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Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Posted by Alexiss2020 on Jul 28, 2020 10:40 pm

Hi 👋 
Friday I completed my 3rd round of FEC chemotherapy,  all IVs have been in my left arm since I had surgery on my right breast. My arm is extremely painful! I can hardly straighten it and it feels bruised and is sore to the touch in many places, each IV has been in a different location.  Are there any helpful tips anyone has to ease this discomfort and bruising feeling? TIA!

Re: Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Posted by ashcon on Jul 29, 2020 1:25 pm

Congratulations on striking #3 off your list, though I'm sorry to hear you are having such problems with your arm. 

The alternative that first popped into my mind was a PICC line or a Portacath.  Both bypass the need to "stick you" each time. The Port is great because it's implanted in your chest, bypassing the need to use the arm at all.  They can also take your blood samples from the port.
Were either of these offered to you? Do you feel like it is something you could enquire about now?
Either way, this is definitely worth mentioning to your medical team. Preferably well in advance of your next session so that they can ensure something is set something up before your next infusion  (E.g. the Port insertion is a minor day surgery, but has to be scheduled in advance.)

How often are your infusions? How many left to go?
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Posted by Hazewind on Jul 29, 2020 2:18 pm

Have the hospital remove it and redo it as it shouldn't be that painful. Something is not correct. They told me if I experienced any pain, I should speak up immediately. So speak up to the nurse right away. One nurse couldn't get mine in properly and had to have someone else with more than 10yrs experience redo mine. She appeared in her 60's who finally got mine in place properly. This didn't happen each time. Just twice out of 8 separate infusion dates. Mostly went fine. 

Re: Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Posted by Alexiss2020 on Jul 30, 2020 11:13 am

ashcon‍  hi! 
I have 3 left, but moving from FEC to D. I mentioned my sore arm last treatment and was told that its usually the fluorouracil and since last week was my last of that nasty red stuff it should make things a bit better for my arm. I asked about a PICC in the beginning but with only having 6 treatments every 21 days they thought it wouldn't be necessary. 
I'm hopeful this next round of Docetaxel will be a bit kinder to my veins.
Hoped maybe there was a solution to ease the pain. Ill call my nurse today 😊

Re: Arm/Vein pain in chemotherapy arm

Posted by Runner Girl on Aug 4, 2020 4:51 pm

Alexiss2020‍ ,

I'm sorry you've experienced such pain with the FEC chemotherapy.  I also did not have a PICC line or a Port.  They used the veins in my left hand/arm instead.  My 6 treatments were all Docetaxal and they did not cause me any of the pain that you have mentioned.  Most of my pain came from the nurses unable to poke a vein.  Some days they tried 3-4 times!  I learned that if I went in there overly warm (wearing a sweater when I didn't need to) that they had better success finding a vein.  

I'd like to give you one piece of advice.  You can ask the nurse for bags of ice for your hands and feet during the Docetaxal infusion.  My cancer clinic had lovely plastic bags with a pocket for the ice and a pocket for your hand/foot.  This saved me from neuropathy in my hands/feet as well as minimized the damage to my nails, as Docetaxal is very hard on them.  Also, if you are able, paint your nails with dark polish - I read that that is also supposed to help them with potential damage.

You're almost there!

Runner Girl

Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day!