Chest infections

I had my upper lobe of left lung removed on the 6th of September. I recovered at my eldest daughter's house for first three weeks after discharge and she and her husband have  ended up with a bad chest infection the day after I went home. And my 19 yr old at home has a chest infection. I woke up today with a stuffy nose and I've coughed a time or two should I panick as I dont want to get an chest  infection. I'm waiting on chemo and radiotherapy starting dates. But cant get through to my GP to ask so thought I'd ask here.. I'm avoiding outside weather to try and make sure I dont get sick.

  • Hello Frazzled

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. My name is Karen and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.  

    I can see that you’ve joined three of the online community forums. I hope you are finding these a helpful and supportive environment for you.

    I hope you are beginning to recover after your surgery. It’s understandable to sometimes feel worried and uncertain after a cancer diagnosis and before and after cancer treatments.

     

    There are some common problems after lung cancer surgery including the risk of infection. You say that you have woken up with a stuffy nose and cough today and that you have been in contact with family members who have had/have a chest infection.

    I’m sorry that you’ve been unable to get through to your GP today. However, as you have had recent lung cancer surgery, we would always recommend with any new or worsening symptoms that you speak to a doctor or your hospital team. This could be your GP, your hospital doctor or clinical nurse specialist. You should try to contact them today ideally or tomorrow morning. They will want to assess your symptoms and may want to prescribe antibiotics if they think you have a chest infection.  

    If the symptoms get worse in the meantime and you are unable to get through to your GP or hospital team, don’t hesitate to contact NHS 111. For example, if you become breathless, develop a persistent cough with/without phlegm and/or have signs of a temperature i.e. you feel hot, cold or shivery or feel generally unwell.

     

    If you haven’t yet had your Autumn covid and flu booster vaccinations, your hospital team may recommend that you to have these before starting your chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Your hospital team will advise when the best time is for you to have these.

     

    Please don’t hesitate to give us a call on the support line if you have any further questions.

     

    I hope this information is helpful. If you have any information or support needs, the Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial, and emotional support.

     

    Best wishes

     

    Karen, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

     

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email

    Ref/KHe/UH

  • I'm waiting on the GP to call me.as I dont have a way into their office so I requested a home visit they said it would be a phone call first. I dont have specialist nurse or anything I had a surgeon he removed lung now I have my gp just a bit nervous to be honest.. 

  • Hi Frazzled,

    My name is Anne and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Support Line. I see my colleague Karen replied to your initial query and you are now waiting on the GP contacting you. Hopefully you will hear from them soon.

    You mentioned you don’t have a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) as part of your team at the Hospital. If you call your Consultant’s secretary, they should be able to provide you with the name and contact details of your CNS.

    I hope you start to feel better soon. Please don’t hesitate to call our Support Line if you feel you may benefit from a chat with one of our advisors.

    Take care for now,

    Anne - Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.

    Ref/**  FM

  • It's just making me nervous feeling a bit thickly in throat and a bit of a cough I've never had a cough except when I got pneumonia in August before the surgery 

  • Is my consultant the man that did the surgery on me? 

  • Hi  

    Thanks for getting in touch with our online community. My name’s Louise and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists here. 
     
    It’s natural to feel nervous if the last time you had a cough was when you had pneumonia before the surgery. However, getting the right help can stop any infection from causing more serious problems.  

    Hopefully you have now been contacted by your GP. If you haven’t heard back from your GP, or the cough is getting worse, we would suggest you contact 111 straight away. They will be able to assess you and give you the right medical advice based on your situation. If you have an infection, then getting treatment means there is less chance of the infection causing problems such as sepsis. 


    Infections in the past and the lung surgery can make someone more prone to further chest infections. As we don’t have access to medical records it’s difficult for us to comment on a person’s individual risk of getting a chest infection. We have some information on infection which includes tips for avoiding infection that might be helpful going forward. 

    You asked “Is my consultant the man that did the surgery on me?” 

    Consultants are very senior doctors that specialise in different areas of medicine. The man that performed your lung surgery would be a consultant surgeon. They can be contacted via their medical secretary who can pass on a message. If you don’t have the secretary’s number, phone the main hospital number and they can put you through. However, they might not be able to respond to messages on the day. You will probably see an Oncology consultant next to plan any further treatment like chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

     

    If it would help to talk you can also call us. One of our nurses would be happy to talk things through. 

     

    Kind regards  

    Louise, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist  

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.  

    Our Ref:  KH 

    • I got antibiotics a doc from the surgery I'm with called me. I have the doc name who is going to be doing the chemo and radiotherapy but dont know anything yet except that both those are gonna happen. So orginally there was an older man called Dr Leitch would he be my consultant? He sent me to xray and such and passed me on to surgeon.. if its him then I know the nurse. But my doc called today and put me on some antibiotics.  
  • Dr. Leitch is the doctor at the lung health department 

  • And sneezing that feels very weird and not normal..  is short and sounds very wheezy,is that normal after having part of lung removed? 

  • Hi Frazzled 

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. My name is Tricia and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line. I see you have had previous replies from my colleagues.

    Its good to hear that you have had contact from the GP, and you have been prescribed antibiotics. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics even if you feel some improvement before completion of the course.

    Unfortunately we cannot diagnose or advise you on this platform regarding your sneezing therefore, we recommend to people that it is very important to seek medical advice, if you have a new symptom, a symptom that persists, gets worse or is changing. This can be reported to your GP or  111 in the first instance so they can assess and manage from there.

    As you are due to be starting chemotherapy and  radiotherapy in the near future they will want you to have  recovered from the surgery and not have any underlying  infections or problems after lung cancer surgery. You will be seen by the Oncology Consultant who will explain all the treatment to you.

    Regarding your Nurse Specialist, then it might be worth contacting the nurse you met who works with Dr Leitch and she may be able to help support you. However, if you are now under the care of a different Nurse Specialist then the nurse can help you obtain their contact details instead. The other way to find out contact details are through switchboard – asking to be put through to the lung cancer nurse specialists. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to names or numbers of all the nurse specialists in the UK.  

    If it would help to talk you can also call us. One of our nurses would be happy to talk things through. 

    Sending best wishes,

     

    Tricia
    Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email

      Ref TT/HB