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Fever

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Last night at 8 pm, out of the blue, Steve felt cold chills. Otherwise felt fine. No symptoms or signs of illness. Took his temp and he was running a low fever. (38 degrees Celsius). Went to bed with the fever, normal this am. He had his last Folfiri treatment May 1 so I am thinking perhaps his body is adjusting to being off the chemo. Also, he has been taking 1000 mg Cimetidine for 11 days. I am thinking this could be a side effect of this med. It is listed as one. (But not a common one). Of course my concern is that the cancer(liver) is becoming more active since the chemo has stopped. I have big concerns about him being off chemo while they figure out what to do. Very concerned about progression. Or maybe it was just a flukey thing. Wondering what you guys think could have caused the fever? Should we stop the cimetidine?

Thanks
Chelsea

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 480
Joined: Apr 2012

I had low grade fevors and chills after sugeries.  The doctor explained that since I was laying down a lot I had to do the breathing exercises in order to clear my lungs.  Otherwise fevor was common.  So I did do the breathing exercises and the fevor passed.  This happened after two surgeries.  I don't know if it applies to your husband but I do know that when I didn't do the exercises I experienced fevor and chills and when I listened to the doctors and did them the fevor and chills left.

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 480
Joined: Apr 2012

I had low grade fevors and chills after sugeries.  The doctor explained that since I was laying down a lot I had to do the breathing exercises in order to clear my lungs.  Otherwise fevor was common.  So I did do the breathing exercises and the fevor passed.  This happened after two surgeries.  I don't know if it applies to your husband but I do know that when I didn't do the exercises I experienced fevor and chills and when I listened to the doctors and did them the fevor and chills left.

smokeyjoe
Posts: 1428
Joined: Feb 2011

No idea what would cause fever ..... maybe he picked up an every day bug?   Keep and eye on it, if it persists head to doc. for their opinion.   

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4309
Joined: Feb 2009

Maybe he could just call the oncologist and see what they suggest.  If you are in doubt, that is the best possible way to go without taking him in.  Hope he feels better soon.

Kim

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1525
Joined: Jan 2013

I totally agree with Annabelle. I called my Oncologist nurse quite a bit when I first started my FOLFOX.

I got so cold at times that I had an electric lap blanket and a heavy quilt just to make me comfortable.  

I never had a fever though. 

So like Annabelle, I say call your Onc nurses. 

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2065
Joined: Oct 2009

This happened to George one time.  Out of the blue, he developed a fever.  I called the oncologist office (it was the weekend) and was promptly called back by an oncologist on weekend duty.  Anyway, he said to give him some extra strength Tylenol.  I gave it to George, and a few hours later the fever was gone.  The on call oncologist called back a few hours later and I told him the fever went away and his temperature was back to normal.  He indicated that sometimes this happens without explanation as to why, to keep an eye on it and if the fever comes back try Tylenol again and if it continues to give him another call.  Fever never came back and really there was no explanation for why.  It just happened and it never happened again.   The on call oncologist said if the fever went away and came back or was staying around for an extended time there might be something going on that would need to be checked out but generally, this kind of fever is very common.  Don't know if this helps but thought I would throw it out there.

Hugs - Tina

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

Fever can be caused my many things. By chemo, by an infection, by the immune system's responce to the cancer, or by a fast dividing cancer itself. An infection is easy to rule out with a blood test. The other possibilites are not as simple. I had a low grade fever up to 38.7 almost every afternoon/evening for the last 5 months. I like to think its the immune system fighting the cancer, but since my CEA has been climbing every week over that period I suspect the other possibility is more likely. Still I like fever and believe it can be therapeutic, so I encouage it when ever I can.

