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Catching a cold whilst on chemo

No. of entries: 6 | Posted on 28 Mar 2011 9:41 AM

Catching a cold whilst on chemo

  • My wife's in the second week after her first chemo session, which we understand to be prime time for picking up infections. 

    She's sure she's developing a cold and is a bit concerned about this.  She's drinking lots of water, and obviously we'll keep an eye on her temperature and give the hospital a shout if it hits 38 degrees - but should she worry if it doesn't?

    Apart from this, she's doing just fine and has no chemo side-effects apart from occasional very mild fatigue and a couple of small mouth ulcers just starting.


  • Gosh, thanks for that Teresa.  Finger-crossing time again, by the look of it ...


  • Just by way of an update, the lady wife's temp first thing Friday morning was 37.5 and 38 by 9am, so we did as instructed and rang the emergency chemo nurse, who told us to head for A&E.  Which we did.

    Numerous blood tests and 48 hours of IV broad-spectrum antibiotics later, she's home this afternoon looking and feeling very well, with 5 days supply of amoxycillin.

    As we keep saying, it's all good ...

  • Glad she's ok- getting ill while on chemo is a total pain but you did the right thing in going to A + E! Hope the rest of the chemo goes a bit more smoothly!lx

  • Hi Dan.  As a veteran of several chest infections (I have LC) I have an emergency supply of antibiotics so that if I get even the barest hint Im going down with a cold etc, I can start the meds straightaway in a bid to reduce the severity of an attack. 

    Just a tip as these things often crop up at the weekend when the docs are closed.  Its certainly worked for me on many occasions, Ive not yet been hospitalised for any infection.


  • Actually, we'd previously discussed with both the Macmillan nurses and our GP the question of keeping antibiotics to hand for the dreaded "oh hell, why does this happen on a Friday night?" scenario. 

    Their feeling was that, at least for us, it was a no-no because if a patient's on chemo at that stage in the cycle where their immunity is at its lowest and they're feeling a bit off, what's needed if their temp hits 38 degrees is fluids, 1000mg of paracetamol and broad-spectrum antibiotics - all intravenously for maximum effect, and all ASAP.

    Makes sense to us, particularly now we've seen just how quickly Madam was feeling (and looking) a lot more human, and besides, neither of us is keen on the idea of taking more antibiotics than strictly necessary.

    But hey, if having some on tap works for you and you feel happier knowing you've got them, that's got to be good :)