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Swimming during Chemo?

max2111
Posts: 7
Joined: May 2013

Hi Everyone,

I am interested in hearing your opinions on swimming in public and/or private pools while you are a chemo patient?   What has your oncologist said and have you had a bad experience after swimming in a public pool?   I know about the issue with direct sunlight.   I would have an umbrella for that.  I just wanted to know about being in the water or not?

 

Thanks so much!    Cool

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

I am olive-complected and never worried about sunburn.  On taxotere, I am having a terrible time with sunburned, swollen cheeks and eyelids.  I also felt nauseated and awful the next day. The rest of me is fine.

My oncologist warned me that my chemo would make me photosensitive, so I use SPF50 sunscreen and wear a large UV hat and guess what?--still a no go.  I am now doing mall walking because I just can not go out in the middle of the day.

Be very aware of how toxic the sun can be while you are on chemo.  My onc said the worst sunburn that he has ever seen was a patient on chemo who went to Florida on vacation.

An umbrella will not be enough.  It is not just direct sunlight for me.  It appears to be indirect as well.  Use an excellent sunblock (minimum SPF 30) and cover up as much as you can.  Be careful and have an exit plan if you start to burn or begin to feel sick. 

As far as the pool is concerned, it will depend on who is maintaining the pool.  Our daughter caught an eye infection from a public pool once.  I remember saying how nice it was that the pool had no chlorine smell...Lol.  Maybe not such a good thing to have less chlorine.  There are chlorine free pools that are safe too.  But you might ask pool manager how often and when pool is serviced just to be safe!

Good luck and be safe!

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