Our bodies are unique complex machines. We may not have a dashboard light that comes on to tell us something is wrong with our engine, but we do have a temperature gauge. You get to know your car. When the temperature gauge in the car rises, we take note, because something could be wrong. It is a warning. We wouldn’t ignore that would we? So why should we ignore our own body temperatures? Just like our individual cars that run at individual temperatures on individual gauges, such is our own individual body temperatures. When it rises, it’s a warning signal.
About a year before diagnosis I developed a low grade fever of 99.0ºF. My temperature is normally 97.4 - 97.6. So 99.0 for me would be like 100.0 for someone who is the perfect normal of 98.6. When my temperature rose to 99º I developed the notion something must have been wrong. I had no outward signs of any illness other then my eyelids being hot. It continued day after day with no other signs. The doctors and nurses had the “what’s the big deal” attitude. Normal is 98.6 period. Especially if they took my temperature and it was 98.8º, certainly I must be a hypochondriac. Even though 98.6 is abnormally elevated for me.
To them, it was only 0.2 above normal. For me, it was a fever. But with them acting like I was being ridiculously unreasonable, I brushed it off as getting older. Body changes. Perhaps a new standard for me. Brain washed?
After being diagnosed with cancer, I asked 3 different breast and cancer doctors if body temperature has anything to do with cancer. 2 out of 3 said “absolutely! Yes!” Near the end of chemotherapy my temperature returned to my normal 97.4.
I then started radiation. Halfway through radiation my temperature began rising again. No other outward symptoms. Hmmmm. I told the nurse, my temperature is higher then normal for me. I asked if perhaps I should start a cancer inhibitor. I was told no and basically disregarded. The day after my last radiation, I started on Aromasin to cut off estrogen supply to any remain cancer cells. Two weeks later, my temperature returned to my normal 97.4. Coincidence?
Because Aromasin took a disabling toll on my joints and muscles, my doctor wanted me to try Arimidex then Femera to see if either of these would be easier on me. On Arimidex, it became easier and easier to move around the longer I was on it. But at the end of 2 weeks, my eyelids grew hot, and my temp was 97.9. It rose a little every day to 99.2 four days later. Now I’m thinking there IS something to fever and cancer detection. It would make sense that it was possible cancer was starting to grow again during the end half of radiation. When I started medication for advanced/metastatic cancer, the fever went away. When I started a different medication, I may have felt better, but is the fever is telling me, the medication isn’t working? I started Femara. Near a week the joint pain is back, I’m becoming less mobile, yet the elevated temperature is still there.
I did a search. I found a re-confirmation of my thoughts and what 2 doctors told me. The body’s immune system may be kicking in to fight the foreign cells causing temperature elevation or the cells are using up the body’s resources to grow, causing temperature elevation. Fever is a symptom of cancer. (What IS a fever for YOU? ) With that information, I might be able to draw a conclusion that Arimidex did not work for me. Which of course brings up the “oh shit, the cancer is growing again” fear.
Next… possible symptoms of cancer…