I need to make a decision. I have very small veins, hard to get to.
My first and third chemo went well, no issue finding the vein, but the second one didn’t go as well, and I knew there was going to be issue, and I have ended up with something called Thrombosis. When I research it, it’s kind of like a clot in the vein, and it’s painful at time. Kind of like trying to stretch a muscle that does doesn’t want to stretch.
I didn’t want to get one because it meant another scar, another reminder.
But the issue is that this could happen again on another vein, and there is no telling whether it will or won’t.
So, any of you reading this, that have had a port-o-cath, I’d like to hear what you have to say, please.
I need to make a decision fast as my next chemo is on July 5th and would need to get this scheduled asap.


28 thoughts on “Port-o-cath

  1. Tina says:

    I haven’t had the port o cath but I know my sister in law did and my grandmother and it made for a much easier access to give drugs that were needed. While I completely understand the want to have less scars, they can also be looked upon and warrior marks as you FIGHT AND BEAT this cancer that you have. πŸ™‚

    Just my two cents for what it’s worth.

    Tina Daquano

  2. Paula says:


    The Porto cath saved my life. My veins shut down after my first chemo or second chemo. It was always so tough to get a vein. Once they put the Porto cath in, it was a breeze. Yes, I have a big scar-war wound but that’s only because I’m a keloid healer and I have a thick raised scar. You will be so thankful how quick and easy the chemo will be with the port. Good luck!!!

    • randymellon says:

      Thanks so much for sharing Paula. I keep looking at my arm and the Thrombosis, and it scars me that I still have 3 to go, AND a year of Herceptin. Kind of seems like a no brainer to get it done, yet as you know it’s a big emotional decision. I also get keloids 😦

  3. Lisa Hoggard says:

    Yes, it definitely makes for a quick and easy access!! I was hesitate about getting one but it was highly recommended as I had to have 18 rounds of hercepton on top of regular chemo and limited to one arm due to having lymph nodes removed. Was thankful I had one after seeing the many struggles others went through with collapsed veins etc.

    Hope this helps!

    Lisa Hoggard

  4. Maya says:

    I have the Port-O-Cath since Day 1 of my chemo last year. It was a relief since it’s accessible for my breast cancer nursing team in the course of my 6 rounds of chemo and my one year herceptin treatment. It did not pose any problem but left a scar. I am having it removed by the end of this month.

    Maya P

  5. Kathy M says:

    A portocath is easiest in the long term😘

  6. Tiff says:

    Everyone that I know of that has had one was grateful they did it. I wish I had done it.

  7. Jane says:

    Hi Randy…. just wanted to put my 2 cents worth in too….I had what was called a PICC line……and that was inserted to help with the chemo and the blood tests….unfortunately mine ended up not working for blood tests but it did work for the chemo treatments….I guess it must be the same thing that you are talking about…..so if you have the chance I would say go for it….hang in there……thinking about you lots…..

  8. Barbara Altberg says:

    My mom had one and it helped a ton. It is barely visible and you should get one to make your treatment easier. Then you can have the scar and be proud. The scars on our bodies tell a story of our journeys through life. It isn’t the easy stuff that makes us who we are, but how we cope and survive the difficult periods that make us stronger and more amazing.

  9. Sandy Slater says:

    Randy, I had problems with my veins the first time I had chemo but got a lot of help from a chemo nurse who did therapeutic touch so I avoided a port-a-cath.

    2 years ago I needed chemo again and had the cath put in. It made a huge difference and I’d strongly recommend you do it. It saves so much time and discomfort. Happily I can say I’m having mine removed tomorrow! All the best.

    • randymellon says:

      you must be so excited for tomorrow!!!
      thanks for sharing.

      • Sandy Slater says:

        Well, it’s been removed. I don’t regret having it in (for over 2 years) one bit. As for scarring, there was almost none after it was put in and the doctor assured me this morning she was going along the original scar line so I shouldn’t be left with much of a scar at all. I do agree about it being a bit of a battle scar too. A battle I’ve won! You will too.

      • randymellon says:

        Yes! you have won the battle!! Must feel SO good. I have booked an appt for next week, PMH couldn’t fit me in before my next chemo, but my friend is a radiologist out in Oshawa and he is going to do it for me. I think it’s more of an emotional battle for me. I know it’s the right decision, 3 more chemo’s and Herceptin for the next year, along with any other stuff. It’s just another decision, another procedure, another reminder, and yes, I have to get past that.

  10. Lisa Rosa says:

    Hi Randy,

    My mom had one put in and it was the best thing she could have done. Prior to the port, the bloodwork caused her the same amount if not more stress than the actual chemo treatment. Well worth it!

  11. Harriet Black Ice says:

    HI Randy,

    I was talking to my patient today about you, she has had a port o cath for 2 1/2 years, and loves the convience of it!!!

    I asked her if you could email her and she said for sure.

    Her name is Judy Winnicky, her email address is jwinnicky100@yahoo.ca

    It didn’t seem like she had any negatives to say about it.

    Hope it helps

    Keep Fighting!!!


    Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 01:01:37 +0000 To: harriet.7@hotmail.com

  12. Sherrie says:

    Hi Randy. I will put aside my friend hat and put on my RN hat … specifically as an ER and IV nurse πŸ™‚ The Port-a-Cath will give you easy access without poking you numerous times and has a very low incidence of infection. I would definitely go this route πŸ™‚ Sorry I am late with my response … I was moving πŸ™‚ Sounds like you have already made up your mind πŸ˜€

    • randymellon says:

      I didn’t know you were an RN, with this specialty!! Thank you for your feedback. Yes, I am having it done tomorrow. I really should have had it done before the second chemo, but as I’ve said it’s been more of an emotional decision. My friend who is a radiologist at Lakeridge is actually doing the procedure, as they couldn’t fit me in at PMH.

  13. Tamara says:

    Hey Randy,

    I have not had cancer, but i know from Maureen’s experience, that for the most part, it works well. Sometimes it gets clogged and she has to flap her arms and sometimes has to lay down to get them to be able to get it unclogged. I’ll ask her to email you to get directly from her. Would that be ok?

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