My Ovacome
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any one had PICC line fitted ?

Had my chemo yesterday and it seems my viens dont want to know, I had (dont know tchnical terms) a blow back into my arm, had to have numerous injections to try to disperse the poison, got to return today to have it checked.They have now decided not to try again and have a picc line inserted, must admit I'm not that keen but needs must and just wondered if any one has any advice and what it like to live with. Thanks Sue

8 Replies

Hi Sue

Is a picc the same as a Hickman line - ie a needle inserted into your skin with tubes coming out of it that will be removed at a later date? I had a Hickman inserted in hospital about 2 weeks ago (I was also not keen but there seemed little option), It was fine in hospital as the nurses looked after it (you have to keep it very clean and dressed so that it doesnt get infected)but a bit daunting to do for oneself . You also have to keep it dry, so you have to tape plastic bags over it when you shower. Also, on being discharged today, I found that I could not wear my bra as the right strap would chafe against the line.

So, having had a very little experience of it, I can say that it is a bothersome thing to look after but I suppose in some instances a necessary evil. I hope I am talking about the right thing!

Best wishes, Monique


I'm dont think they are the same but I'm going to check on 'tinternet. Thanks Love Sue x


Hi Sue

Had picc line fitted for last treatment as after 5years of chemo my hands were knackered.Not so invasive as Hickman or portocaths

1 Fitted by doc/radiologist under xray guidence and general aneasthetic. No probs or pain

2 Fitted just above my elbow bend.

3 Covered with opsite dressing and tubigrip for protection.

4 Flushed and redressed weekly by chemo nurse or community nurse ( if they can do it). You can also do it yourself. you get taught)

6 Super for having treatment. You'll wish you'd had it earlier!!!

7 It is removed when your treatment is complete. Simple and painless.

Unfortunately and unusually mine split (can happen to any line) just as I was about to have my last chemo!!! So it was removed and they managed to find a hand vein

I am about to start yet another lot of treatment and fully expect and hope to have a picc line fitted again.

Hope this helps Sue. It really is so much easier than having the back of your hands attacked every time.

Good luck with your chemo. What are you having. I had weekly taxol for 18 weeks which brought my 125 down from 4000 to 380. Now back up to 1000 after 4months but that is a better starting point than before!!. Am having carboplatin and gemcitabine this time. So we shall see

Love Suexx


Hi Sue, thanks for your reply, I'm told I am to have justa local aneasthetic ! I had 6 sessions of carboplatin last year and was only clear for 3 months, now on pacitavel/mitoxantrone, had two sessions but after one my ca hasn't moved its 73 they say dont worry, but well I am concerned. the staff at my chemo are really briliant friendly and kind and I have every faith in them, my consultant made a special trip yesterday to come and see me to check on my very swollen arm, am back for another check on Monday.Hope your treatment is going well Love Sue x


Hi Sue. Get it done! I've had one as my veins weren't behaving themselves. No problems and so much easier to get the chemo in and give blood when necessary. It needs flushing out each week but my partner is able to do this after a quick lesson so no need for district nurse or visit to the surgery.

It was easily fitted at the hospital with no pain either! Given a special plastic sleeve to wear in the shower. You're not able to swim but that's not a problem for me. Apparently you can keep it in for a year after its been fitted.

Hope it helps so you can get on with things!

Hetty x


Hi Sue,

I agree with Hetty. I had one fitted after 3 lines of chemo when my veins went on strike!! It was completely painless. I had to ask for the plastic sleeve to wear in the shower.

A community nurse came once a week to flush it and to take bloods when necessary.

I was told it could only be left in for a short time but only needed it for 3 lots of chemo.

The following two years I had to have a Hickman Line which can be left in longer.

Blow back sounds horrible whatever the technical term is!!!! hope they got the poison dispersed.

love Marilyn


Marilyn I came out with arm looking like popeye without the tattoo !! they did work really hard with a multitude of injections, it is getting better and back on Monday for another check ,fingers crossed (when I can) Love Suue x


Sue don't feel you have to go and get the tattoo :) not good when on chemo just eat the spinach!!!!!

Hope your arm is feeling and looking better!!.

Love Marilyn


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