I was having a very hard time with the needles (especially into my port) until one of the nurses reminded me about Emla Cream. I had forgotten that a friend of mine used it when she was going through treatments for colon cancer some years back. Emla is a topical anesthetic for freezing that small area of skin where the needles goes in. It is often used by diabetics. The chemo nurses advised me not to use it on my hand (not sure why) but it works wonders over ports.
It is applied to the area some time before the needle is inserted so I would do it before I left home in the morning. It took me a little while to figure out the timing that worked for me – I seemed to need it on longer than recommended in order to feel nothing when the nurses did their work. You layer it on, don’t rub it in or smooth it over, and cover it with a special bandage. Make sure you get some large enough from the pharmacist.
You don’t need a prescription for it, just ask the pharmacist. It is quite expensive but well worth it if you have trouble with needles!
NOTE: I have no commercial connection with Emla – I just love it as a consumer and think others should know about it.