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Fungal infections

UncleBuddy
Posts: 794
Joined: Aug 2013

Have any of you gotten fungal infections from the chemo? My brother, all of a sudden, is dealing with this. Just wondering if you did, what did the docs give you. He is using a creme right now. We'll see how that works. Is this normal for chemo patients?

Lin

PS He is only on 2 chemo meds right now. He asked for them to lighten up on the meds because he was so sick. He's on leucovorin and the 5-FU pump (for 46 hours). He's not on the iririnotecan or erbitux right now. They may add it back in gradually. After being hospitalized 3 times in one month, it took a toll on him. We also found that his heart is not functioning at full capacity. We have to go in on Wednesday to find out the results of his nuclear stress test. The only thing I know is the results are abnormal, but nothing to panic over. Gee, thanks! Anyway, I guess we'll find out then what kind of damage has been done. Keeping my fingers crossed.

 

Goldie1's picture
Goldie1
Posts: 259
Joined: Sep 2011

Yes, my husband Pat has had numerous fungal issues and in fact, he is recovering from one now.  Had a few that started on his feet (between toes) and ended up being treated at a wound care center and with antibiotics.  Latest one landed him in the hospital with a fungal infection on his belly.  Plus, a MRSA flare up (he picked that up somewhere in his cancer journey) in his belly button and needed to be on iv antibiotics for 6 days.  He has been out the the hospital since 2/5 and he still has a visiting nurse checking up on him.  Looks like it is finally clearing up.  Still using a creme (Miconazole Zinc) on his belly and taking an oral antibiotic, Ciprofloxacn. 

I think all the skin issues caused by pass chemo treatments and the oral med Stivarga (regorafenib) he is taking now, just cause so much havoc on already sensitive skin.  Cracked, peeling, skin, perfect for bacteria to get in and make make things even more uncomfortable.  Compromised immune system has a harder time fighting these infections.  

He washes with Dial soap (antibacterial) and every few days washes his feet and belly with Hibiclens.  Just got to be careful as Hibiclens dries out the skin.  Make sure clothes, sheets, blankets, towels, are all washed in warm/hot water and fully dried in dryer.  We try very hard to avoid future outbreaks but it is difficult.  Seems one issue clears up and another pops up.

Take care Lin and sending all the best to your brother,

Ellen

devotion10's picture
devotion10
Posts: 640
Joined: Jan 2010

somewhat with the fungal infections as my husband had to deal with this a bit.  Unfortunately, the chemotherapy treatments can suppress the immune system and the ability to ward off infection.  Have the doctors suggested any antibiotic or antifungal treatment (I guess the cream is for that)?  Prolonged neutropenia following chemo can make cancer patients susceptible to fungal infections ... I can't recall if he has had an issue with an abnormally low white blood cell count. 

I feel so badly for you brother because not only does he have to deal with this, he is also special needs ... he is fortunate to have you.  I know I have told you that before, but really ... you seem like such a good sister.

Peace. ~ Cynthia

UncleBuddy
Posts: 794
Joined: Aug 2013

He's been on a creme for the irritation. He's not on antibiotics. I'm wondering if I should bring him to the dermatologist. I've been taking him to his internist. His immune system is definitely weak plus he has no spleen (it was removed in 2000 when he had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). He now has it on his butt, so it seems to be spreading. The inguinal area seems to be getting a lot better, but now his butt is red. Poor guy, I feel so bad for him. It's the weekend, so there's not a lot I can do. Monday is a big snowstorm, so it may have to wait until Tuesday. I just feel so helpless sometimes. I wish he and dad lived closer. That's going to be my next mission, trying to get them closer to me. Dad has an appointment with his internist for a physical this week, so we're going to chat about how I can better handle taking care of the two of them. His doctor thinks it's too much for me to do on my own, so he said we need to discuss other options. We'll see what he says.

Thanks for your kind words. I do what I do because he's family and one heck of a brother.

Lin

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 975
Joined: Jun 2013

The only thing I want to add to the good comments above is that if this fungal infection is getting out of hand there are oral anti- fungal medications that go through the blood attacking the fungi. Sometimes topical medications are just not enough and anti-biotics won't help fungal infection at all.

Good luck to you all and you don't forget to take care yourself either. 

Laz

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