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Shingle Shot

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

I know back when Linda was diagnose with shingle we did have a discussion on the shot to prevent shingles.

Has anyone had a shot to prevent shingles since that time?

I am on Faslodex and my primary care doctor reply to my wanting it was to "have a note from my oncologist".

I just had a flu shot with no problems. Just as well to wait for the shingle shot as I am still having trouble with my fibromyalgia. It's been 19 years since I had shingles. I don't trust my body, it is just as likely to give me shingles after the fribro goes back to wherever it came from.

However, if your on Faslodex, were you able to have a shot to prevent shingles?

Doris

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

I had a shingles shot after bc treatment (no chemo). My PC doctor
insisted on it! I wanted one, since I have heard nothing but horror
stories from those who have had it. Sorry I can't give you any info
on having it along with/after chemo.

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Doris,

I found some good information on the vaccine here...

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/vacc-need-know.htm

I hope this helps.

Hugs,

Linda

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4011
Joined: Oct 2009

I have my prescription, but I am waiting until March because my insurance carrier won't cover it until I'm 60 and since I am turning 60 in March I am gambling ;-).

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

My aunt didi not get it and was sorry because she got it in her eye 2 years ago and still needs steroids. My mom got one and was fine. she had BC with radiation and no chemo. Iavent had it, but Ihad a bad reaction to this years flu shot, and crrently have bronchitis so I am not going to add anything right now.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

My primary wants a note from my oncologist that it is ok for me. She mentioned not knowing enough about Faslodex. I don't believe it's a problem as it is a hormonal drug not immune suppressor.

CC, your doctor did approve it when you come of age? Wasn't concern about Faslodex. So I should be good with that one.

Thank you Linda for the web page which reminded me that I am on Methotrexate, an immune suppressor. I actually forgot all about being on this drug. I have been on it over 5 years, I don't even think about it anymore. I use to have to give myself shots but since I said, no more to my eye doctor. We agreed on the pill form and I consented to just remain stable with it.

I still want the vaccine, I can't bear the thought of another bout with it. Fibromyalgia is similar with the nerve, muscle pain. I believe that it's now on the waning side of this condition.

Linda, will they be giving you the vaccine? I know your on chemo and probably not old enough but..... what will protect you from another go round with it?

I wish that I had taken it at age 60 before I fell into hell, before all these problems. Those who are of age, I highly recommend that you don't wait because you never know when road block will be put in your way. I had 2 bouts of shingles and it's one condition that I hope to never experience again. Carkris, when your stronger, perhaps considered it again.

Doris

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

so I take serious notice when you say you never want to go through shingles again. I turn 60 in Dec. and the shingles shot has been on my mind. I am also on Faslodex and my onc. said it would be fine to get the vaccine. The only thing that's stopping me right now is the fact that I watch my 4-month-old grandson 2 days a week and my PCP said there's a time you can't be around an infant right after you have the shot. I need to get more info on this. Apparently, he could get chicken pox just from being around me right after I have the shot! Who knew.

Another question--is this vaccine for life or does it have to be renewed every year or so?

Thanks for this discussion, Doris--it has been on my mind since I've had chicken pox, am prone to have herpes simplex outbreaks on my lips and I know this is all in the same family.

Hugs, Renee

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

Renee,

My children had just gotten over having chicken pox when my sister was planning a visit with her husband and 4 boys. Her husband was undergoing chemotherapy for multiple myeloma and the oncologist did forbid a visit at that time. I can understand why you should not be having the vaccine around your little grandson.

I will wait until my oncologist gives my primary the ok on my next visit. I really want to make sure that I am done with this resent bout with fibromyalgia. Another painful condition that plagues me from time to time. I do need approval since I am on an immune suppressor drug and my cbc's are always very low, sometimes out of normal range.

I thought it was for life but I'm not certain. It is not a guarantee of never having shingles, it only guarantees a milder form of it. Still that is better than having a bad case of it.

Now if only they would have a breast cancer vaccine, a mild case doesn't sound to bad.

Best to you and your little grandson,

Doris

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2321
Joined: Jun 2010

I had shingles about 7 years ago (before BC). I was lucky because while it was bothersome, extremely ugly, and misdiagnosed initially (so it was too late for Valtrex), I did not have a particularly bad time with it. I just wanted to tell everyone that it isn't always a horrible experience. It may have been the location that I had it. It started on my back at waist level and made its way down to my ankle on the left side. A pretty large area. It burned, it had shooting pains and I think it even itched, but I was not sick nor in incapacitating pain as many are. I was uncomfortable.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from getting the vaccine. On the contrary, I think it's important. I know I can get it again and I do intend to ask about a shingles vaccine if I ever get around to making an appointment with my pcp.

