post rads problems - anyone had similar?

Hi
I had a SNB and lumpectomy (Nov 2011) followed by rads (Feb 2012) and tamoxifen. During the rads I was put on a course of antibiotics (flucloxacillin) for post surgery infection and am now on the fourth course (augmentin). A few days ago (why does it always happen before a public hol?!)

I since had a watery yellow discharge which dried on and then a waxy yellowish discharge from the nipple of the affected breast. (My breast is still red and hot - no-one is sure if it’s due to rads or an infection.) Saw gp who took a swab which was sent away last thurs. My nipple is also v sore and sensitive and part of my nipple stands out further than the rest of it when it gets sore.

Has anyone got any ideas what it could be? I’m worried it could be Pagets…tho I was v sensitive to rads and it cd still be the effects of that.

Thanks for listening.

Hope everyone had a happy easter.
C x

I hope you get answers soon, I know it is really worrying. I got a big infection after the first 2 lots of rads and ended up in hospital on IV antibiotics - mine turned out to be cellulitis and an abscess that burst - lovely. I got told by the surgeon that the rads had made the infection worse but later got told by the radiologist that this isnt how it works - so I was left none of the wiser really, as usual. Funny about the bank holiday thing - my infections seem to always start over night on a Friday so I had to call the emergency GP, got to know them quite well.

I really hope the swab comes back as an infection that is easily sortable, if not I think insistence on further tests is required

Anne

Hi Anne
Thanks for your reply and info. I have been googling and worrying myslef about all sorts of possibilities including cellulitis, as you do (and prob shouldn’t). I have also noticed that my surgeon and onc are v quick to defend their own patch - thye don’t seem to realise that the patient is left as a confused piggy in the middle! iT’s hard to know how serious things are when you’re going thru them but will take your advice.

Thanks again
c x

The swab result has come back as a staphylococcus aureus infection, which the doc helpfully told me isn’t ‘the killer one’(!)

How were you diagnosed with cellulitis and the abcess, Anne, if you don’t mind me asking, as I think staph aureus can develop into cellulitis and abcess.

Hope you’re ok now?

C x

Hi Chicci

My results came back as a staphylococcus aureus infection as well. I went to the out of hours GP on a Saturday, which just happens to be at the local hospital as my boob was swelling and was really sore and getting worse, pain killers didnt seem to touch it. It was also hot to the touch. The GP said it was an infection and rung the on-call surgical registrar who agreed that I could go straight into the surgical assessment unit and skip A&E which was a blessing.

The cellulitis was diagnosed very technically or so it seemed, they used a thick marker to draw on my boob to mark the swelling and heat and monitored whether it got bigger of smaller, if I was feeling better I would have laughed. My temperature was also very high by now. They then found an IV antibiotic that was working on the cellulitis but, unfortunately Anti B’s dont do anything for an abscess, as apparently they cant get in to clear the infection, the following day I had an untrasound scan and they tried to drain the abscess, which they couldnt do completely and when I got back to the ward about half an hour later - they had confirmed it would need surgery by now, my SNB scar burst - which was lovely as you can imagine, they just covered it up and the next day I was on the emergency list and got taken to theatre to have it cleaned out and tidied up.

It was then packed and I had to have it changed every other day - one thing I was grateful for was that my boob was still quite numb, so this was more an inconvenience although it took a while for the nurses at the surgery to stop telling me to take deep breaths.

I think Im really rambling now, but my symptons were - high temperature, feeling increasingly like I had the flu, sore, hot and swollen boob especially on the side I had had surgery on.

Also they were really struggling to line me up for the 2 sessions of rads that I had, this must have been due to the swelling before I could really notice it had started.

Anne

This was all the middle of September - I finally finished the rads over CHristmas and the new year and have been back to work full time for about 2, 2 1/2 months now.

I still get really tired, Im not sure how much is down to the infections and surgery or how much is the rads, will probably never know

x

Hi Anne

Poor you - good job you got to hospital in time for the exploding abscess. Have you had any problems with it since?

The tiredness is one of the worst things about rads, I think, and they sure do play it down in the list of possible side effects.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow so hopefully he will have a plan (fingers crossed).

C x

Thankfully I have had no problems since although I am a bit paranoid. I am always checking that it is ok around the area that I had the surgery. For about 3 months after this all happened I took my temperature at least once a day, Ive managed to let go of that and move on now :slight_smile:

Anne

Chicci

Best of luck with the appointment at the docs!

Anne