Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Port-a-cath is not a Cruise Ship Destination (part I)

My next post will be all about Port-a-caths or "Ports".  What they are, what they look like before they are inserted and after.  It would make sense for that post to come first.  But I love this tip more!!!

This post is about....THE PORT PROTECTOR!!!

I only wish that I had been smart enough to invent this.  But, I wasn't.  But I WAS smart enough to recognize that it was a most excellent idea!!!  And I was absolutely smart enough to ask my most excellent sister-in-law Susi, if she could make some for my patients.

One day last summer while I was vacationing in Maine, my fabulous sister-in-law Susi and I went to visit  The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston.  This is a great place for cancer patients and you will hear all about it in a later post about The Dempsey Challenge.

We got a tour of the center from a very lovely woman who showed us a basket with some beautiful hand made items that they were giving away for free.  Beautiful hats, afghans, scarves, and throws that the very kind and talented people in Maine make for the cancer survivors who come to The Dempsey Center.

In the basket with the other items was this item that looked like a large fabric eyeglass holder.  We asked what it was and she told us that it was a "Port Protector".  GENIUS!!

Sometimes your seatbelt or your handbag strap can rub against your port and it can hurt.  This is a nice soft fleece padding made with Velcro to wrap around the offending strap.  It keeps the strap from chafing, sliding and irritating your port-a-cath.  AWESOME!!

I have no idea who the inventor of the "Port Protector" actually is, but I do know that I have never seen one before anywhere!!!  So, kudos to you Maine Mystery Port Protector Inventor....YOU ROCK!!

As I pondered where I could actually buy something like this for my patients, my amazing sister-in-law Susi had already dissected it with her eyes, and assessed within 2 seconds exactly how it could be made.  Within an hour of our arrival home, she whipped up 5 of them for me to bring back to my patients.  Some of them with Red Sox fleece fabric!!

Besides being a true sister to me since I was 11 years old, my beautiful sister-in-law Susi is the #2 woman I admire most in this world....second only to my dear sainted 90 year old mother!!!  Why?  Because she is the truest, kindest and most loving person you could ever meet.  She is also a two time breast cancer survivor, and I think of her every time we try to make things better for the cancer patients in our cancer program.  "What would Susi need?"  "Susi hated that when she had her surgery".  "What would I want if it were me?"

Since Susi can crank out one hat per night while watching TV, she has made a ton of hats for the cancer patients at my hospital (she ships them up from FL to Boston!!).  They get gobbled up and are SO appreciated by our patients.  If you are a talented knitter or crochet-er, there is nothing nicer that you can do than to make hats and warm, soft items for cancer patients at your local hospital.   With Susi's directions below, now you can make "Port Protectors" too!!!

Many thanks to the inventor and kind folks at The Dempsey Center for allowing us to blatantly rip off their idea!!!!  Don't worry, Susi has already made some for their center and has signed up to be a volunteer there next summer!!

Hope this helps!!!  Thank you Susi!!!!!  OXOX

Susi in Cortona, Italy immediately before we get snockered at lunch!!!

The Port Protector in action!!!!!

Looks like a little sleeping bag for squirrels : )

Directions for making a Port Protector

1.  Cut 2 pieces of fabric 7  inches by 9  inches

2.  Cut two pieces of low loft batting or one piece of high loft batting  7 x 9

3.  Cut a 7 1/2 " piece of sew on Velcro

4,  Sew the Velcro onto the right side of one of the long sides of the fabric. (This will be the inside piece that holds the protector around the seat belt.

5.  a.  You may make a sandwich of the batting and the two pieces of fabric and serge the borders or:
     b.  Layer the two pieces of fabric, right sides together, and put the batting on top.  Sew around the outside with a 1/4" seam and leaving a 3-4 inch opening to turn the project right side out.  Turn  and sew the opening by hand.

6.  Run a row of stitching through all layers right down the middle (long ways) if you wish.  this will hold the batting in place better.  


  1. Great idea!! I don't have my port any longer but wish I had one of these protectors when I did!! CS

    1. Very happy your port is out CS!!! Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog!!

  2. HI I'm Sally Bryant,And I make tons of the seat belt protectors for the Dempsey Center to give out. I was so excited to see you posted directions to make them. The more people that have the directions the more comfortable the port patients will be. I also want to try to make some with a doughnut hole on the bottom for the port.

  3. Sally,

    YOU ROCK!!! Are you the person we have to thank for creating the fabulous port protector??
    It is obviously one of my favorite things to tell patients about!!

    How is the doughnut hole model working out? I would love to know how that worked out for that gentleman who wanted it for Radiation Therapy visits.

    Thank you for all of your GREAT work at The Dempsey Center!!! I love you guys!!!