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Shingles

FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
Hello. I’ve had a rash for a few days now, which I initially thought was a mosquito bite. Realised recently it’s a rash, and after googling I’m pretty sure it’s shingles. Will see GP tomorrow about it, but has anyone else experienced this? Apparently people with weakened immunity are prone to it (who have also had chicken pox) and cancer treatment can trigger it. I’m in the middle of my rads treatment. I asked a therapist a day ago about it and she said it’s got nothing to do with radiation, but may not completely be the case. Will appreciate hearing from anyone who’s had this. 
M Xx

Comments

  • Shellshocked2018_Shellshocked2018_ Fleurieu Peninsula , SAMember Posts: 281
    Hi FLClover,
     I never had a rash from treatment, but checking with your GP is great, also ask your Oncologist the question.

    Hope it clears up soon, wishing you the best
    Sending hugs xx
  • MervMerv Member Posts: 27
    Hi ...I  had shingles about 18 months after I started treatment. As you say, the advice was it wasn't related to the treatment but can be brought on by stress, fatigue and low immunity. I had a course of antibiotics and it cleared up, but it certainly put the wind up me!  
    I'm due to get the results of my latest MRI tomorrow (I have brain mets) but not even that stresses me anymore. Wishing you all the best  :)
  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 150
    Dear FLClover,
    I'm 62, and have had shingles 3 times. ( Not currently with my cancer treatment.)  I'm glad you are seeing your GP.
    There are antiviral drugs for shingles, but they usually need to be started early to be effective.
    You did not say much about where your rash is. Shingles do not usually cross the centre of the body, usually only occurs following a nerve pathway on one side.
    Shingles can be painful. In my experience it  wasn't. Just itchy and an odd sensation.
    If it is on the face or near an eye, it is very important to see a Doctor. Best wishes


  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
    Thanks @Shellshocked2018_, I’ll def see a doc tomorrow and also ask my oncologist. Thanks for the well wishes and hugs ☺️ Xx

    Hello @Merv, thanks so much for your reply. I didn’t think my immunity was that low or that I was stressing, but who knows 🤷🏼‍♀️. I don’t even feel a lot of fatigue. I am a worrier though, and prob need more rest than I’m giving myself. I’m hoping I can also get something to clear it up asap. The best of luck with your results tomorrow, I really hope you get great news! 🤞🏼🍀 Xx

    Hello @Abbydog, I did forget to mention the spot I got it in. It’s on my left hip, just towards the back a little, so def on the side. The front area was sore to the touch before I got the rash. There was nothing there so I was really puzzled as to why. Apparently that’s how it starts. It’s not really that painful, just mostly itchy. I think I got it just over a week ago, so am a bit worried. I hope I get meds to clear it up. Thanks heaps for your reply 🙂 Xx

  • Keeping_positive1Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 96
    Hi @FLClover may I be so bold as to suggest getting to the doctor ASAP, because if it is shingles you need to start the anti viral meds today if possible.  I had shingles earlier this year, and I am thankful I got the treatment within 7 days of first noticing a spot/ rash on my forehead, At first I thought it was an insect bite, and like you I sort of self diagnosed, and I was correct, it was shingles.  The anti viral meds if started early can lessen the pain and the progression of shingles.  Take care.
  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 262
    hello @FLClover - your GP might decide to take a swab to determine whether you have Herpes Zoster (shingles) or Herpes Simplex (the cold sore virus). I first had a Herpes Simplex 40 years ago on my upper thigh and then it decided to recur years later in a place I do not want to mention but it made me freak and fear the worst! A swab indicated Herpes Simplex. Since starting medication over nine years ago (Herceptin and Exemestane) I have experienced frequent outbreaks in the place I feel very shy about and on my upper thigh. Only recently my oncologist decided to put me on daily doses of Vaciclovir to prevent further outbreaks. These outbreaks are quite debilitating and a couple of days beforehand I feel a deep fatigue and walking feels as if I'm dragging bags of cement. Awful! I had Chicken Pox twice before I'd turned four and my GP explained that the virus goes into the nervous system and stays there. Stress, illness and just bad luck can induce an outbreak. Fortunately I have never experienced localised pain or itching, sometimes a 'ping! ping!' kind of sensation happens about 24hrs before an outbreak, bit of a warning system. Suggest you ask your oncologist or GP to make out a prescription with a few repeats. Hope this information and a shared experience helps. xxxxxxx Beryl
  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
    Hello @Beryl C. Thank you so much for the detailed recount of your experience. It is very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to share it. I will certainly ask my GP to test it and see what kind it is, and will keep my med onc up to date on it too, so I can get meds on time should it recur. I hope you’re going well with it all and are in good health 😊 Xxx 
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,698
    Hello @FLClover just following up, what did the GP say re the rash? Hope all is ok
  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
    Hi @Giovanna_BCNA! I saw the GP today, who said he’s 99.9% sure it’s shingles, but he took a swab to make sure it’s 100%.  Since about two weeks have already passed, and the rash has crusted over, it’s no longer contagious. However, I can’t take  medicine, because it’s only effective if you start taking it 3 days (72hrs) maximum after the rash first appears. The medication is not a cure, it only helps the rash heal more quickly and also helps avoid long-term damage, which is usually nerve pain in the area that’s affected. I forgot the medical term for it (PHN I think). If you don’t get medication in time, you just let it heal on its own, like mine is doing. He suggested Calamine (?) ointment to help with the itchiness, and to keep it covered to avoid scratching and irritation. As I’m going through cancer treatment and will continue with hormone blockers, he suggested I keep a look out for further outbreaks, so I can get them treated as early as possible, to avoid it getting into the bloodstream. That’s mainly for immunocompromised people. Otherwise, it doesn’t necessarily have bad effects on the body. I hope this information helps anyone who thinks they might have it or who might get it in future.
    Mon Xx
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 1,698
    Hi @FLClover glad that you caught up with your GP today and have some calamine lotion for the itching.  Shingles can be quite painful, keep an eye on it and if the pain gets worse make sure you let your GP or medical oncologist know.  Take care of you and thank you for getting back to me.
  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
    No problem at all @Giovanna_BCNA, thanks so much for checking up on me 😊. I will keep an eye on it Xx
  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 150
    Thanks for updating us.  For later, when you are recovered and well. There is a vaccine for Shingles, it is expensive. It is available to older people for free. Hope it clears up soon for you.
  • FLCloverFLClover Member Posts: 359
    Thanks @Abbydog, I think I’ll look into it once it has cleared up and I’ve finished rads Xx
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