After 13 days in the hospital we received news today that Nick was infected with a fungus called Acremonium. Of course, this type of fungus rarely causes disease in humans. If there is anything we know about Nick, it is that he is always on the ‘rare’ end of things. It isn’t enough that he has a history of 4 rare cancers but now he has to endure a relatively rare fungus that can cause maxillary sinusitis in immuno-compromised patients. The source of this type of fungus is usually soil or dead plant material.
The silver lining here is that his fungus is not systemic (it is not in his blood stream) and it is not one of the bad ones. This is Nick’s second bout with a fungus and it is scary to think that a fungus can be as bad as the cancer itself. If you want to take the time to look into scary fungi, I would suggest reading about Mucoromycotina. Looking back, it would never occur to me to consider a fungus for someone that has a fever because we tend toward associating fever and ill health with bacteria that can generally be killed with antibiotics. If you or someone you care about is having health problems, don’t hesitate to ask about fungi.
The road to killing this fungus will involve IV fungal treatments and surgery. It looks like we are a few weeks away from a surgical procedure that will remove the fungus and any necrotic (dead) or infected bone in and around Nick’s tumor site.