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I learned something new

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2013

I went to my ENT yesterday complaining about Thrush and sure enough that is what it was. I told the ENT I was sick a few weeks ago and my Doctor prescribed antibiotics. ENT told me that once you receive radiation to the head and neck we will always be exposed to the possibility of getting thrush whenever you take antibiotics. He prescribed Nystatin mouth rinse and i was on my way

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 648
Joined: May 2013

that either!  I'm glad you posted about it! 

debbiejeanne's picture
debbiejeanne
Posts: 2305
Joined: Jan 2010

just one more nasty gift from the gift that keeps on giving....yuck!!  thanks 4 letting us know.

dj

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3638
Joined: Mar 2012

most of us are going to catch some bug or another along the way.....so knowing that thrush may be just around the corner if we take antibiotics, we can either prepare ourselves for a possible case of thrush, or better yet combine the antibiotics with Primadophilus from the health food store to prevent it (well, Primadophilus works well for the possible yeast infection also caused by antibiotics)....so I figure it work for a yeast infection in the mouth, too.

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2013

sounds like a greek dish

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2013

sounds like a greek dish

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2873
Joined: May 2012

Roar,

Thanks for the information,  but I don’t think I want any Thrush, I’ll pass.  I’ve been beat-up enough this past year and don’t have time for any new side effects or infections.

Matt

yensid683
Posts: 225
Joined: Apr 2012

but I had anti-biotics with my neck dissections and never developed thrush, though I did when I followed a dentist's advice about using a non-alcoholic mouth wash twice a day.  I saw my MO a week after that yutz and she saw it and asked about oral care.  I'd let her know about the mouthwash and she said that I was overdoing it with twice a day.  She said that it was killing off the bacteria that keeps the fungus/yeast that causes thrush down so now it is just twice a week.

I confirmed it with my new dentist who complimented me on great home care of my teeth. 

 

robswife87's picture
robswife87
Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2013

by ENT nurse that any time he made need antibiotics to explain to doc that he would also need anti fungals because the risk of thrush will be huge.

She said if our doc did not want RX that we just need to call them to get it. She said they are our docs for life.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

When you need his analysis..., LOL...

I wonder what the connection is of those of us whom have had or have the potential of thrush, and those of us who have also had the same treatments, radiation included and have never had thrush... (as myself)?

 

JG

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Never heard of that either! Thanks for sharing!

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1166
Joined: Dec 2012

JG and other,

Does not compute as Robbie the Robot used to say. Given our immune systems are fully and totally functional after recovering post tx, why should taking antibiotics create any greater imbalance of the immune system particuarly in the oral cavity than for a non-cancer patient? I've never read the immune system of cancer patients being permanently degraded from chemo or rad treatments.

As JG points out, why are some susceptable to thrush while others having same treatment never get it? Mysteries and more mysteries. If I were to make a wager, if I seen thrush before, chances are it may pop up again; if you never seen it, you are likely to avoid it. LOL don

Roar's picture
Roar
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2013

Maybe tou  should do some research into it if your interested. all I know is that I never heard of thrush until I started reds and got my first dose. After treatment this is the second time. I am merely the messenger here and relaying what my ENT told me. I don't know about you but my immune system is ot what it was. Before I started treatment I never got colds or the flu - after treatment I have been sick twice - that in the last eight months. So if you guys never got thrush. And your immune system is as strong now as when you started treatment - God bless

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1166
Joined: Dec 2012

One thing I don't read much about is post tx CBC reports. I know while in active treatment, weekly CBC was standard and much of the treatment was calculated off those numbers. Primarily they are looking for how depressed your immune ssystem is during treatment.

The day I finished treatment was the last day for a full CBC so who knows for sure what the WBC and RBC counts are post tx. It could very well be one has low counts for some time post tx, I have no idea. Obviously, if low counts are common for some time post-tx then you are indeed more vulnerable to picking up other diseases.

