Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chemo tube drama!

In the midst of my whining about diarrhea, I totally forgot about the chemo tube drama last night!

So I was trying to get the kids ready for bed and had to bolt for the bathroom. While I was hanging out in there, I happened to glance at my chemo line. I do that periodically, trying to SEE the chemo (it's clear, this is obviously a hopeless cause, actually seeing it), wondering if it's really in the tube, thinking that maybe it's just a big fake out. I was surprised to see a series of bubbles in the line. Now I watch TV, man. Air bubbles in a line going into your body is NOT GOOD. After showing Eric, we decided a call to the help line was in order. I laid down with Eli and Eric made the call. I'm really glad he did, by the way. I'm pretty sure I would have freaked out trying to explain bubbles in my tubes.

The help line lady wasn't barrels full of helpful, mostly because Eric didn't think she really understood what exactly I was wearing, how often the chemo pump gets refilled, etc. At any rate, she wasn't too concerned about the bubbles, but did suggest that if they got past the twisty thing, we should probably get it checked out at the hospital.

This started Chemo Tube Watch 2009. As the bubbles slowly moved towards the twisty thing, Eric watched the clock so he could tell me when the pump would go off. The bubbles disappeared into the twisty thing and didn't ever come out the other side. It was the weirdest thing.

And we're left with a mystery. Where did the bubbles come from? Why do they disappear in the twisty thing? Are bubbles in the line normal and I just haven't noticed them before? All fantastic questions for the nurses I'll see when I get my bag changed today.

Who says cancer isn't exciting?


  1. Sheri, It's interesting that there are bubbles in the line. I don't think they should be in there. But usually a pump would alarm if air is in the line. So maybe it is just the medicine. I'm probably sure that the medicine could get shook once in a while with movement and could cause bubbles? I will be curious to find out what they say today! Love Mom

  2. When I worked in surgery, i noticed this happening and was a bit freaked out but the anesthetist said not to worry and that a little bit doesn't harm. i still thought it was freaky! -Renee
    ps-the patients were fine : )

  3. I see bubbles in the lines all the time, really nothing to worry about, the movies like to overdramatize this stuff.
    Sorry you had to worry about it:)

  4. Hey Sheri, When I was on IV Antibiotics, I was concerned about the air bubbles as well. The smarty pants nurses ( this includes Nana) always assured me that it was nothing to worry about. They said that there would have to be a large amout of air to cause a problem. As far as I was concerned, any amount was a large amount, As Terri says, movies tend to over-dramatize it. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call Nana. She works alot with these kinds of IV pumps.
    Lover, Nana and Poppy

  5. Sheri, patients get small bubbles in the lines all the time. If some bubbles made it into you, nothing would happen. This is why you shouldn't believe what you see on TV... lol. Anyway, dealt with this all the time as a nurse. Wouldn't worry about it in the future.

    The bubbles may have disappeared if the twisted area you are talking about has an air filter.


  6. Thanks for the reassurance, everyone! I forgot most of my questions today, I should have written them down. Oh well.

  7. I remember seeing bubbles in mom's machine at the chemo center. The first time I literally went running for the nurse. Apparently the machine takes care of the bubbles though, and they don't make it into your body :)