Septicaemia after 2nd chemo treatment for advanced non-Hodgkin

Dear folks,
I have joined here on behalf of my partner undergoing treatment.
Brian is 71, he has advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma, progressed from low grade recently. He also has diabetes and had a triple bypass 20 months ago. Following his 2nd chemo treatment he developed septicaemia, diagnosed 2 days after. He is currently in hospital on a drip with antibiotics and saline. I am aware of the risk with low neutrophils and chemo, but we were not made aware by the hospital staff of the high risk of infection. He’s not been given any dietary advice either. Also he will need to apply for care at home as I work full time and we do not live together. I’m not sure exactly what recommendations I’m looking for here, but anyone with a similar experience who can suggest positive ways forward so that he can survive the treatment.
So many thanks


Dear Teresa,
I was so sorry to hear of the problems you and your partner are having. I myself went through a similarly traumatic experience last year, so I can appreciate the stress you are both under. Have you considered talking to
Macmillan cancer care about the issue of care for your partner when he is discharged, your nurses should be able to liaise this for you. I think when you have other health problems as well as blood cancer it can make things more stressful, as in my experience the NHS is not very well coordinated in this respect. I found keeping a treatment diary to keep a record of interactions with medical professionals to make sure I covered all areas of concern very useful, It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by everything and miss things that need doing.
Best wishes


Hi Teresa. I have no experience of the problems arising from your partner’s treatment. Alfie has given some good advice. I think social services usually try to help to set up a care plan in these instances. The hospital may have a dietician that you could both talk to. There is information on the Bloodwise website re eating when neutrophenic, but the diabetes would also have to be taken into account. Let us know how you get on



Sorry to hear about Brian’s current predicament.

Whilst neutropenic on treatment, I too developed sepsis.
Initially I had a temperature of 38c and despite having been warned repeatedly that a fever of that magnitude required an urgent visit to the day unit, I ignored this advice in the hope that it would pass.

After just 48 hours I became extremely ill and despite my continuing protestations my wife, a practicing SRN bundled me into the car for a 2 hour journey to the Royal Free Hospital where I was undergoing treatment at that time.

By the time we arrived at the A&E my temperature was 41.5c, I was unable to walk or talk and had lost control of my bladder.
All I can remember of the experience was a feeling of being totally out of it.
Professor Adele Fielding, my then consultant told my wife that I would not have survived another 24 hours without hospitalisation and had concerns of permanent kidney damage. However, following IV antibiotics I was discharged home 2 weeks later fortunately with no apparent complications.

At the time we just assumed that the sepsis had been caused by a viral infection, as indeed you have.
However, the hospital lab established that it was in fact normal gut bacteria that had crossed from my digestive tract into my blood stream.

With no working immune system I had infected myself.

The point of my long story is that with a low or zero immune system a fatal or near fatal infection can come from anywhere and in many instances be unavoidable.
Therefore it is the way that you react to the symptoms and the speed with which you do so that is of paramount importance.


Hi robin
Thank you for sharing your experience, after reading that I feel very lucky that I got no infections during my 6 months worth of chemotherapy, both you and Teresa’s partner have my deepest sympathy for your suffering. I am counting my blessings tonight as it sounded very scary. If I ever get those symptoms in the future I will remember your post.


Thank you all for sharing your experiences and kind thoughts.


Hello @Robson,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with sepsis. I am so sorry to hear and I can only imagine how difficult this must have been for you. I am quite delighted your wife took the conscious decision to bundle you up and take you to the hospital and also relieved that you have recovered from that incident. You mentioned a little bit about the way you react to symptoms and the speed in which you do. Do you think if people are experiencing any symptoms, should they go too A&E quickly? It may be helpful for other members in our community who may believe some symptoms will pass.

Hello @Teresa12,

Thank you so much for sharing you and your partners experience with us. I’m so sorry to hear and I can only imagine how difficult and worrying this must be for the both of you especially at such a critical time. How is Brian doing at the moment since your last post?