Infection Correction

I have had Lymphedema since 2007 and in that time I had only one Cellulitis infection which landed me in the hospital for a week in 2015.  After that I went back to having no infections and loving life with lymphedema . . ok cringe, but I had to.  I don't know why it's a minor pet peeve of mine when a character from a show or movie says the title in their script.  Ok getting off track.

Many of you know the past few years I have been battling cancer again.  After surgery and a recurrence I started my year going though Keytruda.  When my tumors started to grow I was apart of a trial which had me in the hospital a week each time.  After my first hospital stay I developed Cellulitis.  I did a round of antibiotics which cleared it up.  Unfortunately after my second week in the hospital like clockwork I came home and had another Cellulitis infection, visiting the ER each time.  I ended up having five infections in the course of 2 months. There really are no words I can find to describe how horrible I felt, not only was my body trying to heal from the trial, but I was trying to heal from repeated infections in Bertha.  I spent my days in bed or on the couch watching my life go by.  We have been beyond blessed to have family and friends support us through all of my health issues, but I longed for the days I could be the one playing and creating memories with my kids.

My oncologist sent me to see an Infectious Disease doctor, I am so thankful he did. After taking down what my past 2 months looked like and inspecting my leg (which was at the start of another infection) she told me she didn't think I had Cellulitis, but Erysipelas.

Cellulitis is a type of staph infection.  My doctor said she thought I had Erysipelas which is a type of strep infection and is treated with penicillin . . . the one allergy I have.  She informed me a lot of times people grow out of their penicillin allergy.  So we decided to try a pill of penicillin to see if I was still allergic.  So I sat near the ER in the waiting area of the hospital awaiting nothing or some horrible allergic reaction, sometimes I just have to laugh at my life in these situations.  Guess what, nothing happened!

My ID doctor started me on monthly Bicillin injections.  I had another week in the hospital now for IL2 (Interleukin 2) and Tuesday after my hospital stay came and went with no infection.  For the rest of the 10 weeks I spent in the hospital I did not have another infection.  I am so thankful to my doctors who are dedicated to finding out what was going on with my body and find a solution.  Last summer I ended my IL2 treatment and a month later stopped the Bicillin injections as well and have been infections free . . until this past week.  However my doctor prescribed me antibiotics to have on hand in case an infection occurs.  The other day I came home and had the all too familiar symptoms of an Erysipelas infection, but I was able to start antibiotics right away.  I still had horrible side effects from the infection, but was able to catch it in time to avoid an ER visit or hospital stay.  I guess I don't have anything truly inspiring to say, but maybe someone will read my story and it will help them bring light lymphedema journey.  xoxo-Allie


Comments

  1. just a couple of "me, too"s and one "I'll hang in there if you will." I thought I was bulletproof because I'd never had a skin infection, despite years of bilateral primary lymphedema. Last month, BAM, right leg/foot. I, too, am allergic to penicillin. My doc took a chance on cephalexin, which worked w/ no reaction. Now I have PCCS (post-cellulitis crazy syndrome) and am afraid to wear sandals/cuddle the cat/trim toenails/do yard work. Sheesh. Sending you healing electrons over the web.

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  2. Hi Allie,

    We found you on Instagram and discover you have been treated with immunotherapy.

    We would like to invite you to participate in our upcoming Wear White Day on Friday, June 12, 2020. On that day, we encourage our community to wear white, snap a selfie, and post it on social media using the #Immune2Cancer hashtag. People share messages of why they wear white, such as to honor a loved one, to stand with science, or to build a healthier future for all of us.

    This day raises awareness of the lifesaving potential of cancer immunotherapy and the vital need for further research. See past participants here: cancerresearch.org/WearWhite.

    Please let me know if you are interested in participating. I am happy to provide you with a free Wear White Day 2020 t-shirt to wear in your selfie. Just let me know the right size and I’ll send one to you. Together, we can raise awareness of the lifesaving potential of cancer immunotherapy and make a future immune to cancer. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best,
    Chary
    Social Media Manager at CRI

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