• Living through chemo...

    Asked by HearMeRoar on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Living through chemo...

    I've heard that during chemo you aren't supposed to go outside/ be around dirt etc. Is that a rumor? Gosh my family is so very active... hiking, biking etc. I've been told chemo for 4 to 6 months. Is this the end of my outdoorsy-ness for a while? I am young... 36 with two active boys 8, 10. I understand during chemo week being down, but I'm told by the doc that I'll likely have chemo one day every three weeks for 4-6 total treatments. Thanks!

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • Cindy's Avatar

      Chemo can lower your white blood cell count which can make it easier to get infections and catch diseases from other people. So, you should be careful about getting cuts and avoiding germs. That doesn't mean you can't do anything outdoors. I would just avoid doing anything where there is a high risk of getting injured or exposed to germs. Hiking on easy trails should be okay.

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I was never told not to go outside....in fact, my DH got me walking every night and my onc was pleased with me exercising....No one ever told me to limit raw fruits and veggies either.....I work in an elementary school and during chemo, my onc gave me the go ahead to work....but said if I didn't want to work he would write something so I could take off.....Sooooo for me I gather there is no standard protocol of dos and donts

      over 5 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I don't see why you can't hike/bike if you feel up to it. When my immunity was low I was told to avoid indoor crowds, not the fresh outdoors! I was encouraged to be as active as I wanted to be. When my red blood cell counts were low I did not have much energy and would get easily winded but I still tried to get out for a walk every day. Plan to be active and take it easy when you feel you need to.

      over 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Like Karen, I worked thru chemo. Other than treatment. :days, I onlmmmmy missed 2 days -- 1 because my chemo day was moved back a day and I didn't feel safe to drive as I took narcotics 2 &3 days after chemo. 2nd was because my IV leaked, my arm hurt a lot and we had a really bad snow storm. Again, didn't feel safe to drive. There were only about 2 days every 3 weeks when I was really housebound. Good luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Chemotherapy drugs kill white blood cells. What blood cells are what protects us from infections. So during chemo, your have to be more careful to no get any infections. That doesn't mean you can't hike or bike or do anything else outdoors. Be careful to avoid injuries that could get infected. The biggest risk is actually indoors where viruses, bacteria, and fungi thrive. You will need to do a lot of hand washing and sanitizing. Don't share food, glasses or utensils with others, and keep your distance from people who are sick.

      over 5 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I was never told not to go outside -- I was told to avoid crowds so that I would not pick up germs or the latest virus, etc. Since it is known fact that sick people will still go to Church, the Grocery Store and the Pharmacy -- I stayed away from those places during Chemo. Outings -- fresh air -- a change of environment was great therapy for my mental disposition. We would go out to dinner at 4 PM when there was no crowd - we would go shopping on a Monday Morning when the Mall was empty - I was very successful in my efforts -- even though my family had colds etc. (my husband even had to go on antibiotics) -- I never got sick. I wish you the best!

      over 5 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      My Dr specifically told me to not isolate myself or worry about wearing a mask. He said he would keep a close eye on all my numbers and if he saw something that concerned him, he would let me know. I was getting cisplatin & etoposide for 5 days then 2 weeks of recovery. If my WBC went a little too low (it usually did) he'd give me a neupogen or neulasta shot.

      over 5 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I do go out side and have activities outside with my family. Just be careful. Being indoors with a coughing kid is more dangerous than being in the open air

      over 5 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      I will be 38 in May I completely understand you. I don't have any kids but I have a Chocolate Lab that I love to death and keeps me busy. Get outside and do what you can when you feel you can. Some things will die down some or can't go as long or hard but do a little or what you can. Yes, the 1 treatment every 3 weeks ugh! that week not so hot but I still went and did what I could do. Walk the dog, pulls weeds (wore gloves), even when food stunk (like being pregnant which I've never been) I'd come home and make my man his dinner cause that's what I did, he helped too being a farmer he did push me ok your throwing up or sick take it easy chill but the days you knew you had that just little in you, move!!... and lots of water hated thinking of that crap in my body!.

