Hickman line 

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.  and I was told I needed a hickman line in my chest. 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. I was scared as it was three days before christmas and this operation can puncture your lung if it goes wrong. 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 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 stuff as a board for a good two days. Luckily I felt a bit better Christmas day and could. Move my neck better. 

I noticed people in America had these either tin 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. 

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 but I started radiotherapy and kept it incase they needed bloods (I feel so needle phobic now but it takes about 6 attempts to get blood now!!). It was getting in the was and went very red so they said it was an infection risk. 

The doctor had me on a bed in a room wide awake with local anaesthetic 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 ➕ 


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