• COVID-19/Christmas/Missing my Dad

    Asked by AshleyM on Monday, December 14, 2020

    COVID-19/Christmas/Missing my Dad

    My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 3 squamous esophagus cancer. He is current undergoing radiation and chemo. This coming week is his last chemo treatment and he has about 9 more zaps of radiation. I live in FL and my parents are in AL. I’m really struggling on visiting for Christmas. I’m so worried about COVID. I have two children 2.5 and 4 months and a husband. I’m so worried we will make Dad sick. Anyone have any advice for me on visiting for Christmas or not? He has a tough road ahead of surgery (in February) and I just want to make sure we do everything we can to optimize that procedure.

    Thank you for your advice!!!

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • Bug's Avatar

      I'm sorry about your dad's diagnosis, AshleyM. I can understand the urge to see him but, personally, I would resist. He is already immune compromised because of his treatments. It would be best for him to be as strong as possible for the upcoming surgery. I think that instead I would try to find other ways to connect frequently - phone calls, Zoom, send him sweet notes... What are your dad's feelings about you and your family visiting? Best wishes to all of you.

      9 months ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      What type of devices does your dad have? We have an iPad and we use FaceTime. Your dad would also need an iPad...might be a gift suggestion.
      Other than that I have used Zoom, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, and simply texting.
      Maybe just a phone call is the best. Send pictures online so he can see you.

      9 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I agree that visiting could definitely compromise your dad's health. My mom is 90 ... nearly 91, now ... and we skipped Thanksgiving and probably will skip Christmas as well because I don't want to take an outside chance of taking the virus to her. And, I mostly stay isolated myself, both to avoid having to fight COVID personally but also because I don't want to catch it and bring it home to my husband.

      Bug and alivenwell both had great ideas for how to be in touch even though you aren't there in person. Hang in there - this too shall pass (I hope and pray). Best of luck to your dad!!

      9 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar

      I agree - I would refrain from visiting in person - as tempting as it may be. It's not worth the risk that your father might get COVID. An iPad for getting together is a really good idea. Consumer Cellular has a pretty decent deal of them that includes the cell phone/internet service.

      9 months ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar

      Ashley, I have to agree with the other posts, and it is hard for me to say it because I may be one of the people here who have a much more casual attitude about all the restrictions going on. But, I've been through chemo and radiation, (when there was no virus going on), and frankly, a visit from my out-of-state family, including very young children, would have worn me out. So there's that, and there's also the virus. The good news is - there is a vaccine on the horizon and your father will likely be finished with his treatment in the time it might take you to receive immunity. I'm betting soon you can all embrace with peace of mind and it will be worth the wait.

      9 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      I have to agree with everyone else. I know it is going to be hard, because I know you really want to be there. It just isn't worth the chance of taking anything to your parents or catching something yourselves. Stay safe.

      9 months ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      Our one hospital just announced available COVID shots from Pfizer for health care workers. Check your area's availability.

      9 months ago
    • AshleyM's Avatar

      Thank you everyone for the replies— I think the most difficult thing to tell family members that you love: “I won’t be home for christmas”. However that’s a heck of a lot better than that family member telling me they can’t get a treatment because they are sick. I just couldn’t live with myself if I compromised any forward momentum. Thank you for all the replies it helps to validate my decision making process and I really appreciate it! As dad says “Keep Truckin”

      9 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I’m late here but echo what everyone else has said. Best wishes to your dad and you.

      9 months ago
    • andreacha's Avatar

      AshleyM - It's only a suggestion but I know of a few nurses that have used their own devices to connect with a patient's family. It wouldn't hurt to ask if he doesn't have a device of his own.

      9 months ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar

      It’s hard to sacrifice this special time with family but it’s better to do that in order to have special times again later. I agree with all the above mentioned ideas. Both of my husbands parents are fighting COVID right now. They are 88 and 89 years old. We missed having Thanksgiving with them and don’t know if we can visit them for Christmas. We are waiting for a negative test tomorrow to see what we can do. They seem to be getting better but we are still worried about them getting fully recovered. It’s a tough virus to beat! Wishing you and your family well during all this!

      9 months ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      I forgot about Skype. It runs on Android, Microsoft PCs, iPhones, and iPads. It is also free.

      9 months ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar

      @AshleyM, I hope you were able to find a way to communicate or see your family over Christmas- at least virtually. We did a virtual Christmas meeting with my family. It turned out okay. It was probably as well as Christmas would have turned out, and when we signed off- we all got to go on about our days. LOL
      I won't lie. It was super hard not being there to have that in person time. I think there comes that time when we wonder, especially with aging parents and those who have chronic illnesses, how much risk is too much risk.
      I think maybe this Christmas has let a lot of families understand what families of immunocompromised people have been through in the past- those with cancers or other diseases that cause immunodeficiency. These are hard decisions to make.
      Anyhow, again I hope your family was able to make the decision that was best for you all.

      9 months ago

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