One thing that may indicate immune systems recovers pretty quickly is I was told many times to be careful about being in crowds, around kids with runny noses, and anywhere I could be subjected to picking up illnesses. I have ZERO recollection being advised of this once treatment was completed; nobody ever said, "hey, be careful of your surroundings as your immune system is still recovering".

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1106
Joined: Jan 2013

As of June, my blood counts were still pretty low. I have the feeling they still are based on energy level, a constant feeling of being cold and a persistent case of gout that wants to blossom into a full blown case. I feel it starting and take the meds prescribed which quells the symptoms but a week later I feel it again. My MO said it was due to my immune system being compromised by treatment. 

I'll be getting a full blood work up next week when I see my MO. We'll see then how well my body has been recovering. 

"T"

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1166
Joined: Dec 2012

Good info folks. I surely learned more about the immune system being substandard for an extended period of time, up to a year it appears. I was not aware of that as nobody ever mentioned I should still be more careful around sneezy, running nosed kids. :-)

If our immune systems are low one would expect a greater incidence of illnesses but I have a hard time relating to many posts from those complaining much about any sorts of colds or ailments during that post-tx recovery/rebuilding period.

In fact, most of us seem pretty healthy aside from the direct side effects of treatment. don

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 648
Joined: May 2013

to be careful around runny nosed kids, but I think it's because that's where I work! haha  I work with kids (have for 19 years) and have built up a pretty strong immune system. I didn't have chemo, just rads, but wasn't warned of a weakened immune system.  HOWEVER, I wasn't told a whole lot of anything, so there's that...  I don't get colds or sick too often, thank God, but I think a lot of it is because I work around germs all the time.  My body is used to it. 

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1106
Joined: Jan 2013

Tracy,

Rad treatments don't affect the immune system from what I was told. It's chemo that compromises it. From what I understand it can take upwards of a year for our bodies to return to normal (blood counts etc.) after chemo. During treatments, it was advised to wear a mask in public places. I saw many people at Johns Hopkins wearing them. 

I imagine there's something to be said about those that claim to have stronger immune systems. Genetically, I'm sure it's the case, however, personal hygiene, washing hands, cleaning etc., plays a part too. Marcia rarely gets sick but I notice those habits in her (we've had hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes in abundance since we've been together).  

"T"

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 648
Joined: May 2013

Thanks!  I've not been told very much of anything from my rad oncologist, so thank you all for the info :)  I was told (as far as rads) that "you might get a few mouth sores and be a little tired, that's about the main side effects for HNC rads"  HAHA...they were WAY off!  :)

 

I like Marcia's style!  I am a fan of Clorox wipes and sanitizer, too :)

peggylulu's picture
peggylulu
Posts: 367
Joined: Dec 2012

Thanks for clearing that up "T" . That's what I thought , but I wasn't sure so I avoided crowds , Movie's etc. although I didn't have Chemo and I've always been a Germ freak and washed my hands with soap and used hand sanitzer since it came out .

Tracy I may have told you before but my R Oncologist didn't tell me much either . He did tell me to stay out of the sun for a year ( only because I asked ). All he told me was that "they" don't know what side effectst that I might have because everyone is different" ! I just wish I would have found this site and all of these wonderful helpful friends before I finished tx. It sure would have saved me some stress !

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

My team still orders CBC every six months... Mainly monitoring TSH and Free T-4, GFR, etc... (that's my onco, as she is also a hematology onco).. But my primary also does a complete CBC covering all of the rest, liver enzymes, glucose, HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, prostate, everything....

I also get an Endoscopy every two years because of damage from acid reflux, good for 10+ years on the other end..

Going into my 5th year, post Tx, all of my blood work is normal, other than the TSH, not on any meds for that or anything else currently... , other than occasionally for acid reflux.

But....

It took every bit of 12 months for all of my blood work to return to normal..

As for colds, flu etc... I didn't have any for two plus years post Tx, and going into year five... No flu, but I have had 1 or 2 colds....

But then again, even before Dx, I rarely got a cold more than once a year, not sure if I've ever had the flu.. I did have chicken pox once as a kid though... :)

JG

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