dx 5/07 Stage IV 59 y/o
6 mos Folfox, Avas., erb.
Surg. for colon, liver mets 1/08
Folfox & Avas. 2/08-8/08
Liver met 10/09, Iri 11/09 - 7/10
SBRT 4/10, 12/10
30-40 lung mets 4/11
Irin./erbitux 5/11-8/11
xeloda/avastin 8/11-2/12
xeloda/erb 2/12/-4/12

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blakeswife
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby blakeswife » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:52 pm

Hi Bev, I've been MIA from the board for a while but your post caught my eye. Blake has had his port for over 5 years & it still works like a champ. He's been very particular on who he allows to access it and that's mostly the cancer center for infusion. He's only had a few situations where they had to use the (clot desolving stuff.)

If you haven't had any trouble with it, I'd leave it.

Hang in there........... Kathy
DH Stage IV 10/07
Colectomy, Liver resection & RFA, 1/13 LN
12/07-5/08 Folfox/Avastin
7/09 recurrence-Peritoneum
9/09-12/09 Folfiri/Avastin
1/10-5/10 Xeloda/Avastin
9/10-current w/built in breaks

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Nickmark59
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Re: Anyone who has had your port more than 3 years...

Postby Nickmark59 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:59 am

I just got mine out after almost 5 years never had a problem with it other than when i bumped it
CRC- IV 7-th yr Survivor -5 rectal tumors 1 bleeding with mets to liver
Rad. 36 treat.
with 6 Chemo 2-Ox.- 4 Fol.
surgery 15 hrs to resect colon and liver- Feb 08
follow up 6 chemo Folfox
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