Suzanne

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4011
Joined: Oct 2009

Suzanne, the first time I had shingles was in 2007 and I was so fortunate because the pain was bearable. This past spring, I had a recurrence (which is not that unusual with the immunocompromised) in the ribs that had the mets. It was sooo painful and there was no way I could have functioned at work.

Even though the vaccine is not perfect, I am going for it!

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Oh Suzanne,

I can't imagine waist to ankle, burning and shooting pains as only uncomfortable...you are one strong lady!!!

Hugs,

Linda

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Doris, I hope you get good answers to all your questions so you can make a decision about this.

To answer your question, since I still haven't fully recovered from the shingles I haven't talked with my doc yet about the vaccine. But I see him next week and it's on my list of questions. BTW I'm 50....and it's kind of nice to be 'too young' for something.

My husband asked his PCP about it, it was approved for him (He's also 'too young'). But when he made the appt, he was told they were out of stock and he should reschedule next month...I guess it's on the minds of many.

Hugs,

Linda

sbmly53
Posts: 1481
Joined: Jan 2010

I am on Arimidex. Also meds for hypertension. I had to have labs (creatinine). My ins covered it - I'm 58. I got the ok from the onc. I had the flu shot and I was told I had to wait a month for the shingles shot. I was told I could have had them together, but not within a month of each other. Huh?

I have a 3" welt on my arm, it's warm and a little sore. But no biggie. Given by the new nurse in the office, don't particularly care for her I, too have heard the horror stories -some right here- so I wanted to be one step ahead of this.

I hope it works out for you!

Sue

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

Just wanted to chime in again about this vaccine. It is a live vaccine therefore making it inappropriate for some patients, especially those with compromised immune systems. I am a recurring Hodkins Lymphoma and IDC breast cancer survivor. I can NOT get the shot.

Also, I have had shingles probably close to 20 times throught the past 18 years, with about 7 or 8 cases in 2011. I have no horror stories to add, it was bearable. Made me feel like crap for a long time and many lingering neuralgia symptoms but I've been through worse. Because I've had them so often, I have a RX for med's and get it filled ASAP. Of course, I know the symptoms but this is probably not recommended for newbies!

Good Luck,
Cathy

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8333
Joined: Aug 2009

bumping up for those who missed it early this week.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4011
Joined: Oct 2009

Cathy, many breast cancer patients CAN get the shingles vaccine. Of course, ask your oncologist whether you are a candidate. It will in large part depend on where you are in your treatment and/or what treatments you are on. The vaccine is absolutely contraindicated for those with any lymphoma, blood cancers or AIDS, so it is not for you.

"ZOSTAVAX is contraindicated in persons with a history of anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction to gelatin, neomycin, or any other component of the vaccine; with a history of primary or acquired immunodeficiency states including leukemia; lymphomas of any type, or other malignant neoplasms affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system; or with AIDS or other clinical manifestations of infection with human immunodeficiency viruses. ZOSTAVAX is a live attenuated varicella-zoster vaccine and administration may result in disseminated disease in individuals who are immunosuppressed. ZOSTAVAX is also contraindicated in persons on immunosuppressive therapy. ZOSTAVAX is not indicated in women of childbearing age and should not be administered to pregnant females."
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/107906.php

"If you will be getting chemotherapy or radiation to treat breast cancer, your immune system will be weakened. If you had chicken pox as a child and you’re 50 or older, your age and your weakened immune system can put you at higher risk for shingles, a painful, blistering rash caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. There is a shingles vaccine and in most cases it’s better to get it before you start breast cancer treatment. If your immune system is weakened, you shouldn’t get the vaccine until you’re done with treatment and your immune system is at full strength again."
http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/planning/sequence

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

Nothing like having it all. I am so very sorry that you are having another bout of Hodgkins Lymphoma. One does get use to things but it would be so nice not too.

Best,

Doris

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

Nothing like having it all. I am so very sorry that you are having another bout of Hodgkins Lymphoma. One does get use to things but it would be so nice not too.

Best,

Doris

cathyp's picture
cathyp
Posts: 366
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks Doris!
I had the Hodgkins's in 1989 and 1994. BC in 2007 from the Hodgkin's Radiation tx's. So I'm cancer free but dealing with many long term effects from treatments for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I'm crossing my fingers for "cancer free" as I do have a lump in my masectomy site that needs to be addressed.
Best wishes to you and all the survivors out there!
Cathy

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