We are 175,776 members in 80 forums discussing 135,375 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Shingles >:-(

Topic: Shingles >:-(

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Apr 26, 2011 01:58PM

lago wrote:

Wasn't sure where to post this since lots of rads cistas are getting them too. Hope they see this.

It seems lots of us have been getting them during/after treatment but no one talks about it except to say I got it or you got it get to the doctor.

I figured out I had this past Saturday and got antivirals from my GP. I thought I caught it early since I noticed it at noon and figured out 6 hours later that it must be shingles but it still appears to be getting worse, more blistery and spreading a little.

Anyone out there have experience with this? How long does it take to start getting better with meds? Anyone still in treatment when the got this? I'm hoping I won't have to postpone my Herceptin only appointment next Tuesday.

I'm thinking I might have to canceled the gyno appointment next week too. Already cancelled the colonoscopy for this week but have no idea when to reschedule since I also have exchange surgery coming up at the end of May.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 5 (122 results)

Posts 1 - 30 (122 total)

Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:03PM - edited Apr 26, 2011 02:04PM by leggo

Even with the anti-viral meds I got, it still took two weeks to get better.  Are you sure it's shingles? Usually you have other symptoms, like fever, and generally not feeling well....kinda like chicken-pox.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:10PM - edited Apr 26, 2011 02:12PM by lago

I didn't feel any discomfort till after the rash showed up… or at least I thought. Now I realise that I didn't pull my back out a little on Thursday. It's the shingles because the pain is only on that side.

I did see my doctor yesterday and he said "yup you diagnosed correctly." I also find I'm exhausted. I don't remember getting the chicken pox. I think I was 3.

Edit to add:
I also have burning discomfort on my leg and other parts of my front/back torso but no rash there. All on my left side.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:12PM - edited Apr 26, 2011 02:13PM by leggo

should have added....since Herceptin doesn't affect your blood count, I would think you could still be allowed to get your treatment. Be prepared to do it in isolation, though. Hope you feel better soon!

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:16PM bobsgirl wrote:

I finished my rads last Wednesday,  April 20.  Coincidentally, I was diagnosed with Shingles on the same day.  :(  I started having pain on Saturday, April 16.  Blisters showed up on Monday, but I didn't think Shingles because I had them in 5 different spots along my leg and foot.  My GP doc told me it was shingles on Wednesday afternoon, much to my dismay!  I started anti-virals that night, and I started to feel better, pain wise, on Friday.  I still have some nerve zingers, but the rash itself is starting to scab over and not hurt so badly anymore.  However, I am exhausted.  I'm sure it's a combo of the radiation and shingles.  :(

Diagnosed @ 36 while nursing my 4th child, pCR (2/9/11) Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/29/2010 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/3/2011 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/6/2011 Breast Surgery 10/22/2012 Reconstruction (left)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:20PM lago wrote:

Thanks Gracie and bobsgirl. Looks like it's going to take 5 days from break out to start to feel better. I think either tomorrow or Thursday so I'm getting close.

I wasn't worried about me and herceptin I was worried they wouldn't want me in the treatment center. Guess I'll call tomorrow and see what they say.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:33PM - edited Aug 10, 2012 04:42PM by del4

This Post was deleted by del4.
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 02:46PM - edited Apr 26, 2011 05:34PM by lago

I have read that people with compromised immune systems (Aids, Chemotherapy) can get shingles. This is why I started the thread. I know I'm not alone.

I think I'm too young for the vaccine. It's only been tested on people over 60. I talked to my GP about this and he said that once you have had shingles it's highly unlikely you will get it again. Also the vaccine in only 50% effective.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 05:31PM duckyb1 wrote:

Oooooooooohhhhh Largo, it sure does sound like Shingles................I know how painful that can be........my husband had it and he was miserable.................Fortunately my BS told me to get the Vaccine Zostavax before I had surgery, so I would ward off the possibility of shingles, since when your in cancer treatment you are twice as likely to get it. Hope you get relief soon

Ducky Dx 2/15/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 4/24/2011 Whole-breast: Breast
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 06:42PM Chocolaterocks wrote:

I remember 15 years ago that my Mom who also had  breast cancer and was treated with chemo also had shingles with in a year after being done with chemo.  I know that she had chemo many years ago where it was not very refined. Unfortunately, she also had bell's palsy as well. I am happy to report that she is still with us today- cancer free since 1995- so there is hope.

hang in there

chocolae

Dx 1/13/2011, ILC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:00PM bevin wrote:

Hi there Lago,  I also had shingles, was treated with prednsone and antivirals - Valtrex. Pretty high dose. Doctors stated they normally come on when your immune system is down.

