Thursday, May 27, 2010

PICC Line Infection

This morning I went in for blood work to confirm I was OK for chemo tomorrow. When it came time to see the nurse, we discussed the side effects from last week’s infusion. I mentioned I had chills on Friday and Saturday, I had a sore acidic belly and a small dry cough up until a couple of days ago.

I also mentioned something else … this morning I noticed that my PICC line area was sore and my skin was reddish and warm to the touch. She looked at it asking if maybe I had a skin reaction to something. I said I didn’t think it was that because it was just too sore. I mentioned to her that the muscles in both arms and shoulders were usually weak and often sore but this is different. A second nurse had a look and thought it might be an infection.

The first nurse called my Onc in to have a look. He concluded that this was indeed an infection and rescheduled my chemo to next week Friday. He also put me on the antibiotic Cephalexin 500 mg for 7 days. Then he took out his pen and drew a line on my arm at the edge of the redness and said … if the redness goes beyond this line … to call the clinic immediately.

So now I’m back to checking my temperature 4 times a day for the next week at least. …Zaraza!


Carol Urban said...

DANG IT! I am hating that every time you have to go in for something those daRned PICC lines get infected!!! I wish they'd come up with something better for you to get your chemo.

Lisa said...

Maybe they'll finally consider using Ports there!! They are so much easier to live with and use. I've had mine in for almost ten years. I LOVE IT. Hope the redness doesn't pass the line Daria. STUPID CANCER!!!

Anonymous said...

awww that sucks.. but lucky you are so alert to catch it quickly... feel better..



Teresa Hartman said...

Sorry you are having to deal with one more thing, lady. About the only good thing to it is the method you have to use to check temp shouldn't be too bad (grin). Sending hellos from flyover country.

RivkA with a capital A said...

oh man! it's those little things that just knock the wind out of us! (at least for me!) I feel like I'm OK with the big things, but I am on the edge... so any little addition just knocks me for a loop!

What is "Zaraza"??

Whidbey Woman said...

Oh Daria, Sorry for another set-back. Cancer sure sucks. I hope the antibiotic does the trick and you get better real soon.

danaceau said...

I was also going to ask about a Sub-cutaneous port (I had a "Power Port). It resides completely under the skin and greatly reduces chance of infection. Only downside is you feel the stick when the access it with a special needle through the skin. Mine was in my upper chest just below the clavicle.

RivkA with a capital A said...

when you have a subcutaneous port, like danaceau mentions, you can use a topical anesthetic, which you apply about an hour before going to the hospital. When I remember to put it on, I feel no pain at all when the nurses insert the needle -- it is WAY BETTER than anything else for people on long term chemo.

The surgery took less than half an hour from the time they wheeled me in until the time they wheeled me out.

I think the actual procedure took less than 15 minutes!!