Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shingles

If you've had them you'd shudder at that word. The word means "pain".
It all started last week, probably early in the week, when I felt a slight pain behind my left ear, like the frame of my eye glasses was putting pressure on me. Then on Thursday evening I noticed an ear ache, in my middle ear. I had no congestion and I wondered where an earache could come from. I even thought maybe there was a lymph node putting pressure on my ear. When you have cancer you think like that. By Friday the ear pain was throbbing, coming in spurts now and then. I took a decongestant and some ibuprofen to ease the pain. It didn't really help. On Saturday I noticed a few bites on my neck but didn't remember being bitten. They were extremely itchy and when I touched them they oozed clear pus. By Sunday the rash was in front of and behind my left ear, and by that evening it was all the way to the back of my neck into my hairline. We were home from the lake by then so I put it out on the Sarcoma Website to get everyone's opinion. Three people immediately responded "Shingles". I Googled it and after some research thought they were right. Monday morning I got into the dermatologist who confirmed the rash and told me what to expect and handed me 3 prescriptions. I called my Oncologist who said to stop the chemo this week and just come in for blood work on Thursday. By that afternoon the nerve pain was coming fast and furious. Like no pain I've ever experienced. When I move my head or neck I get a shooting tingly nerve pain that radiates through my whole neck. OUCH!
Another side effect from cancer. I got this now because I am immunodeficient from taking chemo. 
This has got to be the worst side effect yet. 



7 comments:

  1. My mother has had this on and off. Please take care of yourself during this time because you do not want what she has of post herpetic syndrome. She has been under a lot of stress lately because my father had a stroke in Sept and then my mother had a thoracic aneurysm in Feb and spent 5 weeks in the the hospital and is still undergoing cardiac rehab. She said she didn't she was under stress because she has been stressed out before. (I have a sister who went through stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lynphoma 11 yrs ago).
    My mother has been put on a medication that they give to some Fibromyalgia patients. (I am a fibromyalgia patient but I have not taken this one before).

    All the best and the hope that you will be on the road to recovery soon.

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  2. Sorry to hear that you are having to suffer through Shingles. My husband had a bad case of them last year, his was on his neck and along his back. He is a tough man and admitted the pain was like nothing else he had ever experienced.

    I wish you well through this and a speedy recovery.

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  3. Sorry about the shingles, Sandi. Ugh. Hope you are better, soon.
    -Trish

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  4. Oh I am so sorry! Shingles is so painful. You will certainly be in my prayers. I hope your move to Emory will be a positive one. I used to work there. It is an amazing place. Blessings to you and your family!
    DD

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  5. It's been ~4 weeks today since I started with symptoms. This has been quite an illness to deal with! The rash is at a stage where it looks like it's cleared up but my affected skin feels like a burn and is terribly itchy. The rash into my hairline is the worst, probably because it's difficult to get cream on it. I'm still feeling nerve pain in the rash areas. I'm on a half dose of the antiviral and the nerve pain med. Looking forward to this ordeal being over!

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  7. Our son got the shingles in Jr. High & it was such a nightmare! It ended his football career, which wasn't all that bad a thing. However, he had a severe case of it & it was heartbreaking watching him in so much pain. His was located in his torso area (where football shoulder pads would rub & irritate). I had to apply a nasty solution & cover it in gauze several times a day. So, I really feel for you, especially that you're having to go through yet another *thing*. Hang in there sweet lady! This too, shall pass.

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