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Recurring cellulitis

yensid683's picture
yensid683
Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 2012

I'd posted just after Thanksgiving that I'd developed swelling in my neck (selective dissection 10/16) that after a black Friday spent in the ER, turned out to be cellulitis.

I was prescribed a 10 day course of Keflex (500 mg) and being diligent with my meds, completed the entire course and my neck was back to normal a couple of days before my last pill.

Within 5 days my neck started to itch, the next day it was tender and red, the next quite swollen. I contacted my ENT who put me on Augmenten 875 mg and it continued to get worse for two more days, up to the point that I had the most unpleasant and painful experience of my whole trip through BOT SCC IVa HPV+ land - he drained my neck.

I will spare the good people here the chilling details but now I cannot help but wonder why this waited for 6 weeks to pop up, why it came back, and what to expect. My ENT said that this could continue for up to a year because of the IMRT (33 daily rads)

Has anyone had experience with this? Any tips on preventing another 'outbreak'? I'm improved and later today the drain gets removed - another altogether pleasant activity - and I suppose I'll have follow up after follow up, but I never want to experience this again!

luvofmylif
Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

We did not have any problems with that issue but I remember reading on her from someone who did. They will get the problem under control I am sure, with the correct antibiotics. Hang in there.

Joan

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

Cellulitis is a superficial infection, not travelling below the dermis. It responds quickly and ccompletely to appropriate antibiotics. What started all this for you was an absess. An abscess can smoulder along for a long time, occasionally up to a year, before it creates the problems you encountered. Oftentimes abscesses don't respond completely to antibiotics. The treatment for one is actually drainage rather than drugs. Soooooo, you got the five star treatment this last time, and should be fine from this point forward. I had a small abscess drain spontaneously about six weeks after my radical surgery. The only sign I had that it was there was that I had run a low grade, unexplained fever for a few evenings, four or five days after surgery.

be well.

Pat

yensid683's picture
yensid683
Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 2012

My ENT did say that it was likely that I had an abscess, and the follow up visit confirmed it. I appreciate the the 5 star treatment was the best thing that could happen for this, but doing it without even a Tylenol on board was something I never want to experience again. I never had a temp with this, and I would have thought that there would have been at least a low grade of some type or another, but nothing! Thank you for your input, I have and appointment with the ENT later today and will review the future outlook with him.

P

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8125
Joined: Sep 2009

Pat, you bring up a good point and indicating health factor....

Fever & Temperature

During treatment, I kept a strict eye on my temperature.... Actually to the point of them telling me that if your temp hits 100.5 call in immediately, don't wait until morning.

They had me so nervous, I told them I was going to stick a meat thermometer up my a...umm, you get the idea.

No way was I going to be caught off guard, LOL.

A year or so ago, well over two years post rads, I wasn't feeling well. This went on for a few days or so...

Finally dawned upon me to take my temp, I had a fever.

A quick vivit to the MD, 10 days of drugs, and good as new again...LOL, OK a new and ummm different new.

Anyways, glad you mentioned fever, taking your temp regularly isn't a bad idea...even if you just have a little somethin, somethin going on.

JG

yensid683's picture
yensid683
Posts: 245
Joined: Apr 2012

I did (or shall I say my wife did) keep track of my temperature all the time, not with the thermometer, but with the more accurate 'mom' approach, lips on the forehead.

If she felt I was warm, out came the thermometer, and yes, that 100.5 is the magic number. The day after my PEG tube was placed I put up the magic number, discovered by my wife at bedtime and needless to say, she called the oncologist's office, who amazing me beyond all reason, called us back in just a couple of minutes, sent us to the ER for treatment, called the ER and had a private room set up when we arrived.

My wife still tracks my temp every morning and evening, using that most sensitive of testers.

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1412
Joined: Jul 2010

I have had 6-7 Cellulitus over the course of two years. My most recent one this past August was instrumental in also finding my Lung Mets as I was scanned from head to chest to see where the infection was.

The only drug that rids me of the Cellulitis is Vancomyacin. Horrible drug as it blows out my IV every 10-12 hours and burns as it courses through my veins. I have been in the hospital 3-5 days with each one. Being MRSA positive makes me susceptible to Staph and Cellulitis. have you been screened for MRSA?

Mike

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