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Terminally ill with cancer MIL now feels sick and has a temperature - what could this be?

(15 Posts)
PussinJimmyWhoooos Thu 09-Oct-08 08:57:47

DH is overseas with her and just text me now to say that she woke feeling sick and with a temperature

What do you think this could be? She isn't on chemo, just getting palliative care and the cancer is primary in the liver and secondary in the pancreas and bile ducts

I've tried to calm DH down and say its probably just a urine infection or something but any advice would be appreciated

belgo Thu 09-Oct-08 09:01:16

Your dh should contact her doctor and the doctor should prescribe medication to keep her comfortable - to control the sickness and control her temperature.

It must be very stressful for your dh.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Thu 09-Oct-08 09:10:11

What do you think is causing it though given that she isn't on chemo? I didn't think that cancer would cause a temperature..unless her white blood cell count has shot up...

belgo Thu 09-Oct-08 09:12:10

The cause could be anything, something as simple as a cold,tummy bug or a urine infection like you say. The doctor should examine her .

PussinJimmyWhoooos Thu 09-Oct-08 12:29:25

Still waiting to hear from DH. A friend suggested sepsis so have suggested that to him and asked him to ask the doctor to test for the marker of sepsis (thank you Google!) but have not heard from him.....he sounded very stressed and am <gulp> about what will happen next as she is in the end stages anyway

belgo Thu 09-Oct-08 12:32:19

yes it could be something serious but I'm sure the doctor will know what to test for. Does she have any abdominal pain? If she's at the end stages then the best thing is for her to be kept as comfortable as possiblesad

PussinJimmyWhoooos Thu 09-Oct-08 12:42:26

Yes she's had that for a few weeks now. She is in the Middle East and so the family are doing the palliative care...the doctors are good but I don't feel as good as here or in the States for example so thats why I suggested that to tummy is in knots!

belgo Thu 09-Oct-08 12:44:21

I'm not surprised your tummy is in knots. it must be very hard knowing she's so far away with medical care that is potentially different to ours.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Thu 09-Oct-08 12:49:38

I just want DH to text (can't phone as I am deaf)....I know he's probably very busy with the doctors but last I heard anything was when I posted this morning so.....thanks for taking the trouble to post - much appreciated

belgo Fri 10-Oct-08 11:07:04

what happened yesterday PussinJimmyWhoos? Have you had any updates?

georgiemum Fri 10-Oct-08 11:13:26

Was she warned to keep taking her temperature? My father was towards the end as it was relevant to his illness.

She should always call in the doctor if the feels unwell. Hope she is feeling better today.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Fri 10-Oct-08 17:13:47


Thanks for asking Belgo. Apparently, she had a tube inserted three weeks ago to drain from the liver to the pancreas as the tumour was blocking it and causing Jaundice. This became infected or something. She is on IV antibiotics and seems better today and has eaten something.

This is so up and down - one day I think right, this it and brace myself for the text from DH and then the next its ok again....

My nerves!!

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 18:25:20

She had another funny turn this morning - was shivering so bad she broke the thermometer that they were using to take her temp. Then her temp started to rise. Then, it all passed off and she was ok again, then bad, then ok and asking for orange juice! What is going on - a friend seems to think its septic shock..

She had bloods done and all came back clear (except for glucose due to diabetes) and apparently the antibiotics (metra something and ceftriaxone ??) are working as white blood cell count was good...she doesn't have pneumonia either

Tis very confusing and poor DH is in bits

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 19:39:27

bumping for any ideas

FangolinaJolly Sat 11-Oct-08 19:57:17

Hi Puss,sorry about your MIL.

If your MIL has had an infection then it is not uncommon for people with a high temperature and infection to develop "rigors" or the shivering/shaking you have described ewhen their temperature goes up.They can be quite scary to witness if you haven't seen one before.Giving common or garden paracetomol can bring the temperature down,and continuing with the abs should help.If she has IV access and med/nursing staff present they may be able to give IV paracetomol which acts quicker if this is their normal protocol.HTH

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