The prednisone helped bring down the inflamation and the antivirals started clearing up the sores/rash within 1 week.  My out break appeared on my back along the nerve line from my neck to my arm.  I still have tingling there, but the pain subsided. 

A few months after the shingles, I came down with Bells Palsey.  Its a reaction to a virus they think that effects the 7th nerve.  I had facial paralysis that lasted about 3 months. Tx was prendisone for that as well. 

I hope you get better soon and have full relief from the accompanying pain and blisters/rash of shingles. It can be very painful.

Let us know how you're doing.

Hugs

Bevin

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/9/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/9/2010 Breast
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:09PM LuvRVing wrote:

Now that there is a vaccine, I don't understand why it's not standard of care to administer the shingles vaccine to anyone who is about to undergo chemo.  Last year in June, when I was first diagnosed with BC, I asked for the vaccine and got it immediately.  Now granted, I had just turned 60 and that is the age when it is recommended.  But honestly, it would make sense to just routinely give it to anyone about to undergo treatment.  I don't know why they don't ... 

Michelle

Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:20PM CandDsMom wrote:

Sorry to intrude - re shingles vaccine, it is probably not routinely given pre-chemo because it is a live virus vaccine, thus can actually give you a disseminated (all over body) illness if it is given to someone with a low immune system.  

So it is actually contra-indicated in patients with HIV/AIDS, certain immune suppressing medications (like humera/methotrexate/etc for auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis/lupus/Crohn's disease), or any sort of cancer issue (like CLL/chronic leukemia) or chemotherapy.  

I am not sure how long it takes for an immune-competent person to be "out of the danger zone" for the shingles vaccine... For MMR, another live virus vaccine (that can cause serious birth defects if administered during pregnancy) they usually say if someone is considering pregnancy they need to wait 4-6 weeks post the vaccine before becoming pregnant to clear the virus from their bodies so perhaps that is a similar time frame to the zostavax or shingles vaccine to clear from the body.

Either way sorry to hear you are having to deal with this Iago - I hope you feel better soon! 

intermediate to high grade multifocal multicentric ER/PR negative DCIS. HER-2+ of unclear significance. s/p BMX
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:29PM ToriGirl wrote:

I was in the last week of rads when I was diagnosed with shingles on April 5th.  I thought it was just a rash but mentioned to my RO to take a look.  They  were on my left side of my spine about where my bra would hit it it he back.  They started to spread pretty quickly more to the left and towards my left breast, but I think they were caught early enough.  I had chicken pox as a kid and had a TERRIBLE case of them...I was afraid that the shingles would do the same thing, so I'm glad they were caught in time...

I wasn''t feeling sick at all (no fever, no flu-like symptoms) but had been trying to keep active and thought that was why I was feeling drained, along with rads.  I started 7 days of Valtrex on April 6th (every 8 hours), but they sure hurt like heck for a few days longer...once they dry up, they itch something fierce...

Doing much better now...hope you feeling better quick Lago!

Tori 

"Sorrow carves the opening for joy later..." Dx 6/4/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:46PM Letlet wrote:

Lago i had shingles the week after my last chemo! I didnt have any discomfort since i was still coming off the taxol. I saw my onc the next day and got started on valtrex -i was still cleared to get Herceptin on the same day. When the taxol wore off i realized how painful they truly were. The pain lasted 4 days on valtrex, then it was just an achiness that eventually went away. It took 3 weeks for everything to crust and by the 4th week it had all fallen off. Can't really comment of the fatigue, am tired all the time. My PS postponed my exchange another week since he was not comfy doing surgery on the boob on the 3rd week of the shingles.

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:49PM LuvRVing wrote:

CandDsMom  - I think the point would be to give the vaccine as soon as the biopsy comes back positive and before any treatment is started.  That's how mine happened.  It's definitely something to discuss with your PCP or whoever is directing your treatment from the very beginning.

Michelle

Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 07:57PM hrf wrote:

I got shingles several months after finishing treatment. I was lucky that it was only on my back I started feeling better about 5 days following the start of the anti virals

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 08:15PM susan_02143 wrote:

Yup. I got shingles during chemo. Round 2 if I recall correctly. I began to respond almost immediately but was about 5 days before I wasn't itching like crazy. Hope this helps.

