CSN Login
Members Online: 15

Dad is in hospital...parotid gland infection???

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

Hello All,

Monday was supposed to be treatment 24/33 getting Dad into single digits (a smile to Phrannie here ;-)  ), but tx was canceled due to what looked to be an infection on the right cheek below ear area.  Rx from rad-onc MD was for tetracycline.  Well, rx couldn't be filled since it is not available anymore per FDA (I've researched and there are so may various forms...it--as a drug--is available, but not in whatever format the MD requested.)

Anyway, no return calls from rad-onc (I'm not finished with that issue yet...) and by Monday evening this area (perhaps the parotid gland) was baseball sized.  Dad was becoming delirious and combative and in 9-10 pain level.  Couldn't stand-up.  Temp 104.5  Paramedics came and throughout it all, my dad was still "dad"...Paramedics were getting an estimate of his mental status and when one of them asked if it was day or night, my dad turned at him and said, "Well, look outside.  It's dark out there.  That means it's night."  Dad has a lot of WWII memorabilia on his walls and when he was asked what planes he flew he rattled off every single aircraft I've ever heard him talk about.

CT scan showed no tumor growth and no abscess, so they are treating with some heavy-hitting IV antibiotics.  Debate is ongoing about if this was related to treatment.  Perhaps the opening to the gland became swollen due to treatment...they don't know.  Those of you set up for treatment keep an eye open for a mild discomfort and be aware this can happen--so fast.  The danger is that it can become a sytemic infection (sepsis) and no one ever wants that.  I still shake my head when some insist (primarily ER staff) says, "Radiation doesn't "do" that." 

My thought????  Horsesh*t.  Radiation CAN "do" that and more. 

Me?  I am fit to be tied about the lack of communication when Monday afternoon it became apparent the RX wasn't available.  I don't know if starting him on that RX could have headed-off this degree of problem, but I guarantee I am not finished working this issue out with his team.

So, I have no idea what is next.  He is pretty beat up and I hate the worst of radiation still awaits.

 

Thanks for listening...I really needed to vent.

-V

 

 

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mar 2010

I understand your frustration.  This problem should be a one-off.  The infection relates to decreased salivary flow, not to radiation per se.  Which is a way of saying, of course the radiation caused it.  To say otherwise is to nit pick.  As I said, I've been through this personally at least half a dozen times.  Each time seems like a holy crap situation, but once it resolves, nothing more comes of it.  Heck, people can get this type of infection without having had cancer, nor radiation to begin with.  Once he get past this, things should flow along better for him.  Keep the faith.

 

BTW, no excuse for the tetracycline snafu.  Anyone could have solved it, the prescribing doctor, the pharmacy, anyone.....     If this ever happens again, my suggestion is you just dig your heels in on the spot and insist this get straightened out immediately.  Yes, there are a million forms of tetracycline, and frankly, it didn't matter which of them he got.  He's probably better off in the hospital anyway, as oftentimes the bacteria which cause this infection are MRSA, resistant to multiple drugs---- and need hospitalization because of the acuteness of the illness.  At 104.5, sounds to me like he was there.

 

Pat

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Pat and thank you for your reply. 

 

MRSA sounds about right (I'm no doctor nor do I play one on TV, but I agree...).  I truly appreciate your support about the RX snafu.

 

Good advice.

-V

Grandmax4's picture
Grandmax4
Posts: 548
Joined: Dec 2011

to your Dad, that had to be extremely painful...hospital sounds like the best place to be right now

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

so much for your reply.  I am resting a bit easier knowing he is in the hospital for this.

-V

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1655
Joined: Jun 2012

Thoughts and prayers that your Dad recovers from this quickly 

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1655
Joined: Jun 2012

Thoughts and prayers that your Dad recovers from this quickly 

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

Every one of these comments are so important to us!  Your thoughts and prayers are welcomed and needed ;-)

-V

Dr.Ed
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2013

sorry he had to go thru that, and probably the hospital is the best place...so he wont get dehydrated (which can happen fast) and he can get antibiotics throughout the 24 hours. it may also help his strength to go thru the remainder of the radiation. you dont lose anything by waiting extra days or they wouldn't give us "weekends off". try to take this time to rest. 

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1489
Joined: Nov 2011

Looks like your dad is going to have to open up some old WWII c-rations of kick butt on them if they don't get it right going forward.....I am kidding, but be sure and tell Dad hello and we think about him often ....I'm still in shock by the 94 years young...when he gets his NED he's gotta go play in a Clint Eastwood western...I'll be his fan club!!!! :)

 

Best,

 

Tim

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

I admit, dehydration has been a sneaking concern.  There is only so much a sore mouth can swallow, so the IV fluids are a gift in and of themselves.

 

And, the break from treatment may be another gift in disguise.  At least I elect to believe it to be!  Thank you for your encouragement...

-V

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3415
Joined: Mar 2012

Longtermsurvivor on here!!  I don't think I've heard anyone else talking about this on here....and what a misery it must be!  It sounds to me like you take after your pop....and will line these guys out when they need it! 

These few days away from rads will probably make the last 10 days really doable, tho....when I was having to wait and wait to FINALLY get into the single digits, I had to admit those 5 days of rest was what I needed to get thru them with less damage...it really does work out.

p

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

You are the H&N Angel!  Thank you so much for being there.

-V

(And...you DO look great!!!)

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 409
Joined: Nov 2012

Vee,

so happy to hear your dad is getting the attention he needs! I too am so impressed with his age and spirit. 

Obvious that you have his spirit, and what a good thing, he so needs you as his advocate.  Sad that we need to be advocates too, but great that he has one in you. I agree, when it comes to doing what's best.. Dig in your heels. It's true, squeaky wheels Do get greased. And if someone else is having an off day, their critical thinking might not be up to par, I can understand, but when you can point it out to them, and help them.. It's your dad that benefits!  Mind you, this is coming from a woman, whose husbands doctor said on the phone outside his hospital room, "she's a very nice woman, but she wants what she wants!" I smiled when I heard it - it meant she would listen in the future.. And she did.. Worked out as less effort for all in the end.. And after all, isn't that what we would all prefer?

Kari

Vee1
Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 2012

Kari, are you ever right on this one. Off days disrupt anybody's critical thinking and I'm glad to be reminded of that. 

And...I hope to be the "...nice woman who wants what she wants!"

 

Thank  you for your insight...

-Vee

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network