Cold season...

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CR1954
CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Ok, I am desperately trying to duck and dodge any illness out there. But what does one do when one's family has all come down with nasty colds? I can't avoid them. And while I wash my hands frequently and run around behind them with a can of Lysol, spraying everything they touch, I fear that catching said cold is inevitible.

My question is: if I come down with it, will it put the brakes on my chemo?? Or will I still be able to get infusions? And is this a silly question????

CR

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  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
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    THOSE DARN COLDS
    May I suggest incorporating a multivitamin into your daily routine and perhaps a glass of 100 percent orange juice a few times a week. I also keep dial anti bacteria soap in my kitchen and bathrooms. A regular routine of exercise will increase your ability to fight illness as well. Hope this has helped a bit.

    My best to you,

    RE
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
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    Germs!
    Can it put the brakes on your chemo? Yep, and put you in the hospital too if it is bad enough. But germs are all around us and we can only do what we can do. Fortunately we become immune to many of them. Don't take any vitamin therapy during chemo your oncologist doesn't okay first. It may stop the chemo from working at all. Overdoing the carrot juice can do the same thing I'm told, so check with the doctor before you do more than make a balanced diet. I don't have chemo but I have lung cancer diagnosed as well as breast cancer, so a cold can put me in the hospital too if it is bad enough. There are things I can do. First thing I do is limit unnecessary exposure. That meant quitting my Sunday School teaching job with the 2's and 3's that have strep germs OUTSIDE my family. I hated not seeing the little ones, but Sunday School with adults has been a good thing too and my incidence of colds went WAY down. One lady I knew avoided the germs with strangers by letting someone else do the candy at the door at Halloween. Sometimes I still get exposed to kids with germs outside my family. I didn't quit my "real" job that is also with children. Hey, someone has to pay the bills or I won't have any medical care at all! But I have kleenix boxes all over the office so they use tissues rather than drip all over me! I wash my hands before I eat and try really hard not to touch my eyes or nose or mouth where most strep germs gain their entry. At home I try to get my son to wash his hands, use kleenix and then toss them in the trash, and eat right so he doesn't get sick as much. I make him get a flu shot as well as me. If he gets sick, I make him sick on the far side of the table. I might empty trash cans more often (washing my hands afterward of course) and wipe down counters in the bathroom and kitchen with a spray or a wipe containing bleach. I change the dishrag a bit more often. I wear rubber gloves when I clean dishes to avoid lymphedema, but I believe that helps when I scrape dirty dishes too and those dirty eating utensils. My nurse at school swears by those antibacterial hand sanitizers. They are a little easier on the skin. Finally, if I do get sick I go to the doctor sooner rather than later. He has to help me hit any illness hard before it gets bad. Cats (we currently have two) can get strep and pass it on to their owners, so they go to the vet if they start sneezing. So far, so good. By the way, be careful with the Lysol around pets and children. The stuff is poisonous to cats if they lick stuff sprayed with it.
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
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    Of course, you need to do
    Of course, you need to do anything/everything you can. But, if it helps, I continued working during chemo, (with 125 incarcerated high school boys - none too clean) and did not get sick. I did have a flu shot. So, while you need to act wisely (I probably didn't), getting sick, even with all the germs, is not inevitable. I wish you an easy, healthy time of the rest of your chemo! love, Joyce
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    I agree with the others, ask
    I agree with the others, ask your Dr. or chemo nurses how to stay healthy or what to do if you get sick. Go to Dr. sooner, rather than later. With Dr's. OK, take vitamins and drink juice along with a healthy diet. Get enough rest. Keep things clean, but don't make yourself crazy. I continued working in public school as a Speech Pathologist...up close with small groups of kids. I just made sure we all used hand sanitizer and I used lysol wipes on every surface touched by anyone in my room with a runny nose or cough. I was on one treatment or other the whole school year and I only had to get antibiotics once...didn't miss work at all for being sick, so catching a cold is not inevitable.

    Best wishes, seof
  • NorcalJ
    NorcalJ Member Posts: 187
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    seof said:

    I agree with the others, ask
    I agree with the others, ask your Dr. or chemo nurses how to stay healthy or what to do if you get sick. Go to Dr. sooner, rather than later. With Dr's. OK, take vitamins and drink juice along with a healthy diet. Get enough rest. Keep things clean, but don't make yourself crazy. I continued working in public school as a Speech Pathologist...up close with small groups of kids. I just made sure we all used hand sanitizer and I used lysol wipes on every surface touched by anyone in my room with a runny nose or cough. I was on one treatment or other the whole school year and I only had to get antibiotics once...didn't miss work at all for being sick, so catching a cold is not inevitable.

