• is it true that I will not be able to be around people when I start chemo? I am not a stay in the house person. I dont care if people stare

    Asked by zaynah on Saturday, July 14, 2012

    is it true that I will not be able to be around people when I start chemo? I am not a stay in the house person. I dont care if people stare

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      Since your immune system is compromised (your WBC will be affected by the chemo) you are more at risk for catching stuff that is going around. My MO wanted me to keep my distance from classrooms full of small children. Other than that, I continued with my social and work life. I just had to be very careful about not picking up any germs. xoxoxo

      about 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      You can be around people. You will just need to be careful about infections and that is true whether you are around people or not. Stock up on anti-bacterial soap, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer.

      about 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      during my first round with cancer, one time I developed a 105.9 fever. Woke up in a pool of sweat. I was going through chemo and my white blood count got down to 500 at that time. I don't remember being around anyone sick, the doc said my white blood count was so low that my body just developed an infection that it couldn't fight off. I spent a week in the hospital just taking antibiotics. As nancy said, you will just have to be extra careful. Best of luck to you, hope your treatments are swift and easy!

      about 5 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      You can be around people, just not sick people because chemo can affect your body's ability to fight off germs. In our experience, we used common sense-- asked people not to visit the home when they're sick, used good hygiene, and stayed away from high risk places and people. Hospitals are filled with sick people and germs. So, we were advised to, when possible, try calling the cancer center first to deal with any of the symptoms that arise, instead of the ER if it wasn't a real emergency.

      In places like grocery stores, where we are, some of them have anti-bacterial wipes available by the carts to wipe the handle. You can also buy those handy little bottles of hand sanitizer to toss into your bag.

      about 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      hand hygiene hand hygiene hand hygiene!!!!!

      i had everyone foam in to my office... asked students to use the foam... our child used the foam when he came home from school... his friends used the foam. if children were ill, we sent them home. i sometimes wondered what parents were thinking when children arrived goopy under the nose... but... well, that's just life. when there was a goopy child around, i just used the foam a lot!

      the chemo nurses gave me the real deal - the kind they have on the chemo floor. i highly recommend foam or hand sanitizer over washing washing washing because it will help your skin stay nicer... if you're like me, you'll have dry skin, and many hand washings will only make that worse.

      i credit the foam with a lot - i did not end up in the hospital.... i had only one cold throughout chemo... i did have a bout with cellulitis, but that was associated with a blunt trauma not with an exposure...

      i did end up with super low counts one time (below 500)... at that point, i was instructed to stay in for the weekend. it sucked, and i was sad to miss my weekly sunday pizza with friends... but it was one weekend out of 5 months of chemo. not bad!

      good luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • zaynah's Avatar

      thanks everyone! I hope it will go quick for me. much love and prayers to all!

      about 5 years ago
    • AbbysMom's Avatar

      I was just very careful - lots of hand washing. I even went to church (might of been crazy about that since there's hand shaking). I had a cold during chemo that didn't get any further than that. Within a week after completion of chemo I came down with pneumonia and was in the hospital for a couple of days. Once everything was under control, I was out of there. There's many more bugs there than anywhere else. Just be cautious and smart. Good luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I worked throughout my chemo and was teaching computers to children from ages 3 - 13! Talk about one of the germiest jobs!

      Like others have mentioned, be vigilant about washing your hands. I had the containers of wipes everywhere! I had them in my car and would wipe my hands after using the ATM, coming out of a store, after pushing a shopping cart, etc. We had bottles of Purell everywhere, too. My kids' friends who came into our house had to goop, my students coming into the computer lab had to goop.

      I was cautious, not neurotic. Fortunately, I never got sick. Every time you go for treatment, they will test your blood counts. If it is below the acceptable limit, you won't receive treatment and will most likely receive an immune booster. During that time, when your counts are low, avoid crowds and sick people. But during other times, be cautious and wash frequently. Don't stop living, however!

      Also, avoid contact with soil and animal waste. My numbers went down after I had been blueberry picking. My onco nurses told me no more farms, picking or gardening.

      about 5 years ago
    • car092360's Avatar

      I was using public transportation during my entire chemo treatments. I don't have a car so that's how I get to work. This was during the winter and flu/cold season. I took hand sanitizer with me wherever I went and made sure I used it. I was lucky that my WBC's stayed at a good level. I never once got sick from flu/colds. I'm a hand washing fool anyway (from years working daycare) so I already had precautions in place. Like Leepenn says "Hand Hygiene!". Good luck!

      about 5 years ago

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