Topic: Scary Moment - Experiences with Infection

Hi everyone - my dad was diagnosed in 4/2006. Very strange diagnostic since there is no visible mass on the ducts (only from cell brushing did they find CC) and some lung mets. He had a stent placed on to reduce jaundice and has been on Gemzar since August. Until last Monday (12/18) he had been doing remarkably well and suddenly he got a serious infection that almost took him away (in a 12 hour period). He caught 4 bacteria (3 gram negative 1 gram positive). After 2 1/2 days in ICU and 3 days in the hospital he is back home with all his numbers back to normal. He was seen in a lot of detail by the oncologist and infectologist and they both think the infection was not caused by the CC since they did an MRI and the ducts are still mass-less and there are not mets around the area. They did find 4 small non cancerous absceses in the liver but far again, not metastatic. All his team of dr's actually think this had more to do with something bad he ate that caused bacteremia (supported by a weakened immune system from the chemo)
Dad is currently with antibiotics but improving. It was really scary but fortunately he's relatively improved.

I am really concerned however b/c he will need to suspend chemo for at least 3 weeks.  I was also wondering if anyone has seen/had/heard of something similar. I realize my dad's disease and progression have been really strange so any patterns or commonalities would be valuable to learn.

Thank you, best of luck to all and happy holidays.

Re: Scary Moment - Experiences with Infection

Hi - My mother  has a somewhat similar situation - was just hospitalized today for what they think is an infection, but her bile ducts aren't obstructed either - they checked everything out and they can't explain why she's jaundiced, feverish and short of breath. Her cancer has invaded both lobes of her liver, though. She really scared me today because she couldn't catch her breath and her lungs are fine. They think anemia from the chemo treatments is causing this, and the pressure from the cancer in her liver. And then maybe the infection, too.

Best of luck to you and your dad - please let me know how he fares with his infection. It's important to find the right antibiotics when the body's immune system is so compromised. I wish you all the best -
Joyce

Re: Scary Moment - Experiences with Infection

Hi Joyce - my dad luckily came out (or is still coming out) of the infection. He was home 6 days after the initial outbreak and the MRI showed only some small absecesses. He is coming out of it slowly and will be on antibiotics for 6 weeks total (about 3 more). He's still not eating all that well but it's improving and he seems to be getting a bit stronger every day. Our big concern however is interrupting chemo for too long. It has already been 3 weeks since his last round  and it might be an extra week or 2 before resuming. This scares us since we don't want to give his CC a chance while it still seems to be moving so slowly.

Best of luck with your mom and I hope things turn out OK.

Regards,

Amilcar