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for the comments and suggestions, everyone. As I mentioned he went to bed with a temp of approx 38.5 on Thursday. Fine in morning. Friday evening the high temp set in again. Broke in the night. Woke up normal. Nothing since. Ren mentioned the fever possibly being caused by a fast dividing cancer, which was my main concern. I am now leaning toward thinking it was the Cimetidine. It is one of numerous drugs that is known for causing "drug fever". This is due to the blocking of the histamine 2 receptors in the hypothalamus. He stopped the Cimetidine as of Thursday and the info I have read suggests it takes the body 48 to 72 hours for the drug to stop causing a fever. Also, I learned that drug fever sets in approx 10 days after starting the drug. For Steve it was exactly 10 days. I realize it must seem silly to focus so much on a fever, but I suspect Steve having a fever would interfere with any treatment plan Montreal may have to offer. Hated to stop the Cimetidine but Steve has really bad luck. These little problems can turn into big problems for him very quick. I suspected the Cimetidine wouldn't
work out. I am disappointed that he won't have this possible extra
advantage. Maybe be can restart it at some point. Apparently the drug
causing the fever doesn't necessarily have to be d/c.

Oh, BTW, didn't want to call his onc as she was not okay with him taking Cimetidine. (The oncology pharmacist did approve the drug and dosage). She thought it risky to buy an OTC medication and take four times the daily recommended dose.

Ren, I wonder if Cimetidine could be playing a role in your fever? In your case, as well, I would prefer to think it is not being caused by the cancer

Tans - Does your wife run an occasional fever?

Thanks again everybody.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 1525
Joined: Jan 2013

 'I realize it must seem silly to focus so much on a fever'

Don't ever think that any concerns you have are 'Silly'. When you are dealing with Cancer, and all the drugs are being pumped into you, every little thing thst is different is a concern. 

I m glad that the fever is abaiting and I hope, even though you like the drug, that the Cimetidine is the reason.

I have been dealing with Thrush for four weeks, I wish the Oncologist would find me a cure, as nothing he has prescribed has worked. 

Good luck!

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

I hope it is the drug too. It's an easy fix. So many here are suffering with major side effects and complications. The slight fever seems pretty minor in comparison. I would just hate to introduce something that will cause problems and complicate further treatment. Several months ago Steve developed a hematoma. Dexamethasone caused severe leg cramps, which caused bleeding. As it turns out, his blood may have been too thin as I had him on fish oil while he was also on blood thinners. This can be problematic for some people. I get very nervous about trying new alternatives as he has so much going on. The last thing he needs is additional trouble.

Hope the thrush improves soon. Your end is in sight. You will make it through.

Chelsea

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2271
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm sorry to hear that poor Steve is having more stuff to deal with.  Nothing is too small to be ignored when it comes to cancer.  It's not like the "good old days" when we were healthy and could afford to brush off something like a low fever.

I don't have much to add here, except that if it was me, I would try to add the cimetidine back in if surgery is in the near future.  You could do a test run ahead of time, see if the fever returns, and then take him back off of it if needed.  FWIW, my surgeon didn't have any concerns about taking the cimetidine at high doses for a short period of time (two weeks for me-and of course Tans' wife takes it I believe on a regular basis).

I did run a lot of fevers when I had active cancer (one of my first symptoms pre-dx), but I'm not sure why.  Maybe my immune system trying to fight it off, but if so, it wasn't effective.  I hope this turns out to be just a glitch, and nothing to worry about.  Keep us posted!

Big hugs coming your way~AA

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

I do take cimetidine as well, but I had my fevers months beFore i started on it, so this is not it in my case.

barbebarb's picture
barbebarb
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Chelsea
When I completed 4 rounds of Folfiri I had neutrponic fevers for about 5 days.
Temp varied day and night. Nurse practitioner said I needed my thermometer calibrated.
At night I would get one episode of sweating. It was so erratic and that's what they diagnosed it as.
I was so sick of fever and being home I went back to work full -time following last normal temperature.
Was tired first week and evenings but gained strength.
Hope your husband knocks down the fever.
Barb
(I also went an urgent care then to ED because they ran blood cultures....) All was ok and I took tylenol

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

The fever is gone now. He's cool as a cucumber. I am pretty sure it was the cimetidine. I just have to figure out what to do about it. He finally finds out on Monday as to what will happen next. Depending on how that goes, we may restart the cimetidine. Sounds like fever is a very common occurrence with people here. Hard to figure out as there are so many different causes.

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