Tag Archives: central line

Hold the Line


My central line removal finally went ahead today. I can’t quite believe it and I keep forgetting that it has gone for good!

The removal took longer than planned, the doctor said that there was some really tough tissue around the line that was holding onto it which became quite tricky to separate! He injected a load of anaesthetic, then using a scalpel and forceps just cut away at the bits of tissue for around 40 minutes! After he had started I was wishing I’d asked for gas and air as there were quite a few sharp pains throughout, but the doctor was really helpful as he put more anaesthetic in whenever it felt too bad.

I took a comparison photo, one of the line so you could all see what the whole thing looks like and even got one of me holding the line once it had come out so here are some of those… if a little bit of blood will make you feel ill then don’t look right!


hickman line












Afterwards we headed over to have a cuppa and catch up with a friend and fellow patient who is staying in a flat opposite the hospital while she undergoes her treatment. We sat out on the roof terrace and had a good old natter about all things Leukaemia related which was great!

It already feels lighter not having the line dangling from my chest but it will be more comfortable in a week once the stitch has been removed! For the moment I am using Paracetamol to dull any pain and hoping that there won’t be a load of bruising when I wake up tomorrow.


The Course of Hospital Procedures Never Did Run Smooth


So today’s blog post was going to reveal some exciting news (and therefore excuse the fact that I neglected in writing as much last week). The plan was to have my line taken out and I thought I would surprise you by keeping it a secret until after!

*Now go back and read the title again…*

As you may have deduced just then, said removal was not completed. The consultant at Southampton wasn’t happy with my bloods yet, they need to be higher and stay up for it to be safe to take the Hickman line out. I don’t mind as I know it will happen sometime in the near future, another week doesn’t make any difference to me; I’m certainly used to it’s presence!

I don’t know if everyone experiences this but for me my thoughts and feelings about the line coming out are bittersweet. Just thinking about all the lifesaving blood products and drugs that they have given me via the Hickman makes my brain hurt! Without it I will need a fair amount of cannulas over the next year for my chemo, plus needles for the ever delightful peripheral blood tests. Also the line has been a part of me, not one that can be easily hidden or ignored since it’s been on my chest opposite my heart for 10 months and to be honest I can’t imagine it not being there! There are so many good things about it coming out though: no more worries about the infection, being able to wear nice tops again, not wrapping it up for the shower, not having to look at it coming out of my chest (which still feels wrong!) but most of all the closure. Like my final intense chemotherapy a few weeks ago, it is one of the milestones I have waited for and one of the keys to feeling normal again. In my head it feels like a confirmation that I am better because I don’t need it any more.

Anyway, the removal has been postponed for a week and the community nurses are going to test my blood a couple of times so we have a picture of what is going on. Hopefully everything will keep increasing in the next seven days so that Tuesday the 15th will be THE DAY!

I’m aware that I didn’t do a post to inform you all when I got out of hospital which was bad of me! You know from my last post that I wasn’t having the best of weeks, so ever since I got home I have been caught up in positivity and being free (the definition of ‘free’ being “sat in my room watching all six seasons of ¬†Gossip Girl”). Just kidding, I have done a little more than watch Netflix, I promise. It was my grandma’s birthday the day I finally escaped from St Richards, so it was great that I could be home for a lovely family dinner. I’ve also met a few friends in the park, though my counts are on the way up I’m still not supposed to be around crowds of people yet so the open air is perfect.

In other news, since it is now July the countdown to my birthday has begun. 22 days to go!

I will keep you updated on the plans for the line removal next week,
sorry for leaving you in limbo and not telling you when I got out of hospital. I think I was subconsciously avoiding writing about it because I’d totally had enough and was putting it out of my mind!