Around my third chemo my veins completely gave in they were dark brown and stiff, I believe its called phlebitis. I would reach out for something and feel a snapping feeling. I was told I needed a hickman line in my chest asap. My veins looked disgusting and I was very worried. They couldnt even get blood from them never mind put chemo in!
The nurse and oncologist decided I needed a hickman line immediately. I had looked online at one but I never imagined I would actually be getting one. I was really worried I asked the nurses if it was a good thing and they just pulled a face. I was scared and I was lucky as one of the nurses said there is an old gentleman here who has one in would you like to see it. He was very reassuring and told me not to worry too much. He showed me his and said chemo was now easier.
I was concerned as it was three days before christmas and when I walked into the ward the nurse Sat me down to tell me there was a risk this operation can puncture your lung if so I would spend Christmas in the hospital. I was on a day ward and I was so scared to go in I felt vulnerable and cried when I walked in the op theatre. I didn’t even do this for my lumpectomy or mastectomy!! I think it was all just so sudden and I had no control troll over the situation as usual.
I was awake through it all it went in through the top of my neck through a vein and out through my chest. I was relieved it was over but I was like frankenatein and stiff as a board for a good two days. Luckily I felt a bit better by Christmas day and could move my neck better.
I noticed people in America had these either in their chest or arm and I think it should be given to everyone really as I didn’t feel chemo again. Previously I felt it pulsating through my veins and it was a sharp tingly feeling, I hated it. It has completely destroyed my veins and I don’t see any benefit to chemo being given through your arm as it weakens them.
The picture below shows how bad my veins are even though I’m three months from chemo. They are indented and hard. There’s no signs of improvement apart from the colour. It used to be much darker than this.
I was just as scared to get the hickman line out, I put it off keeping it in during radiotherapy S I thought blood might need to be taken and I feel very needle phobic now as it takes about 6 attempts to get blood now!! 😔 It was getting in the way though and the radiologists noticed it was going quite red at the opening which was an infection risk.
The doctor had me on a bed in a room wide awake with local anaesthetic, the radio on and started cutting and pulling eek luckily apart from the five needles to the chest I didn’t feel much else. I was so so relieved to have it out I felt human again. I couldn’t wait till it healed so I could finally go swimming with my son.
I am now left with a strange mark that looks like a red smudge and above it is what looks like a cross ➕
And I had long stitches in my neck
I really missed swimming so it felt soo amazing to go swimming finally after watching my sons swimming class for so long knowing I couldn’t go in!! I felt so free after this one was removed. I wonder if I ever have chemo again if I could get the hickman line again. After it was all over I watched a video on YouTube of one being put into the neck omg!!!! I was I’m shock it was so gruesome I couldn’t believe I had been through that and been awake! So scary