• Infections affter treatment is finished

    Asked by oceanblue24 on Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Infections affter treatment is finished

    Hi, just wondering if anyone suffered from any kind of infections whether viral etc. I finished all treatment, chemo & radiation a month ago. I just learned I have Shingles. The Drs thought it was first a kidney infection till the rash broke out. They think it might be from a compromised imune system. I was on an antibiotic for the kidney but am now on a viral antibiotic.
    How long after do we have to be extra careful? I'm thinking of maybe adding more vit. c or echinacia to my diet. Or is it just using common sense & staying away from situations that could infect me. Course this is something I couldn't seem to avoid because I don't know what I could have been exposed to.
    Just a question I wanted to pose to the group.
    Thanks!

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Shingles is the result of the same virus that causes chicken pox. Once you have had chicken pox, the virus remains dormant for years and has resurfaced as shingles. So in that case, the infection actually occurred when you got the chicken pox which for most people is long before they ever had any cancer treatment.

      I don't think vitamin c or any herb or supplement is going to increase your white blood cell count. That is what makes us more vulnerable to infections during chemo because it destroys white blood cells. Your oncologist should be continuing to run periodic blood panels until your WBC is back up a normal range.

      about 5 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar
      lynn1950

      If it's not one thing.....So sorry you have shingles to deal with. No matter what, eat healthy and exercise. You have just been through the wringer. You should be having bloodwork at your oncology visits - your labs will indicate white blood count, your red blood count, your hemoglobin and other indicators of the health of your immune system. Congratulations on graduating from active treatment!

      about 5 years ago
    • RMR's Avatar
      RMR

      I don't know about the relationship, if any, between cancer and shingles. What I do know is what some of the others already noted is that it results from the dormant chicken pox virus that is still in you. I had shingles after giving birth to my youngest daughter who is now 17. I was told then that it could be because of decreased immunity and stress. At the time others told me its not uncommon to see shingles in heart attack patients - again the stress trigger. I think dealing with Cancer and Cancer treatment counts as a stress trigger. Sorry you have to go through it, I remember it being very painful and exhausting (or perhaps that was because i had 3 small children LOL). Good luck to you. I hope you feel better soon! Here's to survivorship.

      about 5 years ago
    • RMR's Avatar
      RMR

      I don't know about the relationship, if any, between cancer and shingles. What I do know is what some of the others already noted is that it results from the dormant chicken pox virus that is still in you. I had shingles after giving birth to my youngest daughter who is now 17. I was told then that it could be because of decreased immunity and stress. At the time others told me its not uncommon to see shingles in heart attack patients - again the stress trigger. I think dealing with Cancer and Cancer treatment counts as a stress trigger. Sorry you have to go through it, I remember it being very painful and exhausting (or perhaps that was because i had 3 small children LOL). Good luck to you. I hope you feel better soon! Here's to survivorship.

      about 5 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar
      Cindy

      I had a urinary tract infection when going through chemo. My chemo affected my white blood cell count which made me more vulnerable to infections. If your chemo affected your white blood cell count, you should be careful until it gets back to a normal level.

      about 5 years ago
    • lilliebutt's Avatar
      lilliebutt

      I, too, was diagnosed with shingles two days ago. I finished my chemo treatments on May 10th and radiation treatments on August 3. I believe the virus was "awakened" in my body after going through some stress from moving recently and a compromised immune system which has yet to be strong enough to remain balanced. My doctor has put me on a 7 day course of anti-viral medication and pain medicines which I take when needed. I am surprised as to how painful this rash can be. Thank you for your post. It has helped me feel better already just knowing that I am not alone in this journey. Best wishes for a quick recovery from this virus and continue staying healthy by eating nutritiously, staying active, and getting plenty of rest. Honestly, I need to work more on the "getting plenty of rest" part. I will start working on that now. Good luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar
      ruthieq

      Shingles usually comes from exposure to chicken pox earlier in life (ie had it or a mild case). The virus lays dormant in the body until stress and the right conditions (we've had stress ya think? and decreased immune system) make it flare out. Treating it with antivirals helps quite a bit and faster than diet can. Doesn't hurt to keep those antioxidant supplements handy, but it wouldn't have helped against the virus, it was already there waiting. I was suffering a lot of rt arm lymphedema infections (cellulitis) during the time I took care of my mom while being treated for lung cancer. Since she passed, I haven't had a single one. the biggest thing to do is try and eat a balanced diet and protect yourself from infections in the public, as well as reducing the stress in your life. Not always easily done, but it will help tremndously for your well being.

      about 5 years ago

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