CSN Login
Members Online: 17

Isolation while on Chemo?

micheleamw
Posts: 62
Joined: Jan 2004

Good morning to everyone. It is me...again.

While starting chemo yesterday, my Dad seemed to become somewhat depressed. The nurses told him that he shouldn't get around anyone sick, and that he needs to stay out of the sun. Does this mean that it is necessary to stay at home, isolated? I hope that he is able to do some things. I realize that he shouldn't knowingly be around someone that has a cold or the flu, but there is no way to usually tell that while you out in public. Suggestions?

Thank you all for being so kind, and making me feel welcome. God Bless you all!

Hugs
Michele

rep801's picture
rep801
Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Michele.
Regarding isolation, not in the sense of seeing no one, but I wouldn't shake hands, hug or kiss someone with the flu or a cold etc. The reason is that his chemo will probably start decreaseing his white blood cells somewhat which fight infection. So it is a function of just being smart, not being a hermit.

Regarding staying out of the sun, I was also given the same advice. The reason in my case was being on Leukovorin which makes your skin sensitive. So again, it is more a function of just being smart in what you do. I wouldn't go out and lay in the sun in Arizona for hours at a time, but normal outside activities should be ok.

Bob

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Michele,
Your dad is lucky to have you and your help and concern. I'm currently on 5FU and Leucovorin, but not Oxalplatin, so there might be other side effects that he has to watch for. My chemo is more likely to depress red blood cell count, poss leading to anemia and fatigue. So far my blood counts are holding. I work as a nurse in a nursing home 2 days a week, and it would be impossible to avoid sick people, especially this time of year in New England. my onc has encouraged me to use commom sense...good hand washing, and keeping out of sneezing distance from folks with colds.
I don't know about your dad's overall condition; if he is still weak or underweight, it makes all the more sense to be cautious. The sun sensitivity should be helped by just staying moderately covered up; as agent Bob says, no sun bathing. (My bikini days are long gone anyway, and who sun bathes in Boston in Feb?) Hope this helps; I'd encourage your dad to formulate his questions and write them down for the next visit. My nurse practicioner has been really helpful. Best of luck to both of you on this journey; hope we can help.
Judy

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Michele -

Bob & Judy hit the nail on the head as to why no close contact with other folks. Your dad's imune system will be brought way down. I was told to wash my hands like a maniac, keep out of the sun (that was tuff for a sailor-type like me), stay away from big crowds and sick folks, and no eating raw seafood (I had significant issues with that one since I'm hopelessly addicted to sushi)!

He'll do fine... tell him he can put away the plastic bubble!

Best regards

- SpongeBob

bryancarson's picture
bryancarson
Posts: 47
Joined: Jan 2004

I am a youth pastor and staying away from people that were sick was almost impossible. I told everyone I knew that if they were sick to stay away. It wasn't that I didn't love them, I just had to love myself more for the time being. Everyone understood. I washed my hands constantly and stayed up on my zinc intake and other vitamins. Normally, I love to be in the sun, but I had to curb that action. it was very difficult for me. I love to be at the beach and be active outdoors. The chemo curbed that for me too, I didn't even feel like being with people or in the sun, so really it's self limiting. I hope he does well. It's a pretty NORMAL, if there is such a thing, chemo.

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Rats!--you all beat me to it--just when I had all the answers--he he
Hey Michelle-as bryan said it is kinda self limiting--and as for washing hands-I got paranoid-but seriously he does not have to lock himself away.Just use all the info here and common sense.
Do try to avoid lots of crowdy places and it does not hurt to ask friends if they have colds etc.It can be serious if infections are contracted so he needs to be carefull not to scratch insect bites --clean accidental cuts etc,--just be carefull.
hugs from OZ , kanga n Jen

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network