Posted this originally on 'Living with cancer' and was advised to try on this.
I have been seeing the nurse at my GP surgery for a few weeks to have my fungating wounds on my breast dressed. It started with honey patches, then moved to honey on gauze, then a honey wound care ointment all these helped mask the smell and to start with it was great, I was quite happy with this, well as happy as could be in the situation. My GP also gave me antibiotics as there was quite a lot of pus, this seemed to help the smell initially. But as soon as the anti biotics have stopped the smell has got worse. I really dont fancy using antibiotics nor would I think it sensible given that I dont want to build up a resistance to them as I may need them for something else during treatment (hopefully not)
Now the hospital have told me to swap to a carbon type dressing to help with the odour as I was getting more wounds which were starting to leak and smell. The also think they the wound has gone beyond honey and I need something with silver in. I find these make the smell seem worse as I'm not allowed to use adhesive dressings over the top of it because my breast is swollen, the skin is pelling off. They seem to think the adhesive dressings is making it worse. I have been given the kerramax pads which just sit in my bra I have to use 2 at a time which I seem to leak through within an hour, through the bra and top. So when I go out I have to make sure I keep my coat on as im not sure what state my top will be in if I take it off. The smell is there contantly now, even in the shower it never goes away.
The wounds are getting worse because in the past 3 weeks I have developed 2 more, a smaller one and a much larger one. They start as ulcers which are painful then when they burst that is when the leakage and smell start.
I know my oncologist said the chemo should help a bit which I start tomorrow morning but what do I do in the mean time as its getting much worse? It's going to take a while to get on top of.
I know it sounds daft but this is my biggest problem at the minute, we all want to live life as normally as possible, but with this I find it quite difficult to spend time with friends ect for fear of the strong smell and leaking through my top.
Any advice on how did you manage the leakage/smell problem as I know I cant be the only one who has faced this? Is there anything I can do to help?