Living With Chemo Pt. 8: Educating and Knowing Your Ports

At the beginning of every round of chemotherapy my mom receives, she has blood work done first thing in the mornings and accesses her two ports. Her first port being an IV port (intravenous) and her second port which is in the abdomen and it is more of an aggressive approach to her system called intraperitoneal chemo. The last time they let her line drip faster which broke her out in a rash. I think the name of the rash was called “red man” rash. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but you would think as a nurse you would understand and know the difference between the two ports, unlike someone who is uneducated in the medical field, like me and my mother. So when it was taking more than 30 minutes of prep time, sitting in the waiting room with my dad, we began to have a concern of what was taking so long to access her ports.
As I walk into the room my mom is lying on her back and says: Hey Kacie: “she couldn’t get blood out of the belly port, she tried and tried to get it” but we were finally able to get the flow going out the IV port”. Not thinking anything about it, we took off to our next appointment for the day.
Once we were in to see the doctor, my mom began to explain the trouble they had trying to get blood out of her belly port. As the doctor looked at my mom puzzled and slapped her hand to her forehead.
No, no, no, no, – they did what!?! No blood should ever come out of your belly port.
If blood comes out of your belly port, we have a problem.

If you are ever a caregiver, or if you are ever receiving chemo yourself, please be very cautious of this. This is extremely important to know. Nothing should ever be taken out of the belly intraperitoneal port. Only through your IV port, as we know now, if you are a nurse or in the medical field, please get educated when dealing with your patients.

Side note: isn’t CTCA beautiful around Christmas time.




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