42 – End of the Line
21 February 2023
Fortunately, the title refers to the end of my PICCadilly line, and not to me personally!
Because I’m now on one immunotherapy infusion every 4 weeks, I had to balance the nicety of no needles for bloodwork and infusion, against the requirements of keeping a PICC line in place.
In-place means weekly visits to my local nurse clinic to have the line flushed and dressing changed. Also of course, keeping it secure and dry all the time – especially when showering etc.
Removing it, means I don’t have to do all of the above, but now have conventional needles for blood sampling and a canula fitted each time I have an infusion.
It was a decision that on balance I went with the line removal and for now, just a monthly jab or two. In many respects I had grown quite attached to my line – or indeed how it was attached to me!
Here’s a couple of photos; of my line from a few months ago when in-place, and another of its approximate route when it was in me.
I’m still really quite amazed how that 55cm tube was inside a vein for so many months and never caused any pain or problem.
So now I’m back to ‘old skool’ – having a canula inserted for each infusion. For those of us like me, who have difficult veins – I rely on nurses that are also good darts players, because their aim is normally so much better 😉
But actually, the good ol’ NHS has a more scientific solution that helps the nurses – the Air Glove.
This is a hot-air blower, which attaches to my arm and provides three minutes of hot air (as if I need any more), to make my veins more prominent and therfore easier to jab with a canula.
Here’s a video for those interested in seeing how this works in practice.
So that’s about all for now.
Oh – just a quick update on treatments. So, I’m still on monthly infusions, but it’s too early to say if the treatment is working, or not.
The plan right now is to have two more immunotherapy infusions – one in March and then again in April. These will be followed by a CT scan, to determine if the treatments look like being successful, or back to the drawing board…
More from me, most likely in April.
Until then – wherever you are in the world, stay safe and well x