Hi ladies, wonder if you can help. I have had a nasty cold coming on since late Wednesday. Been monitoring my temp and its been going up steadily since then. Have my 3rd chemo on Monday and went for my blood yesterday. Mentioned to the doc that I was feeling unwell and she said that so long as blood were ok chemo would go ahead. This morning my temp was 37.5 and I rang the unit for advice. Doc said that my blood had been ok and that I shouldn't worry unless my temp went up to 38c and that I should turn up for chemo as planned. My temp has since gone up to 37.7 and I still feel rough, sore throat, runny nose, aches etc. I cant see me sitting thru 6 hrs of chemo if I feel like this..I've been told I can take a lemsip as long as I take my temp beforehand and its not 38x. Thing is if my temp is going up surely taking lemsip will mask it and when it wears off out child be even higher. I don't want to keep bothering the unit but I don't know what to do. Surely out would've been better if the doc had just given me anti biotics yesterday just to be safe than sorry. I'm scared that I'm going to get really I'll as my immune system is compromised and I really don't want to have to postpone chemo. Please help!! Lisa xx

18 Replies

  • Hi Lisa. I'm nursing a cold myself at the minute so I know how miserable that feels. Antibiotics won't have any effect on it as colds are viral and antibiotics attack bacteria. Don't panic too much about your temperature though as one day can make a big difference in how you feel. Yesterday morning I could hardly hold my head up but I feel much brighter this evening even though I'm still sniffing and coughing.

    I would take the Lemsip and/or even a hot whiskey! Hope you manage to get a night's sleep and feel a bit better tomorrow and that you can face Monday rather then having to delay your treatment.



  • The priority here is that you don't get a serious infection that takes hold, which will not only delay chemo but also might mean a hospital stay and IV antibiotics, which is what happened to me. If your bloods were good mid-week, that's a good sign. However, an infection could be developing. I would contact the unit again - perhaps they will check your bloods again. After that you can decide what to do.

  • Thank you both,I feel such a baby! Never thought a simple cold would throw me into such a panic xx

  • I had a few experiences where I phoned the chemo hotline in a blind panic because I thought something was wrong - they phoned me back after an hour to see if there had been any change before making a final decision. Only on one occasion was anything actually wrong - but I didn't find out till they got me into the hospital in the middle of the night and did my bloods, and my white blood count was rock bottom. I think the fact that yours was OK suggests this isn't a serious infection but it pays to be vigilant xxxxx

  • p.s. my temp was 38.5 when they called me in - you are some way off that. Take your temp every hour and see if it stabilises. If it does, then take that lemsip!

  • Dear Bellebee

    That's a horrible situation to be in - and I don't feel as though the oncology day ward are being as supportive as they should be. I'd imagine they don't want to postpone your appointment because it's a logistical nightmare fitting in a Taxol appointment a week late. That's not your problem. If you don't feel well and you're within half a degree of the cut-off I would understand your reluctance to have chemotherapy.

    I think you should decide what's best for you. Delaying your chemotherapy by a week isn't going to undermine the good effects chemotherapy is having. Having an infusion and ending up in hospital for a week because you have no white cells left will seriously undermine your well-being,

    Can you ask the Chemotherapy Day Unit whether there is an appointment available next week if you're unable to attend this week? If not do they have a contingency plan?

    I'm really sorry you're feeling so poorly. Hope Lemsip helps - though my good friend and rhinologist at Cardiff University's Common Cold Centre says there's no cure for the cold. He recommends a hot Vindaloo for clearing the nose. I'd recommend plenty of vitamin C in the form of oranges,etc, and a whisky with hot water before going to bed. It might not cure anything but it may well cheer the spirits.

    Love to you. xxx Annie

  • I see we share faith in the efficacy of scotch Annie! LOL!


  • ... or even welsh. Penderyn Single Malt from the Brecon Beacons is rather good too! xxx

  • Haven't tried that one! I did know there was a welsh whisky but I would never debase a single malt with honey & lemon! LOL


  • ooooh I didn't mean you put the whisky in the same glass as the honey and lemon. You need two hands for treating common colds - a glass in each one. lol

    I shall bring a bottle of Penderyn to London as a nightcap. I'm fussy about my whisky. Favourite is Laphroigs from Islay with a dash of water, and 2nd Penderyn from the Beacons but I don't put water in that one as it's not so strong as the Islay Single Malts.


  • Hadn't thought of that! LOL!

  • And there's me doing dry January.....

  • Dear Bellebee

    Do not worry about bothering the unit! I was like you when I got post op infection after my debulking op and ended up at midnight in hospital on the far side of the country! Monitor your temperature and keep your unit informed. Your bloods will show up any problem. Sitting through 6 hours of chemo feeling rotten is not a pleasant prospect but an interruption may slow the effects on the cancer. The oncs only delay or withdraw for good reason!

    If you are worried about lemsip try the juice of a lemon, a spoonful of honey and a slug of whisky topped up with hot water! Very comforting without the temperature masking effects of the lemsip.

    Good luck!

    Love Margaret!

  • Sorry lisa! Addressed my answer to the wrong person! Typical of me!


  • Hiya Lisa. Think you have had a lot of good advice from the ladies here. This may seen like nothing but I thought I would put it anyway. Since having an awful cold etc when I last had cancer I was advised to take calpol 6 plus. I had an awful temperature. I swear by that stuff and always take it now. It may seem daft, but it is so very good. Hope you feel better soon Kelly x

  • How are you feeling this morning, Lisa?


  • Hello everyone, thank you so much for all your replies and advice, my temp peaked at 37.7 last night and then gradually started to come down. I was up most of the night with that irritating tickly cough you get that makes your eyes stream etc. I still feel rough but not as bad as yesterday. I don't want them to postpone my chemo butt I don't want to get any complications of a low white cell count either like Annie pointed out. If my blood were ok on Friday and they check them again tomorrow and they're ok, do you think I'll be ok and just have to suffer the side effects of chemo and the tail end of a nasty cough/cold? Lisa xxx

  • hello again. glad to hear from you. i would go in for your chemo as planned - let the medics decide whether to go ahead or not - but please don't worry if they postpone by a week - a week is nothing, honestly - we do tend to hang onto the idea that chemo must not be delayed but really a week will not make any significant difference xxx

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