... and its back. May 3, 2010 mets found. Five years NED on Faslodex * 4/2015 progression to bone * 6/11/2015 Femara/Ibrance * 12/27/2015 Xeloda * 2/24/2016 Xgeva Dx 6/8/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 08:16PM Beeb75 wrote:

I have them right now too, only on my back (for just over a week so far) -- I finished chemo 2 months ago and had my exchange surgery 5 weeks ago. I did feel a bit of a headache for a few days before the rash showed up, but thought it was a side effect from the Tamoxifen which I had just started.

I'm not too surprised since I know my white blood cells were below normal a few weeks ago during a follow-up with my onc. Last Friday I got a simultaneous skin infection (cellulitis) over one of my implants so I was in the hospital all weekend getting IV antibiotics as well as antivirals. The infection cleared up fast, but the shingles persist (I think I started the anti-virals too late.)

I'm "lucky" because my shingles are just a small patch. They were mostly just itchy, though today I've started to feel the pain. (Was wondering why they sent me home with Vicodin, even though I didn't need any pain meds while in the hospital.)

I saw an infectious disease doctor in the hospital to confirm the shingles. He tried to tell me they weren't related to chemo which I find really hard to believe. Just look at the roll call here, and I've never in my life known anyone with shingles. Oh, and I'm 36! Nowhere near the typical age for shingles (or for BC, but that's another story.)

That doc did tell me that actually getting shingles is like getting the shingles vaccine -- better actually, because your immune system relearns how to keep the virus suppressed. Most people don't get shingles more than once. We can hope!

Agree with you all wondering why we don't get the vaccine before treatment. There's obviously a clear risk for them during/after treatment and it's the last thing we need on top of everything else!  

Dx 7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 08:48PM 208sandy wrote:

I didn't get shingles during chemo or rads but my husband was very sick at that time and got them on his arm - they gave him anti-virals and they disappeared within a week.  However, since that time I have been on a waiting list to get the vaccination - apparently there is a shortage of the vaccine locally they were supposed to have it by the end of February (when I checked in December) I was at the doctor's last week and still no vaccine available.  I am 65 and still remember my chicken pox (when I was five) so a little anxious to get the vaccine.  A dear friend got shingles three years ago and was in terrible pain and was sick with them until he passed away a short while ago - he was on massive doses of painkillers - he was a retired doctor and told me he wished he'd gotten the vaccine but didn't think shingles would be that bad - after that I've been a believer.  lago hope you're feeling better soon.

Sandy

Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 11:40PM lago wrote:

Thanks for all the replies. This thing is still spreading. It's on my lower torso from my back all the way to the front, down my leg crease and now on my butt. I showed it to my husband again to scare him into getting the vaccine (you know how some men can be about dealing with preventative stuff). He's calling our PC doctor tomorrow to discuss it.

So far I'm uncomfortable but not quite in hell yet. I have the narcotics but the pain isn't that intense. Just annoying enough to keep me awake tonight. Funny but I was so  happy that the chemo stiffness was gone. Now it feels like it's back again, left side only.

Tomorrow is day 5 so I hope that's the day these antivirals ( Valcyclovir/Valtrex) kicks in. I take 1GM 3 times a day.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 26, 2011 11:58PM Latte wrote:

lago, hope you start to feel better soon!

30 Dec 2012: It's back! Stage IV, bone mets to spine, hip, femur, rads, Zometa, Letrozole. May 2013: further spread to ribs, skull, iliac, plus suspicious spots in lung and liver. Clinical trial with taxol and carbo plus velaparib/placebo. Dx 5/3/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/3/2010 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/27/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/11/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/15/2011 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 3/17/2011 Dx 12/30/2012, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy 3/2/2013 Bone Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2013 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 5/13/2013 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxol (paclitaxel)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 12:06AM Moderators wrote:

A little more about shingles, from the main Breastcancer.org site:

"People with all types of cancer have a higher-than-average risk of developing a viral infection called shingles, which causes a painful blistering rash. Usually it breaks out on the chest and back, although it can affect any part of the body. Shingles results from the reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox (the varicella zoster virus). Once you've had chicken pox, the virus can lie dormant for many years in the nerve tissue near the brain and spinal cord. Cancer and its treatments often stress the body and weaken the immune system, which can lead to shingles.

