Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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PICC line insertion advice

My husband Bow is finally starting chemo soon and is getting a picc line on Wednesday. He is so anxious about it and extremely worried. Any words of advice about insertion would be really appreciated. His treatment plan has just been changed again so no time to ask for port. The plan was chemoradiation then chemo but it’s been swapped around on advice from Christies. We will find out the regime next week all i know is he is RAS, moderately differentiated and micro satellite stable. Thanks :x::x::x:

Polly 1

Hi @WelshWife
With stopping and starting chemo my husband has had 5 PICC lines over the past 9 years as well as one Hickman line. Our hospital does not yet do ports anyway.
I've just asked my husband about it and he told him not to worry at all. It's done with local anaesthetic and apart from the odd push and tug you don't feel anything. The nurses in the chemo unit do the insertion and also remove it when no longer needed - I was amazed, they just pull and out it slides!
Just another point - If there is an option for you to be trained to do the line maintenance I would seriously consider it. The line has to be flushed with saline and the dressing changed weekly. To save waiting round for District nurses (if they will do it!) or travelling over to the chemo unit it's easier if you can do it if you feel able to.
In each 2 week cycle I remove the chemo pump after 2 days and change dressings and do saline flush. It also needs another flush and dressing change after a further 7 days. I also do the blood testing through it/flush/dressing and take it to the local hospital the day before treatment.
Don't forget to ask for a prescription for a limbo line cover for bathing as you can't get the dressing wet.
All the best :x:


Thank you so much for this. He feels really reassured. I will certainly ask if i can do that. :x::x::x::x::x:


Hi @WelshWife I was terrified of having it in. Goodness our minds can run riot can't they? You don't feel it, I was amazed. Thinking about it is much harder than having it done and it made life so much easier with it. All the best for his treatment, P :x:


Honestly it's absolutely fine. The worst he'll feel is a small local anesthetic in his arm then nothing after that. They are absolutely brilliant once they are in, much better than being a pin cushion. No sensation on removal. Good luck :x: :x: :x: :x:


Hi @WelshWife. I had PICC line, the procedure of installing it isn’t painful at all. Just an odd push, and removing it is very easy, could feel nothing. I didn’t flush my line myself. When I went for my blood test to chemo unit a day before chemo cycle nurses took blood from PICC line and then flushed it and dressed it. I had my first two chemo cycles with cannulas, and it was not nice, especially next day when my hand and arm were very sore. Having PICC line is much better. Good luck :x:


Thank you so much Bow feels really reassured and happy going forward. We are going for a night away tonight before treatment starts:) thanks so much. Gwen :x::x::x::x::x:


My partner had one fitted a week ago and has a needle phobia, the nurses looked after him well & once they used the freeze spray and local anesthetic he found it fine. He has the dressing changed every few days and will have it flushed once a week. The staff are so good