Just curious if anyone has ever been through chemo without getting an infection? Or if you did would you be comfortable writing your experiences
I have multiple myeloma and I’ve been on chemo for the best part of 15 years, high dosage and/or maintenance, and have had two main infections. About 15 years ago when I first started chemo, I was hospitalised with pneumonia for about two weeks which was really serious and I was lucky to get through it. All my chemo was suspended for about a month till I was strong enough to go back on the chemo and then onto a stem cell transplant. Six years later I had another course of high dose chemo and a second stem cell transplant and got through it without any infections…so it can be done!
About five years ago I was on a long hike in Spain and, from a fall, gashed my shin quite badly. Although I cleaned and dressed it as best I could, after a couple of days it became infected and just got worse and worse and became very painful. I spent over a month visiting local hospitals and community hospitals in Spain to get it cleaned and re-dressed, antibiotics etc, whilst I continued hiking. It only really got better when I got back to the UK and rested.
Other than those two major issues I have got by without any other infections. I have learned that as a blood cancer patient, you just have to be very careful and keep and eye on your immune system markers (mainly white blood cell markers) with your medical team. I still get the usual coughs, colds and flu every winter and it definitely takes me longer to get over them. I guess this is because of the compromised immune system from the cancer and the treatment. So far, I’ve stayed COVID free and have isolated quite carefully.
Hope this helps.
I have chronic myeloid leukaemia and it would be a dream to get by without an infection in my own case.
The good news is that over three years they have lessened each year.
I began to realise quite quickly that it was just time to chill and take extra care of myself when ill and then I could recover quickly. Once or twice my consultant spotted that I had had an infection when I just thought I was a bit weary or had overdone it. In the early days I did end up in hospital in the middle of the night when an infection took off very quickly. My particular chemo has kept my neutrophils extremely low and I do believe that is a big factor in how you fight back and respond to an infection.
I wish the best for you.
Hi @GrandmaJo thank you so much for sharing your experiences on here. It’s good to hear that over three years the infections have lessened.
Just in case it’s of any help for any of you I just wanted to put links of our Understanding Infection factsheet and our booklet on Eating Well with Neutropenia. (You can of course order free copies of these to be posted to you too).
How are you getting on @nbk112
Gosh @aburke53 it sounds like you’ve been through a huge amount. Thank you so much for sharing. I do hope you’re doing well at the moment.
Hi there, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2016. I started chemo immediately which lasted for 16months. It was a combination of Velcade and Rituximab along with steroids on the day of treatment. I was extremely lucky not to have had any infections or untoward side effects during this time other than the exhaustion/nausea/insomnia which is all pretty common.
I hope this is of help?
Hi @sajdee, I am sure your post will be of help, how has lockdown been for you?
Thank you everyone for sharing.