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Forum Name: Fungal infections

Question: Cancer,Bacterial,Fungle & Immune Troubles Here!


 dougsgirl63 - Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:00 pm

My name is Beth i am 43yrs old and live in Illinois.I also have Tinia Versicloror that effects me very badly in the summer.My spots looks as if some one threw hot greese on me and they are more like patches than spots.They burn and itch.I also have Histoplasmosis which is a fungle infection caused by breathing in spores that has caused lesions on my skin and it looks awful!I I am on Sporanox for maybe a life time for this.I also have VIN 3 Carsinoma In Situ of the Vulva which is not being treated because i have no insurance and Scopulariopsis as well as being born with a defective Immune system called Congenital Lymphocytopenia which means i can not fight of certain infections such as fungle and bacteria and evidentaly cancer.Last year i almost died due to an Ecoli Puss Pocket rupturing in my left ovary and tube that spread this toxic poisen to all my internal organs.Had a life saving surgery that has left me perminently damaged.The year before that i was in the hospital for a week due to Ecoli in my left Kidney.I am constanly plauged by yeast and fungle infections when i have my yealy paps smear.My last MRI a year ago(lost my insurance last year)showed that i had cycts in my left kidney,my right ovary and one above my cervix.I am cleuless as to if this is the Histo as it can effect internal organs and lungs as well, or is it my carsinoma?Do i need to worry about those cysts?Who knows and i consistantly run fevers rangeing from 99-101.I have had surgeries in the past to remove a cyst from one of my ovary's and i am also plauged with the tearing of scar tissue from all my surgeries to my stomach and also was diagnosed with endometriosis .T last surgey i had was the 4th time being cut into this scar.They tell me it is the scar tissue ripping away from my internal organs every time i cough or sneeze.What a mess.Any sugestions on why all this is happening to me?
Thanks so much.I have also had 2 c sections,leg and hip surgery,2 back surgeries,fatty tumers removed from my head when i was 15..to many things to count.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:42 pm

User avatar It sounds as if your medical history is quite complicated. There are several possibilities for your symptoms. These include the histoplasmosis spreading (although this is less likely if you are on a correct dose of sporanox).

One thing to keep in mind about sporanox is that many things can affect its absorption. It is important to take the medicine exactly as your pharmacist recommends due to the risk of decreased levels of medication getting into the blood stream.

When one has cancer the concern is always that it may spread. I am not familiar enough with cancer of the vulva to know its patterns of spread and if it quickly or broadly spreads. However, it seems unlikely to cause cysts.

All these factors are likely being contributed to by your immunodeficiency.

Not having insurance is difficult. With your complex medical needs it is really important that you have a primary care doctor to coordinate your care and make sure the right specialists are seeing you (in particular an infectious disease specialist). There may be local programs that can help with obtaining insurance. I am not familiar with Illinois plans but often there are state programs that can help. Your local health department can help in connecting you with the right doctors.

Please feel free to post any other questions you have and we'll try our best to answer them. As a reminder to all our readers, though, our site cannot replace a direct medical examination and simply does not compare to having a primary care doctor that can help ensure you are receiving quality care.

Best wishes.
 dougsgirl63 - Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:27 am

Thank you so much for getting back to me.The only Doctor that i am seeing now is my Internal Meds Doctor and now a Cardiologist.Recently i have been having slight troubles breathing (feels like lungs are full of fluid but they say it is not)with pain in my chest,under my left arm and through my back on my upper left side.They have done MRI and Stress tests (Thank goodness my hospital here is deleting every bill i get from there due to my situation)to look and see what may be going on in there.I have tried to get a public aid card but the State has refused me saying that if Social Security does not find me disabled then there is nothing they can do.Needless to say SS has denied me only on the basis of Cancer and the permanent nerve damage.They said although while they agree i have limitations.they think that i can go back to my previous job of doing laundry at the nursing home!Deep....sigh......They did not even send my internal meds doctor any paper work and he is furious.I have appealed through a Lawyer this time and this has been going on since December 26th 2006.How ever My internal meds Doctor has set me up to see a primary care doctor at the free clinic but have yet to go to that appointment as it is not until next week.He also said he wanted me to get established with a primary care Doctor.As far as the Sporanox i have only been on it for about 4 months now at 200mg a day.My lesions are starting to flatten out but still there.I have 13 in all.I have spoke to a friend i have met through a support group,she also has histoplasmosis and was coughing up rocks and had to have surgery and she see's an infectious disease doctor and has advised me to do the same as well due to my symptoms of pain in the chest and not being able to breath as she says it may be crystallizing in my lungs or lymph nodes?My neck does swell up now and then and only my glads in my neck swell about 2 times a month is all.With out the insurance i am afraid no one will see me so finding an internal meds doctor is out of the questions for now as you know no one will see me with out insurance.I have my liver tested every two weeks due to the intake of sporanox.What exactly could a infectious disease specialists do for me that my internal meds doctor can not?
Thank you so much for listening to me.
Sincerely,
Beth in Illinois
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:01 am