    Best wishes, seof

    Colds
    I also agree with all this great advice, and I would add a couple of small suggestions---
    use only liquid soap because bar soap can grow bacteria in between uses (germs love moist places to procreate).

    And, since my 2 indoor cats are my babies, I asked my vet what to use to clean surfaces, and she suggested Windex. Just like in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" LOL
    Works great, and the cats are fine.

    You're doing all the right things, keep it up and you'll be fine.
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
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    Well, it's official....
    Thank you all. I appreciate your good advice and suggestions, as always!

    I have been very, very careful about trying to avoid germs and contact with people who are sick. I wash my hands numerous times a day, carry hand sanitizer with me, have antiacterial wipes in different rooms of the house, as well as in the car. I try to avoid heavily populated and closed in places. I wipe down shopping cart handles. I take a good multi-vitamin, as suggested by the onc. Pretty much covered what I possibly could.

    And then my husband came down with his cold....and it's official now. I have been up blowing my nose half of the night. Having a regular old sneeze fest. Ugggghhhhhh!!!!! I have run around behind him since he became sick, spraying everything he touched with Lysol...but I'm afraid that the deed is done. And I am worried.

    It has always taken me a long time to get over a cold, as it usually ends up in my chest and I develop a cough that lasts for months. I am afraid of what will happen now. The good news I guess, is that I had a pneumonia shot just last year.

    Sheesh! Sabotaged by a bug in my own home!

    Now, I am not quite sure what to do. At this point of course, it is merely a head cold.

    Again, ugggghhhhh!!!!

    CR
  • NorcalJ
    NorcalJ Member Posts: 187
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    Don't panic
    When in doubt, call your onc. It may depend on your labs. When are your next ones due? Do you have a temp? (Sorry, I once had Dr. Attitude sniff and tell me "everyone has a temperature"--so do you have a Fever--usually over 100.5?)

    Chicken soup, lots of fluids, plenty of rest--same thing you tell your kids.

    Take a deep breath---as much as you can--don't panic until you've got ALL the facts from the doc.

    Good luck!
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
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    CR1954 said:

    Well, it's official....
    Thank you all. I appreciate your good advice and suggestions, as always!

    I have been very, very careful about trying to avoid germs and contact with people who are sick. I wash my hands numerous times a day, carry hand sanitizer with me, have antiacterial wipes in different rooms of the house, as well as in the car. I try to avoid heavily populated and closed in places. I wipe down shopping cart handles. I take a good multi-vitamin, as suggested by the onc. Pretty much covered what I possibly could.

    And then my husband came down with his cold....and it's official now. I have been up blowing my nose half of the night. Having a regular old sneeze fest. Ugggghhhhhh!!!!! I have run around behind him since he became sick, spraying everything he touched with Lysol...but I'm afraid that the deed is done. And I am worried.

    It has always taken me a long time to get over a cold, as it usually ends up in my chest and I develop a cough that lasts for months. I am afraid of what will happen now. The good news I guess, is that I had a pneumonia shot just last year.

    Sheesh! Sabotaged by a bug in my own home!

    Now, I am not quite sure what to do. At this point of course, it is merely a head cold.

    Again, ugggghhhhh!!!!

    CR

    Hi CR, you did all you
    Hi CR, you did all you could. Now, you need to be careful with a fever. If your temp goes up to 100 you need to call your oncologist. Doesn't matter what time it is. It's hard for us in treatments to fight any type of virus because our white blood cell counts are low, so an ordinary cold might have us developing a fever. The oncologist will then put you on an antibiotic so that it doesn't turn into anything worse. Hope you feel better soon, Hugs, Lili
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
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    'Tis the season, I guess....
    Thank you dear ladies. I am trying not to worry too much, but as you know, the consequences of picking up a bug can be pretty severe. My onc had told me that if I pick up a virus, chances are that it will run its course, although possibly last longer and be more severe than normally. But that I would very likely be ok. He said that it is the bacterial infections that could, in fact, kill me. So, at this point, I am going to do what I can to keep it from developing into something worse.

    I am taking my temperature regularly, so keeping an eye on that. I have bloodwork tomorrow and I see my onc in three days for my pre-infusion check

    So, as of right now, it is just a miserable cold. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it just remains that way.

    Thank you all so much for your calming advice. Very much appreciated!

    CR