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MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Started by Marjorie Clare
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 09:01
My mother-in-law was diagnosed with a breast bone tumour last October and has been progressively getting more and more ill over the last few months. In April she was admitted to hospital and her lung was aspirated and a drain attached to drain fluid that was building up. She became extremely ill during this process and we were told that she had had an infection for which they were administering antibiotics intravenously. She recovered and they sent her home from hospital considerably weakened and having lost weight.

Three weeks later she went to see her consultant and was immediatley admitted back into hospital. They carried out a further aspiration in order to drain off more fluid, which was required to be sent to a bigger hospital in the nearest city.

She was then transferred to the bigger city hospital and a CT scan carried out on Friday 3 June. On Monday 6 June the family was gathered together by the consultant and told that there was nothing more he could do to help her. The cancer was progressing and he could not be specific about her prognosis. He also told her this information. Clearly we were extremely upset about this news, but accepted it over the next few hours and days.

During the next 36 hours, she became very quickly more and more breathless and we were sure that she would die very soon. By Thursday of that week (the 9th June) the hospital asked us if she would like to see a priest to administer the last rites.

However, she has improved a little and although still very ill was transferred to the local hospice yesterday. The doctor there said that they had not realised until after she had been admitted and received her records that she had had MRSA and was being treated for it whilst in the hospital that she had come from. They subsequently moved her into a side room on her own, and explained how all her visitors must wash their hands before and after going it to see her.

Never, during all the time she was in the two previous hospitals was the fact that she had MRSA ever mentioned to us. Just 12 hours after being told this news, the family are still reeling from it all. We still understand that her condition is terminal but can see already that there is a difference in how she was a few days ago and now. To be honest, because of seeing her go through such agony whilst she was very ill last week, we have all privately admitted that we were wishing that she would pass away, in order that she would not go through this pain any more. Of course we all thought she was in such pain because of her tumour. Now it seems that she was in such great pain because of MRSA.

We now need more information on her present condition (MRSA and cancer) which we will seek from the professional staff in the hospice, and are under no illusions as to the severity of her condition in relation to the cancer. The questions we have now relate to MRSA. Will it be a recurrent problem? Why did they not tell us about the MRSA?

We feel disgusted and disillusioned by the situation, and not particulalry trustworthy of hospitals at the moment. I hope to God that she doens't have to go in to hopsital again.

Sorry to have gone on so much about this situation, but right now the whole family is feeling angry. We have had many sleepless nights waiting for the worst to heppn.


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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #1 by Bev
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 09:43
dear majorie

i am so sorry to hear of the nightmare you and your family are going thru and yet not suprised that once agan the medics have chosen to hide away the facts from you all
i understand completely where you are coming from i lost my mum in 2003 because of it and spent 5 weeks 24 x 7 at the hospital watching my mum going worse and worse
you really must get the medical team to sit down and give you some answers do not let them fob you off they will try and pussyfoot around everything but make sure they know you mean business and will not go away
my best wishes for you and your family
Bev
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #2 by Marjorie Clare
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 11:08
Bev

Thanks for your response. Writing my initial epic helped to sort out some of my thoughts about what has been happening. I have also been reading other topic on this messageboard and am learnign quickly about MRSA.

I have some questions which you (or others on this message board) may be able to answer:

From reading up about MRSA this morning, it sounds as if MRSA is something that you clear up, but something that will keep returning once contracted. Is this correct?

My husband, who has never had a cold sore before, currenlty has a cold sore on his lip. Could this be a sign that he now carries MRSA? Should he be tested?

I would appreciate answeres to these questions.

Thanks for your help. It's a good message board - very up-to-date.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #3 by Bev
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 11:18
marjorie it would depend on what type of strain MRSA is contracted wether or not it can be cleared up - if a patient is colonised with MRSA they can then become infected - it is also true to say that a person colonised with MRSA may not get infected - and yes a person who has once contracted MRSA and then cleared of it can become infected again
i think it more likely that the cold sore that your husband has got can come from the stress he is under regarding his mother
i would like to help you in any way i can and if you wish to contact me please feel free to do so my email is swampduck24@hotmail.co.uk
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #4 by Denise
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 12:39
Marjorie - I am so sorry for all your family and your Mum is going through. Cancer is a horrible disease and to suffer with cancer and MRSA is horrible beyond words. I strongly urge you to get a copy of Tony Field's booklet, "MRSA - A Patient's Defence." It will give your family information on how to protect yourselves. The type of MRSA that infects the skin is more common in the USA than in your country. But my children contracted the strain that is more common in your country, so while it isn't likely, it is possible. Ask your mother-in-law's doctors what strain she has. Keep a close eye on your husband's cold sore. As Bev said, it is most likely from the stress he is under, but if it gets larger, if he gets fever, if it is extremely painful, by all get it tested. Good luck to all of you. Please get a copy of the booklet. Bev can help with that if you e-mail her.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #5 by Maria
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 14:13
I am so sorry to hear how you have all suffered. My family have suffered too. My mum had terminal cancer last year, but her condition and suffering was made worse by MRSA. I believe her life was in danger from MRSA, not the cancer, and we weren't told.

All the work the surgeons and chemotherpy teams did to help mum was exemplary. But nothing could prepare us for the weeks she spent fighting MRSA.

The hospital will be answering our questions, I will be going through mum's medical notes with someone independently, I don't know who yet, but it won't be with anyone within the hospital trust.

Please look after yourselves. Speaking out is sometimes hard, but its the only way to make the politicians who need to resource proper care listen.


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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #6 by Phip
Posted: June 15, 2005 at 20:36
Hi Marjorie,

Like you and Maria, my Dad ended up with MRSA having had a cancer operation and I know only too well the suffering you are going through. I'm not convinced that once you have had MRSA it will keep returning. My Dad first got MRSA in July 2002 when he had his cancer op. Fortunately the surgeon removed all of the cancer to the extent that he needed no follow-up treatment for that, but the MRSA very nearly killed him. Against the odds and the surgeons predictions he pulled through, although his life was never the same due to the damage the MRSA had done to his lungs - he had MRSA pneumonia. With such weak lungs he was prone to every infection going, and was very limited in his ability to walk, eat etc. But when he was dishcarged from hospital in September 2002 he was clear of MRSA. I am led to believe from the hospital (still waiting for his medical notes to confirm this 100%!) that on each subsequent admission between Sep 2002 and February 2004 he was tested for MRSA and the results always came back negative.

Sadly MRSA hit him again in March 2004, I believe after the insertion of a catheter and this time round he was simply too weak to fight it and died on 25th March 2004. But I honestly believe that the two occassions when he got MRSA were unconnected - the hospital have suggested it is simply bad luck; in my opinion it's more bad hygiene than bad luck.

Sadly like your family, our family were very ill-informed by the hospital both times. The first time we found out by accident when we spotted something written in Dad's notes. The second time we were not told until 10 days after they knew he had it. Politicians and hospitals alike try to convince me that there is no cover up going on. They try to reassure that the instances of lack of information were simply oversights and not the norm. They try to reassure that MRSA is being tackled and is not the problem those of us posting here know it is. But for every letter I get back from a politician or hospital there seem to be twice as many new threads from people who are still suffering the same treatment.

I can understand your family's feelings about wishing your Mum would pass away. I felt the same during the last week of my Dad's life - it sounds dreadful to admit such a thing, but when you sit and watch a loved one suffering so much and you know you can do nothing to make it better human instinct makes you wish the suffering would end. Take care.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #7 by Catherine
Posted: June 1, 2006 at 21:42
I know this is a year since anyone replied to this but I would like to add our awful news about my mum. Diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma in february, mum has been in hospital since then. She is very week and recently fractured her vertibrae trying to get off the hospital toilet. The doctor recently wanted to give mum a final dose of chemotherapy (4th one) with a stronger drug topping up the other three. She got the chemo on tuesday of this week, and as she has been husky and very dry in her mouth they took a swab of her saliva. MRSA was confirmed today. Too late though to delay the 4th chemo - its already in her and day 7-14 her low blood count days are coming up shortly. Why of Why didn't someone test her saliva before the chemo was administered. I don't know what the future will hold for her.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #8 by no name
Posted: June 2, 2006 at 07:57
Catherine, really really sorry to read your sad news. I was in the exact situation apart from the fact that I was not aware that my husband had MRSA, apparently contracted just after his first chemo. was administered. I really feel for you and your family. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I can say that will help you or make you feel any better. Just be there for your mum and hope for the best.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #9 by Bev Hurst
Posted: June 2, 2006 at 08:56
Dear Catherine i am really srry to hear about your mum, please take a look at website www.mrsaactionuk.com there are a list of questions there and also linkd questions for patients with cancer ~please make an app with your mums consultant and try and get them to explain everything to you the list of questions may help you there
best wishes
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #10 by chris in England
Posted: June 2, 2006 at 19:33
My husband was tested for MRSA and it came back negative before he was transferred to a major London hospital for exploratory tests (possible cancer suspected) He went to Lonson a proud confident man. Two days after he phoned me to say he was in an isolation room with MRSA. I took off to London like a bullet and found an incoherent patient on full oxygen and catheter. He just about recognized me, The staff did not tell me about the MRSA I had to corner one doctor and three nurses to get them to admit to my husband being infected. What was to have been a maximum 48 hour hospital stay is now into it's third week.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #11 by LOUISE
Posted: September 3, 2006 at 22:56
I THINK ITS DISCUSTING THAT MRSA IS CAUGHT IN HOSPITALS AND THE NURSES NOT TELLING U.MY FATHER IS ON HIS 8TH CHEMO FOR NON HODGEKINS LYMPHOMA AND WAS DOING REALLY WELL.HIS HICKMEN LINE GOT A INFECTION INIT 2 DAYS AGO AND THERE WAS NO BEDS IN THE NORMAL HEMATOLOGY WARD DO WE HAD TO WAIT 15 HOURS FOR A BED,WHICH MY DAD ENDED UP ON ANOTHER WARD COMPLEATLY DIFFERENT.WHEN HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH NH LYMPHOMA,HE WAS TOLD TO KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN,COLDS,ETC,,,YET THIS WARD HAS 30 BEDS AND THOUSANDS OF VISITORS IN AND OUT.,TODAY WE WAS TOLD HE HAS MRSA INIT.I AM SO SCARED ,AS NO ONE WILL EXPLAIN WHATS GOING ON.MY DAD HAS A LOW IMMUNE SYSTEM ANYWAY DUE TO ALL THE CHEMO,SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN?WE REALLY WANT HIM OFF THIS WARD AND BACK IN HEAMOTOLOGY WHERE HE SHOULD BE ,,,HOW DO WE GO ABOUT THIS??????/PLEASE HELP ,WHO DO I TALK TO?
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #12 by Karen
Posted: October 6, 2006 at 13:21
Hi there. It is so sad to hear the commonality in all the posts. The hospitals do not properly inform patients and their families about Mrsa and its severity, especially for cancer patients.
My father-in-law has been in hospital for 6 weeks now, he has bone cancer, bed sores the size of rice cakes, and only now do we find out that he's been suffering from mrsa for the past 4 weeks. They told us he has an infection. That's all. His son my brother in law has systic fibrosis and went to visit him. Yesterday they found mrsa in his nose. Had we known that's what my father-in-law had we never would have let his son visit him. Unbelievable. Thanks for listening just had to share.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #13 by Denni
Posted: June 10, 2011 at 01:44
Hello
My mother-in-law is being treated for ovarian cancer and had to have and emergency hysterectomy.
After her second chemo treatment she had her port removed because she has MRSA.
Although she was in stage one cancer whats the likelyhood of her dying from MRSA?
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #14 by john
Posted: July 13, 2014 at 05:56
My Father was diagnose with stage 3 lung cancer a little over a year ago he has done chemo and radiation and was doing quite well the tumor had shrunk and stopped growing.He only needed to be checked every 3 months this was January 2014 we found out in march the cancer was growing again he had only 1 chemo treatment next morning woke up with a huge lump on his arm ended up in one hospital in 4 days it was eating the flesh off his arm. We the family kept asking the drs everyday if it was mrsa they said no.He was sent home 11 days later spent 1 night at home his heart rate took off ambulance took him to ER he was admitted 2 days later he was dead. I watched him suffer for almost 2 weeks and die a terrible death. And the funeral home was where I found out it was MRSA. The hospital let my entire family be exposed to this virus. I am now gathering information to start a law suit and they are stone walling me all the way.The health care in this country is all about dollar and most definetly not the patient. May God help us all.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
Reply #15 by john h
Posted: July 13, 2014 at 06:00
My Father was diagnose with stage 3 lung cancer a little over a year ago he has done chemo and radiation and was doing quite well the tumor had shrunk and stopped growing.He only needed to be checked every 3 months this was January 2014 we found out in march the cancer was growing again he had only 1 chemo treatment next morning woke up with a huge lump on his arm ended up in one hospital in 4 days it was eating the flesh off his arm. We the family kept asking the drs everyday if it was mrsa they said no.He was sent home 11 days later spent 1 night at home his heart rate took off ambulance took him to ER he was admitted 2 days later he was dead. I watched him suffer for almost 2 weeks and die a terrible death. And the funeral home was where I found out it was MRSA. The hospital let my entire family be exposed to this virus. I am now gathering information to start a law suit and they are stone walling me all the way.The health care in this country is all about dollar and most definetly not the patient. May God help us all.
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Re: MRSA and Cancer sufferer
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