Wound healing whilst on chemo - help!

Hi Ladies,

I hope someone can help.

I was dx on 18th August and had mx and immediate LD recon on the 22nd Sept. Everything healed okish and my surgeon and Onc said it was ok to go ahead with chemo which I started (6x FEC) on 28th October.

Prior to chemo about 2 inches of my back wound still had a scab and tiny spots of bleeding but the front and rest of my back had healed.

Almost 24 hours after my first chemo my back wound erupted in a gucky mess with the result that I am having my wound dressed every 2 days and purilon gel applied to dissolve the yellow sluff (dead tissue) that is there. It has to be dressed every 2 days as it leaks lots with the gel and sluff. Its pretty deep but not as far as my back void. I have been told that healing could take time and that until the sluff is gone the wound can’t begin to heal and that it will then need to be packed almost daily with seaweed so that it will heal from the inside out rather than just the outside healing. Apart from the sluff the rest of the tissue is looking good apparently, a bit of blood and granulation.

I went for my 2nd FEC yesterday and …sadly my back wound has erupted again - 24 hours after my kimo!

I am now sitting here having managed to stick an additional enormous dressing over the other one (which was due to be changed later) to stop it dripping down my pjs. Sounds horrid doesn’t it, sorry! Its like a tap and I now don’t know if (unlikely but I can hope) the exploping means the tissue they were trying to dissolve slowly has suddenly gone (yippee!) or that the healthy parts of the wound (probable knowing my luck) have been killed off my the kimo and my wound is in a worse state than before!

I have been thinking prior to today about asking my surgeon to clean the sluff under general and stitch me up from the inside out (a better cosmetic result I have heard) but no-one has offered this to me. I haven’t even been offered maggots to get rid of the sluff quicker (horrid thought but as its taking so long I have thought - maybe!)

Sigh! Have rang asked my BCN about having surgery to get the wound moving and am waiting for her to call back on Friday before I go back again to see surgeon next Weds, but think she may say -

(1) no surgery whilst on chemo and no point as every chemo is going to cause some breakdown and it may be possible after chemo. Or that she will say -
(2) possible but will have to stop chemo until healed - which is fine I suppose but if you stop for too long during chemo do you have to start again due to its “good work” being undone and if so how long is too long?

Sorry its a long ramble but I wondered whether anyone else had any experience of trying to get a wound to heal whilst on chemo, how they got it healed, how long it took, surgery on chemo, exploding wounds due to chemo… basically any help or advice, please!


Sorry to hear you have erupted again,what are we going to do with you? LOL!
You say the dressing is due to be changed later,does the nurse do that for you?
Can’t you speak to anyone before the BCN calls you back on Friday (this is only Wednesday) Can you call the clinic direct?
It sounds like the wound needs some sort of intervention to heal and I would say sooner rather than later.
What a nightmare for you,

Update from my ramblings earlier.

My nurse friend who is dressing my wound in between the GP nurses for me and is has turned out to be a blessing (she is a private tissue viability specialist nurse who the hospital are happy to have dress me instead of going to the GP every 2 days) came over tonight and cleaned me up and re-dressed it and said the wound is still fine and is in fact healing from the bottom up even though there is still some sluff and she doesn’t think they would stitch it now as its not so deep. An improvement since she saw it on Sunday so thats good!

She also gave me my G-CSF (is that right?) injection today too.

Feeling a lot more positive than earlier and hoping that the wound may well heal by the time chemo stops if not before meaning I can go back to my job asap!