      over 5 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I worked all through my chemo treatments which were April-August. I work for Parks and Recreation and was running a Community Center and Summer Camp. I kept a HEPA filter in my office but other than that, I pretty much did everything else. I played outside, went swimming. The only thing I did not do was ride on the bus with all the kids to any field trips. Being contained in a small area with that many children was not a good idea. I did not get sick the whole time and my WBC was only too low for chemo once during that whole time. Just be careful around people who may be sick. Wash your hands often and carry antibacterial hand sanitizer like Purell with you. be mindful of cuts ans scrapes and bug bites as these can take a LONG time to heal. I got bitten by some mosquitoes and it took months for the red marks to finally go away.

      over 5 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      You can still do outdoor activities as you feel able. Just be careful of injuries or risk of infection while your immune system is compromised. That applies to indoors as well as outdoors. Best of luck. God bless you :)

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Chemo lowers your immune system so you need to careful. I have out and about through out my treatment. Going to plays, movies etc. You do have to careful, and I try to avoid mass transit during rush hours. Speak with your oncology team and ask them what your restrictions are. I was able to visit my Dad in the hospital as long as I put on gloves and a mask and stayed no longer then 15-20 when I was on oral chemo. I was unable to visit my MIL in the hospital before she passed away, that was mostly because she developed a fever and infection. On the other had I was given permission to visit a friend in hospice care. even though had switched to infusion therapy. A lot depends on what drugs you are on and what your white blood cell counts are. When mine plummeted I was told to be very very careful, and avoid places with lots of people.

      over 5 years ago
    • Marshah's Avatar

      I wondered about this also. During the time I was in Chemo I was out side and noticed some weeds that needed pulled. I put on my latex gloves and did a little weeding. At my next oncologist visit I mentioned to the Dr. about this. His only response was that "it was wise to have on the latex gloves". A lot probably has to do with how your blood counts are doing. If they are too low, you are more susceptible to getting something. It is best to always check with your Dr. to see what they say in your case.

      over 5 years ago
    • Nellie's Avatar

      I was told to wear gloves if I did dishes. DO NOT clean litter box or the bathroom toilet. I worked during chemo, but not the day of. Wash your hands frequently and enjoy the outdoors if you feel like it.

      over 5 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      My doctor encouraged me to be as active as I was able to be. She wanted me out to get for real sun for Vitamin D because I was low going into chemo but avoid main hours from 10-2. She said ok to go to grocery store for food items but I always made sure to wash hands when I got home. I also had garden gloves because of the tingling pain from touching cold items due to my chemo drugs for colon cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      Agree with everyone was else. I went through chemo when I was 44 with 2 children. I took up lots of walking and running at the beginning of chemo because I wanted to get into and stay in good shape. Going on long walks the day after chemo is a great way to get fresh air and get the drugs moving through your body (the steroids and anti-histemines can do strange things)- being in nature is always nourishing to the spirit. I avoided dirt trails and dust and garden dirt during chemo but otherwise, tried to be as active as possible. I did try to avoid crowded indoor events. So, like everyone else said. Go for it, do what you feel your body is capable of and enjoy time outside with your children! When you need to, hopefully you'll be able to rest inside - and the children will be worn out from their outside adventures with you. Hugs.

      over 5 years ago
    • Topazcat's Avatar

      I went through 16 chemos, one every week. I continued to work with the Juvenile Drug Court, so often saw teens with colds in my office. I also spent time outside and really did not give up my usual activities. Continued going to movies, shopping, cleaning house, parties, gardening, etc. The 3 days after chemo I was tired but determined not to let cancer dictate what I could and couldn't do! I was lucky and never had even a cold during my chemo and radiation. Good luck to you!

      over 5 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      Live your life to the fullest!!! Take the necessary precautions you would normally take to avoid illness or infection. Going outdoors and exercising is the best medicine for your mental and physical health.

      over 5 years ago

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