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Feeling overwhelmed and anxious

LucyLou_71LucyLou_71 PerthMember Posts: 10
edited October 2019 in Newly diagnosed
hi everyone 
i have been diagnosed with breast cancer with HER2+ , stage 2a.  I saw the oncologist for the first time yesterday and I will be having the following- FEC x 3 cycles, 3 weekly then TH x 4 cycles, 3 weekly, followed by Herceptin only for 13 cycles, 3 weekly.  
I am considering a port as I had such a horrible time with needles recently when I went back into hospital with an infection in my breast.  The thought of a cannula every 3 weeks is making me feel sick.  
The oncologist thinks I should give the cannula a go the first time and I can have a port or picc if I want for the following treatments.  I only have one good arm they can use due to an auxiliary clearance. 
He also said that I could have the 13 cycles of Herceptin injected straight into my leg rather than IV.  Has anyone had experience of this?
thanks so much.


  • NefertariNefertari Member Posts: 288
    Sorry, not much help as I do not even understand most of what you are having.  I will leave that to the people that do.      Just in regard to the port, I had the first chemo by IV and quickly decided to get the port, Im glad I did. I had it out at the end of last month, it made chemo bearable.  Lots of hugs from another overwhelmed person xx
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,668
    I didn’t have a port and mostly one useable arm (lymphoedema) so it certainly can be done but if the thought is already distressing you, it’s hard to know why your oncologist is so keen to try the cannula first? Can’t advise on the Herceptin shots, weren’t available when I was treated but the same principle surely applies. Best wishes. 
  • LIttleBlueWrenLIttleBlueWren BrisbaneMember Posts: 79
    I have a port and have had no problems with it, my oncologist suggested it from the start. Finished chemo one year ago this week and still have my port in.
    Based on my experience, I think it is great. I put an Emla patch on each treatment however if I forgot to the needle didn't hurt at all.
    Best wishes.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,953
    I had a different chemo regimen than you so I'm not sure how that impacts.  I was advised to have a port by the oncology team before I started.  Although I had significant problems the first time they tried to access it (poor needling that didn't show up in an x-ray) and I hated the thing, I am also really glad that I had it.  It made the whole process so much better and it saved the veins in my arm.  Given I can only use the one side for needles, it made sense.
  • ShakalkerShakalker Tamworth NSWMember Posts: 84
    Hi @LucyLou_71
    I also have a port, it was advised by my surgeon early as I too had only have one arm suitable. 
    I am pleased I did this.
    I was advised that some of the chemicals -(Epirubicin being one), are best going into a high flowing vein as this helps dilute them quickly in your system and reduces any risk of inflammation at the injection site. 
    I was informed when the same veins are continually accessed in your arm it can weaken them.
    Epirubicin can be quite destructive to veins.
    Just like LittleBlueWren, I was given Emla cream to apply under a patch on my port before infusions, this totally numbed the access to the port making it pain free when needles were inserted.
    Thinking of you
    Best wishes for what ever choice you make.
    kind regards S xx
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    I didn't have a port and my veins really struggle. Frustrated phlebotomists say they're scarred from chemo.
  • shs14shs14 Member Posts: 140
    I have a port, I love it, no cannulas which I hate, the nurses love it too. That said I will be happy to have it removed at the end.
    It does hurt for a day when you first get it and is a bit of a weird thing but saves your veins in the long term. Good luck.
    I have the same diagnosis and am 11 days from finishing chemo. I had 4 x fortnightly AC and then weekly Paclitaxel x 12 with Herceptin every third week. So I will have 16 chemos in all, whereas yours sounds like less.

    I'm strongly considering moving to injections for the Herceptin. I'm going to try it before I have the port removed. 
    Herceptin is a half hour infusion but I hear the injection takes about five minutes and hurts only at the start.
    ps. I agree if you get a port see if you can get an Emla anasthetic patch to put on it before each procedure. 
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,257
    I'm pretty sure @JoeyLiz had the herceptin injections to her legs. Not sure of anyone else

    I had cheo before surgery. The first appointment with the oncologist,  l could see her looking at my arms. She very quickly offered me a port. Made my chemo much easier
  • JoeyLizJoeyLiz Member Posts: 337
    Hi! Yes I had the herceptin in my thigh. Much quicker and easier than iv. It was 5ml in total at 1ml per minute. The first 1ml stung then it stung as they pulled the needle out. Leg ached for about 30mins after and for the next 2 days I had a 10cm red circle around the injection site (the circle is apparently rare as my nurses/dr hadnt seen it before but redness at the site is listed under side effects).
    Good luck with treatment x
  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 270
    I had a port inserted in my right upper chest. I can't wear lower cut clothes but at 72 that's not a problem. I much prefer it to canulas or injections. This weekend I had Hercepton infusion no. 113.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,409
    Also with the port. I used a numbing cream each time as I quite frankly feel we suffer enough with treatment. I had my herceptin IV as the injection in your leg wasn't available on pbs at the time.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,409
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,853
    All good!
    As we sometimes say keep away from Dr Google 
    Take care 
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