User avatar It really depends on how experienced your internal medicine doctor is with severe cases of histoplasmosis. If your IM doctor is comfortable following this and recognizing when things don't line up then there may not be any benefit to seeing an ID specialist.

The ID specialists really are most helpful when the infection is not following a typical course. They can help with knowing which medicines are best for specific cases, which tests to draw to look for worsening disease, etc.

Sometimes, the primary doctor can simply discuss the case over the phone with the ID doc rather than having to have you see the specialist. This is sometimes done in cases such as yours when seeing the ID specialist would be difficult. Most of this would depend on the comfort level of the primary care doctor and the ID doctor with this approach.

Best wishes.
 dougsgirl63 - Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:23 pm

My intenal meds doctor called back with my results on my CT scan and they have found a mass in my chest area near my Thymus?Now I am seriosly afraid.What is a Thymus?They are sending me to see an oncologist...A cancer doctor?Could itnot be the hysto causing this?I am worried now badly...What is a thymus?Can this mass kill me?How will they see what this mass is will i have to have surgery again?Could it be the histo crystalizing in my lyph nodes or something besides my cancer spreading.Please i am afraid now.
Thanks,
Beth in Illinois
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:43 pm

User avatar The thymus is a very normal tissue to have. It is most prominent as an infant and child then shrinks down as one ages. The thymus can be thought of as a training center for the immune system. It helps certain cells in the immune system mature to fight of infections.

The mass may be related to the histoplasmosis or may not be. It is possible/likely that they will want to run some more tests and ultimately may want to do a small biopsy of the mass to be certain what it is.

Cancer is possible but there are other possibilities. My best advice to you is to see the oncologist as a precaution to make sure you know what is going on and try not to get to overly concerned at this point. (I know that is a lot easier to say than do.)

Best wishes.
 dougsgirl63 - Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:29 pm

I went to see the Oncologist and he was very patient with me.He showed me the mass on the CT scan via his computer,explained to me that my Thymus has nothing to do with my defective immune system and assured me that i was born with the defective problem.He has set me up to see a chest surgeon(can not remember the type of surgeon only chest surgeon)on the 28th of this month to talk about the biopsy i am to have.The Oncologist told me nothing so far that i did not already know.This mass is ether malignant,non malignant or could be my Histoplasmosis cristalizing in my thymus and limph nodes.I am hoping for the best of course.I wish they would just take the mass out and not play with it though in this biopsy.How long does it normally take for a biopsy result to come back?Thank you for being so caring and helpful to me.
Sincerely,
Beth in Illinois
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:24 am

User avatar Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been away.

Biopsy results generally return within a few days for the preliminary testing. These first results often can answer most of the questions (i.e. is it cancer, not cancer, or infection). If it turns out to be a tumor of some type there may be some further special testing that needs to be done. These tests will often take longer to return (sometimes a week or so).

Depending on the location and what the mass actually is, it may not be particularly safe to simply remove the entire lump. This is why they often will first just do a small biopsy.

I wish you the best in finding out what is going on. I hope this helps a little.
 dougsgirl63 - Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:38 pm

OK i don't know if you or any one has seen the show on discovery health called the man with rocks in his chest?As of today it is official that the 1.4 c.m mass in my chest was found to be via biopsy through a nasty gash in my throat is Histoplasmosis that has caused the calsifieing of my limph node in my thymus region.
They do not want to do surgery as this mass is lying right above my heart and they would have to crack my chest open to get to it.I found out i had Histo when i got lesions on my skin(doc thought i had H.I.V.!!! )But through 3 biopsies of these lesions they learned i had the histo.I was so exited to know that it wasn't cancer that i forgot to ask...Does this mean i have disiminated histoplasmosis?Can this kill me?The man on the show could have died if they would not have found this in time.I have a support group of people who have histo via support group on the internet who have these and have coughed them up.Can this spead to other places in my body?Like all my limph nodes or?Thank you so much for taking the time to help me its very rare these days for some one of your importance to take time for us ill scared people..Thanks so much and can you answer those questions?
Hugs!

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