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Chemotherapy: FOLFOX

Living With A Port When Not Being Infused

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  • Wearing a port has been reported to be uncomfortable - particularly for the first few days or weeks until you adjust to it. 
    •  Power ports tend to stick out a bit further from the body and may take more getting used to. 
    • Wearing a port is not painful for most people.
  • Ports need to be flushed with a special solution during treatment and every 4 -- 6 weeks when not in active chemotherapy treatment. 
    • Flushing is usually performed with a combination of a saline solution and a blood thinning drug such as Heparin. 
    • The nursing staff will usually perform necessary flushing during treatment and can show you how to do the flushing yourself at other times.
  • Women: the weight of breasts and gravity can put strain on a port.
    • If you feel a strain, consider wearing a supportive bra while awake - at least during the first month after the port insertion.
    • "Sleep bras" help minimize pulling at night. (They can also generally be worn during scans because they do not have any metal in them.)
  • When a continuous infusion is in progress, care must be taken when washing and sleeping. To learn more about life with a continuous infusion, click here.
  • When not being infused, you can do all activities with a port, including swimming and contact sports
  • If you have questions about any activity that is part of your life, ask your medical team "just in case."

How Long A Port Stays In Place

A port can remain in place for as long as your doctor determines that you need it -- to a maximum of the port's expiration date. Over time, the port  generally moves closer to the surface of the body.

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