Broviac Behavior

If you have a Broviac – or any other type of central line – in your chest to administer medication and blood products and also draw blood, be ready for what I dubbed “Broviac juice” to permanently stain every upper left side (or whichever side of your chest your central line is placed) of all the shirts you wear with a Broviac. Having a central line with a tube coming out of the hole surgically cut in the upper left part of my chest meant that a bandage always covered the area. Since the bandage needed changing just about daily, including every time after you showered, there was always remnants of Broviac cleaning products oozing (Yuck!) through my shirt.

Consequently, I advise wearing only your least liked handful of shirts while you have a Broviac. For me, I had a pile of t-shirts at the top of my drawer that I dubbed my “Broviac shirts.” Just don’t wear anything you don’t want ruined. Because I’ve had multiple central lines in my chest at different times over my eight years of cancer treatment, to this day I can’t wear a necklace around my neck or jab a pin into my shirt over my chest without being freaked out. . . . Straying off course for merely a moment, but staying on this appropriate-clothing kick, stick to sweats and other comfy pants ALL THE TIME during treatment. It makes trips to the bathroom a whole lot easier with no zippers or belts to mess with and is overall the best option out there. Target is one of my favorite stores for clothes for lounging and was an especially great place to shop during what I call my “cancer treatment times.”

Furthermore, sometimes Broviacs or other central lines that need to be flushed with saline every day in order to keep the lines open and working are positional. Try whatever works: both arms raised above your head, one arm raised and the other one pointed down, sitting down, standing up, bent to the side, whichever position works to allow your line to be flushed to remain open and working. Trust me, adjusting your body for a few minutes to allow your line to be flushed is far better than the alternative (a worst case scenario means the line needs to be surgically removed and replaced). That’s why I took this kind of odd photo today, maybe moving into an unnatural position that’ll work with your Broviac. Good luck!

Move your body into whatever position works to flush your central line.

Move your body into whatever position works to flush your central line.

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