June 13, 2011

Shingles and chemo, the final word

Today I saw award-winning infectious disease specialist Dr Martin Siegel and he affirmed what Dr G said: be careful about chemo and shingles. So I am decreasing from 1 g valacyclovir 3x/day to 500 mg 2x/day FOR AS LONG AS I AM ON CHEMO. Dr S says he has lost patients who restarted chemo too soon after shingles, hence the long term use of this medication now that my shingles are healing and beyond.

No, I am not eligible for the shingles vaccine, even to ease another outbreak. If I get shingles again, I'll just have to live with it. 

Because I knew Dr S would want to examine me, I never put on a lidocain patch today, and even this late in the day I feel fine. Some itching, but nowhere near the kind of pain I'd been having, even as recently as last night. I am still wearing a Fentanyl patch and will talk to Dr G about decreasing the dosing. I still have plenty of lidocain patches and Vicodin for breakthrough pain, but it appears I am healing. Dr S says the itching is a sign of healing. 

Since I appear to be healing, Dr S thinks I may be lucky and avoid post herpetic nueropathic pain. Let's hope so. 

In other good news, Drs G and S agree that I should stay off chemo while awaiting gamma knife (scheduled for Monday 6/20). I won't restart chemo for at least another week after that.


  1. Betty Johanna9:05 AM

    Wishing you all the best for the June 20 gamma knife procedure. And, of course, with everything else as well.

  2. wishing the best. will keep you in my prayers.

  3. Anonymous6:12 AM

    I got bad case of shingles 2 weeks before my last chemo. Should i not get it or just postpone?