Sister in England in hospital with cellulitis

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scrabblenut19
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/6/2008 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi again, everyone: it's been a while since I last posted.  My younger sister (45) lives in London and was diagnosed a year ago, had a lumpectomy and radiation and is currently on Tamoxifen.  Her latest mammogram two weeks ago was clear, which is great news! 
 
However, she was rushed to hospital in London today with cellulitis in her breast and was admitted for IV treatment.  Boy, is she stubborn: she fainted while visiting someone else in the hospital and had to be rushed downstairs to the ER!  They wanted to admit her there and then, but she refused, so they gave her oral antitibiotics,drew a line around the infected area and told her to come back if it got any bigger.  It did, so later in the day she admitted defeat.
 
Her boyfriend is convinced that work-related stress and overdoing things is the cause.  I agree up to a point, but she also smokes 40 cigarettes a day.  I mentioned the smoking before on this forum and got some extremely blunt comments (all of which I agree with) but apparently her doctors haven't told her to give up, although they did tell her to cut back on drinking, which she did.  I told her boyfriend that smoking inhibits healing, but I don't think she will listen to anyone unless it comes from the doctor and maybe not even then...for all I know, the doctors have told her to give up but she hasn't admitted it.
 
Is it likely that stress can exacerbate an underlying infection?  It seems to have been brewing for ages, coming and going, and she has been on and off antibiotics. Her breast specialist is coming in to see her this evening.
 
What, if anything, can I say to her without sounding like a nagging do-gooder?? She absolutely hates being "preached" at.  Her boyfriend is at his wits' end and wants her to give up her job as he thinks that's the cause of all her problems.  She won't let anyone look after her.  Help, please!!!
 
 

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 4/7/2008 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   
If she won't listen to anybody, there it makes no sense that you beat yourself trying to get the message across. Are all the hospitals there no smoking facilities like they are here? Maybe a few days of good IV antibiotics, rest and no smoking will help, but she will likely end up with problems again. Sometimes you just have to back off and let people find out for themselves. Your worry over her is not doing you any good, especially this far from her. Take care of yourself. Hugs MK


scrabblenut19
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/7/2008 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you: of course, you are right about beating myself up.  Unfortunately things are going worse today.  The infection is not responding to antibiotics and they are trying a 4th IV cocktail.  The plastic surgeon came up and is keeping an eye on the breast, which is swollen to three times normal size; he has mentioned a possible mastectomy if the antibiotics don't work to check the infection...her fever was 104 last night...meanwhile her oncologist/breast surgeon is remaining optimistic.  They have cultured the bacteria so at least they know what they are treating.

Nevertheless she managed to go outside for a smoke or two, refusing a wheelchair!  That about says it all!!

Thanks for your support, and please keep her in your prayers.  Her name is Emma.

 

 


postal2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 4/8/2008 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry to hear she is SO stubborn! As you all said, it is her decision and you can't beat yourself up over it. I will keep Emma in my prayers and you too for strength to support her even if it does drive you nuts! =)
Hugs, Gail
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross


scrabblenut19
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 4/10/2008 7:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, everyone: a good news update!  Emma's temp has finally come down and the swelling has gone down some as well.  She has to stay in the hospital probably through the weekend, as her white blood cell count is still very high and her blood pressure is way low (not eating for a week will do that, I guess). 

The next step is to prevent the cellulitis from happening again.  It turns out her nipple was cracked; it had not healed properly following radiation last summer, and it had been weeping for a couple of weeks.  They are going to figure out what she can put on it, and if there is a supportive bra she can wear to prevent the chafing.  Anyone out there in England who can recommend a good brand of bra?  She is very big and needs really good support.

Also, does anyone have experience with lymphatic drainage massage?  I know it's used for lymphoedema, but I've heard it can also help with breast swelling.

Thanks!

 

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