Shingles can be treated with anti-viral medications taken by mouth, such as Valtrex (chemical name: valacyclovir), Zovirax (chemical name: acyclovir), and Famvir (chemical name: famcyclovir). These work best when taken within 72 hours of the rash's appearance. Shingles-related pain can be treated with many of the pain medications described in this section, such as narcotic analgesics (also known as opioids), antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and topical anesthetic creams."

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 07:49AM Beeb75 wrote:

Oh, lago, that sucks! 

I'm on the same meds -- the pills are huge, aren't they? (I'm not a good pill swallower so they're a challenge.) The upside is that, taking antivirals and antibiotics, I now feel invincible, even if my immune system is still rebuilding. (stay away, fungi!)

Lago, did you have a severe case of chicken pox as a child? My mom says I had a mild case and I'm wondering if that's why my shingles aren't too widespread either. 

Dx 7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 08:05AM lago wrote:

I know I had chicken pox (according to mom) but I don't now how bad it was. I don't think that really has anything to do with it. It's a virus so once it's in your system it's there. I have never been good with these herpes type things till Abreva. When I would break out with a cold sore it would always be massive before Abreva. Ironically I did have a small cold sore on Friday so my system was fighting something.

Still hoping this is the day it starts to get better.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 08:12AM duckyb1 wrote:

Wow, I am so glad my BS advised me to get the vaccine........Understand it is not a perfect vaccine, its not 100%, but it is very effective, and really knocks down your chances of getting Shingles................

I worked for a Pharma Co. for 15 years before retiring, so I know all about about the meds. once you get Shingles, which is great, but only if you recognize that you have shingles early in the stage.........Wait, or misdiagnosis can really put you in misery.........They found my husbands early, but his mothers late, and she really struggled with it.

Something else that has always bugged me............My mother had cancer, my father had cancer, my mother-in-law, my husband,.........now this is the weird part..........They all had shingles when they were younger.....way before ever being diagnosed with cancer........doesn't that seem strange, and that is just my family.......I wonder if there is any connection........always wondered that, but now this Shingles topic has made me ask................Does anyone else know anyone who had Shingles, and later in years got Cancer.

Largo hope your feeling better girlfriend..............hugs.

Ducky Dx 2/15/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 4/24/2011 Whole-breast: Breast
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 08:28AM - edited Apr 27, 2011 08:31AM by Luan

Sorry to hear Lago.  Humm.......wonder if my stupid onco did it again.  Developed a rash on my radiated breast (6 months post), really really itchy, does not hurt though.  The onco gave me a cortisone cream and said he would have to send me to a dermatologist if it did not get better.  The cream seems to be helping a little bit, still very itchy.  I'm only seeing him again in one month.  You have me wondering  Frown

Just being in a hospital setting with all of the bacteria, viruses and germs crawling around puts us at risk.  I've developed a rash on my arm after sporting a stupid gown at the BS office !  I figured this rash was from the mammogram machine which may not have been wiped before I was its next victim....

I am now scratching all over !!!

Don't knock at death's door. Ring the bell and run. He hates that. Dx 10/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 27, 2011 08:38AM lago wrote:

Luan You can get rashes/bacteria/germs etc from anywhere. You might also be just suffering from very dry skin, eczema, etc. This is why, if it persists you need to see a dermatologist. They have experience diagnosing this stuff.

You can't get shingles from someone else but if you haven't had chicken pox then you can catch that from someone who has shingles but it must be direct contact with the sores/blisters/rash.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 28, 2011 07:20AM Letlet wrote:

Lago, am worried that your shingles is a little extensive. If it appears anywhere else like on the other side of your body, or your foot, face, call your doctor right away.

I do remember how honking big those pills were!

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 28, 2011 10:56AM geewhiz wrote:

Hope you are feeling better Lago!!

Log in to post a reply

Apr 28, 2011 11:08AM lago wrote:

My doctor already told me if it appears on the other side of the body to give him a call. I know my husband will make me call if it continues to get worse today. We dont' want to go into the weekend with an issue. I think though it has stopped spreading. It just stings and my lower back is sore.

My Calcium capsules are actually a little bigger. I'm finding I have to walk a lot slower and wear the loose jeans. It's sore to touch.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+

Page 1 of 5 (122 results)