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Topic: Recurrent Infection in CA Breast 6 Years post BMX

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Nov 25, 2018 09:49PM

KristinaSM wrote:

Help, please!

I am 6 years status post bilateral mastectomies with TRAM reconstruction. Sentinel node dissection. I had Right Breast, Stage 1 IDC, only needed 5 years of hormonal therapy. Currently age 48. I have had no problems whatsoever. In the last 6 months I have had two right breast infections, cellulitis, where my entire breast turned red, swollen, painful, orange-peel texture, hot to touch. I developed a very low grade fever but suffered from horrible rigor chills, sever fatigue, nausea and vomiting. The first time, back in April, I was petrified I had IBC, but problems cleared with a dose of oral antibiotics and we all know cancer doesn’t go away with antibiotics and it was chalked up to a bizarre but not unheard of infection. Second time, last month, the infection progressed quickly to septic cellulitis and I was treated with a week of IV Rocephin followed by a week of Augmentin after my breast doc immediately referred me to an Infectious Disease doc. It’s happening AGAIN, a third time, and I’m so frustrated, a bit worried and just not happy. Has anyone had this problem and if so, how were you treated and what were the recommendations for you? The ID doc says she has seen this before, unknown cause, and likely to be a recurring problem. I almost (almost) want to remove it. Seems very extreme but I’m at my wits end

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Nov 26, 2018 10:36AM sbelizabeth wrote:

Kristina, I had a DIEP recon and needed some revision surgeries, and every time my surgeon cut into radiation-damaged skin I got cellulitis. I was hospitalized three times. He finally sent me for hyperbaric oxygen treatments along with home IV antibiotics with a PICC line and that stopped it. No more cellulitis.

It sounds like your antibiotic therapy is just knocking down the fire instead of putting it out, and when your immune system gets stressed it flares back up.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jan 11, 2019 01:04PM Soxfan75 wrote:

KristinaSM - I'm not as far out from surgery as you are but I've had three bouts of cellulitis in the last 7 months. The first one went septic and none of the three episodes cleared up with just oral antibiotics. The only thing that knocks it out is IV antibiotics so if my calculations are correct, I've had a midline in my arm for more that six weeks this past year. After the third hospitalization, the infectious disease doctor and my onc decided to put me on suppression therapy (prophylactic oral antibiotics). That's because I'm on a relatively new drug called Nerlynx and it wasn't until I started taking the drug that I began to get the infections. We're not sure if the drug is somehow compromising my ability to fight off the infections, but they want me to continue with the suppression therapy for the duration that I'm on the drug (through May 2019).

Within ten days to two weeks before I get cellulitis, I find myself feeling really fatigued and extremely nauseous, both worse than chemo. I'm nervous now because a few days ago, I started feeling fatigued again and the nausea hit me a couple of days ago. I'm praying it's not cellulitis again because I'm petrified that at some point, they're going to make me take the implant out. Being single and only 43, that's not something I want to even think about.

Have you had any issues since your last post?

Dx 1/13/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 2/5/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/22/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 3/23/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/23/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 8/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 23, 2019 01:05AM macb04 wrote:

I had terrible infections until my Naturopath steered me to get high dose IV Vitamin C. Then my infections stopped. There is even research using IV Vitamin C sucessfully treating Sepsis in the ICU. Amazing story. Lots of additional ongoing research. Even years ago, it had been used to fatigue/infection in cancer patients.

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