Thursday, Christmas Eve, I had my chemo appointment since Friday they were closed for the holiday. I’d written to Dr. Mehta to let her know I have this rash on the inside right thigh. I thought it was shingles, and though I don’t self-diagnose, I do offer my opinions when I have them . I only thought this was the case because I had shingles several years ago and remember the intense pain and burning in the welts that speckled the skin on the right side of my face at that time. This time the patch of welts is on the inside of my thigh, a very tender area, anyway, and the pain and burning are intense. Also, since Monday when they broke out, I have felt like I was catching the flu, as I had written here. I ran a fever for two days around 100.4 degrees F and couldn’t stay awake, while also feeling achy all over and having a headache.
Toni said that it could be something else, cellulitis or another type of skin infection, and that a doctor needed to look at it as soon as possible. I couldn’t get there Wednesday, so she said I should see the doctor on call when I got to the infusion center. Thursday when Dr. Lily, the on-call doctor, stopped by, he said it looked like a classic case of shingles. He prescribed acylovir to help it move along, which he thought appropriate for chemo patients who need all the help we can get with a viral infection like this. After checking my blood again, because last time my creatinine was high, he confirmed it was even a bit higher this time and adjusted the dosage on the acylovir. He told me to see Dr. Mehta as soon as possible next week for follow up since he thinks we need to find out what’s up with the kidneys.
All else Thursday went fine. Linda was my nurse; she brought my prep meds: Zofran® and Benadryl® plus the Zantac® and Decadron®, and then the Taxol®. Marvin brought us breakfast from the cafeteria–no breakfast burritos, though. Shortly after that, he returned from the gift shop with a blue and gold crinkled crinkled pashmina. I managed to sleep during most of the infusion and was surprised when they told me we were all done. I was really out of it.
For the shingles, I’m taking the acyclovir and using ibuprofen and analgesic spray for the painful skin welts. The flu symptoms have eased, but I’m very sleepy and nauseated. Consequently, instead of running around today, we’re in watching old movies in between my bouts of sleeping.