Next Port of Call...

April 7, 2017

You may have heard me mention my port, but not wanted to ask what it is (or indeed been interested enough to find out!)


However my port has become an integral part of me and I can't imagine being without it. I don't even notice it's there anymore, it's kind of like a third nipple.



What is a port?


An implantable port (sometimes called portacaths or subcutaneous ports) is a thin, soft plastic tube with a rubber disc at the end.  


The port is usually put in by a doctor using a local anaesthetic, inserted under the skin on the chest with the attached tube going into a vein near the heart. 


Why do I have a port?

At my first ever chemo session on 8 August 2016, the nurse battled for to find a decent vein into which to insert a catheter. 


Once she successfully found one, it was incredibly painful and uncomfortable for me during the infusion.

Rather than go through this palaver on a weekly basis, I was offered a port as an alternative which would stay in for the duration of my treatment - and beyond if desired.


So on Friday 12 August, I was admitted to hospital to have the small procedure under sedation. It was so painless, I talked to the gorgeous doctor throughout.


You can now see a small bump underneath my skin where the port is. 



What is the port used for?


I can have chemotherapy and other drugs delivered through the port.  It can even be accessed for taking blood so I don't have to suffer with huge bruises every time blood is taken. 


When I have my treatment, a needle goes through my skin into the port to deliver the chemotherapy into the vein. It is just a small prick rather than a battle to find a vein and catheterise me each and every time.  



It also means that my arms and hands are free whilst I am having my treatment.



I do wonder that if the chemo can be fed through my port, then maybe other liquids could be too - red wine would be top of the list, closely followed by gin!


I am really fortunate to have been offered this as it has completely transformed my experience of having chemo and would recommend it to anyone else who is having ongoing intravenous treatment.

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