Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Picc line maintenance Crete

Hello all. Positive results recently after 4 months treatment on Cetuximab and 2 :x: chemos. The CEA markers have dropped to 4 from 117, scans show the nodules on lungs and liver are reduced by about a third or stable. No sign of re-growth in the brain. Anyway, all in all, seem to be in remission given a very gloomy prognosis pre treatment. To celebrate we're off to Crete for 2 weeks. Only issue is the Picc line. The iv nurses suggest 2 weeks is too long to leave it without flushing it and doing maintenance. However, might have to busk it. Just wondering if anyone has been to Crete and had their line maintained by a local cancer service. We're in North east but will be mobile so anywhere will do. With thanks in advance Chris P


Hi @CP, it is lovely to read how you have responded to treatment and you certainly deserve a holiday.

I am not sure when you are going, but if you can I would see if the hospital will teach your companion how to do it, then you will need two lots of dressings, flushes etc. An increasing number of hospitals are doing this.

Otherwise I don’t actually know what to suggest - hopefully someone will be along with a suggestion. In all honesty I wouldn’t recommend busking it as it is too risky getting a PICC line infection. Do you have a 100% waterproof cover for it in case you go swimming?

Sorry I know that I have come up with more problems than answers and really hope you can resolve this 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻, take care, Kim :x::x:


Thanks Kim. Yes, I have a good waterproof cover. I asked the i/v nurse about teaching my partner to do maintenance but they wouldn't consider it for various reasons. Will ask the Cancer folk tomorrow when go in for the 2-weekly session.


Hi @CP
Super news to hear the great response that you’ve had.
A holiday will be an absolute tonic for you.
Don’t forget the factor 50 / sunblock and a big hat !!!!!!

When I had a PICC line I also did my own flush - do ask again. Different Trusts have different rules. Also maybe ask your CNS ( if you see them tomorrow) as I do know people have managed to arrange going to clinics for flushes whilst abroad - wether that’s an option I Crete, I do not know. But maybe ?

Have a fab holiday, Jane :x::x::x:


Great. Yes, I'll have another bash at the CNS but the head honcho was very resistant. Bought a hat and have my factor 50 ready. Thanks for response. :x: