Laura’s has had an unimaginably hard week what with her on/off fever, rigors, drenching sweats (three nights in a row), coughing and vomiting. Yesterday, at the suggestion of her oncologist, we visited a local urgent care unit for a chest x-ray. It showed no metastasis (YHEA!!!!!!) and no sign of pneumonia (which the oncologist feared). However, Laura’s urine culture revealed a beta-hemolytic strep infection, which can cause fever and chills, nausea, headaches and pain in the cervix. She started taking amoxicillin last night and already it has tamped down her cough and made it possible for her to eat well for the first time in nearly a week. Her temperature is normal and she is resting.
It was an incredibly difficult decision to take the antibiotics (Laura did so with the approval of the Gerson doctor). From the outside it might look like a no-brainer, but the fever is what the Gerson doctors hope for, and from Thursday through Saturday evening her tumors virtually stopped bleeding and turned necrotic (she stank something awful!), also her blood issue was a dark brown dribble instead of the usual flood (she can bleed through 8 pads in a day). But soon after she started taking the antibiotics the bleeding started up at the same strength. Naturally she is very disappointed. She may need another fever period to kill off the tumors. But in the meantime, she is getting back to full strength – eating, resting and being her old self again.
Here are 2 articles on how fever can kill cancer. The New Yorker article talks about how a 19th century doctor used strep bacteria to kill cancer and the New York Times one is about modern fever inducing immuno-therapies for cancer.