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Leaking Chemo

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Yep, you read it right, not allowed to touch grandson, because I'm leaking chemo through my pores. Yep, that's the latest theory my son's fiancee' has, all of a sudden, I'm a chemo leak and shouldn't touch my grandson.
I could see if my little darling was sucking on my arm, which I wouldn't ever allow, but not to be able to hold him?
They just bought the engagement ring two days ago.
This isn't a great way to endear yourself to your future mother-in-law. No, indeedy.

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

It looks like she may need a little education. I always try to remember that when people ludicrous statements or assumptions that they are just not properly informed about things. Holding your grandson seems like great therapy for both of you. I do know that for chemo in general, nurses are told to use extra precautions (chemo gloves and gown) with chemo patient's by products (urine, feces, vomit) for 48hrs after chemo and then go back to normal procedures.

Continue using PPE for 48 hours after the patient has completed his chemotherapy; after that, you can simply wear one pair of gloves, no gown and flush the toilet just once. http://www.ehow.com/way_5661548_nurse-chemotherapy-precautions.html

The basic information given is In most cases, chemotherapy is excreted in the body fluids for up to 48 hours after treatment, although some agents can be found in excrement for up to 7 days. This includes urine, stool, vomit, semen, and vaginal fluid. As for semen and vaginal fluids, condoms should be used for any sexual activity within the 7- day time frame to avoid exposure.

Perhaps if you tell her this and maybe negotiate a 48hr "no hold" policy with your future daughter in law she will feel better and she may feel that you have acknowledged her concerns. After being hurt and angry I'd probably try that approach myself. Just a thought.

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

I guess we could say she's being protective of your precious one and praise her. (Wish we had an eye rolling smilie)

I think the 48 hour rule and telling her you'd checked it out with the American Cancer Society might do the trick. If not, invite her to come with you to the doctor or chemo to ask any questions.

How old is your grandson? Aren't they just a joy!!!

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

I hope ignorance isn't contagious...
Fasten your seatbelt, it may be a bumpy ride.
I'd make sure I gave her a nice big HUG every time you see her!

maglets's picture
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

that's a shame....

sorry....oh where or where to begin


geotina's picture
Posts: 2116
Joined: Oct 2009

How hurtful, inconsiderate and ignorant of that girl. I'm sorry.

Agree with Phil............

Oh, and after you hug that girl, give her a big kiss on the cheek.......

Take care - Tina

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

I would go for tongue but that's me!

pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009

Oh My you toxic spill you (said sarcastically with a BIG eye roll)

You'd think that everyone who ever touched or hugged any of us on this board alone would be dead or have a 3rd eye or some deformity because of our toxic nasty selves.

OMG, what a dumbazz...

OK, i must calm down.

Next time dollie is at your house or you are in her presence I would call your oncologists office and hand the ohone over to that brilliant girl and let the Onc or Nurse (tell the nurse to pretend she's the Onc, who cares) that there is no substantiated reason for no contact rule post chemo.


HollyID's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Dec 2009

It should amaze me that people are so ignorant, but it really doesn't. Some don't even care to educate themselves before spouting off their diatribe.

I'm curious what your son says. I also wonder where she came up with this wonderful thought of your leaking chemo through your pores. Where to people come up with this stuff?

I work with infants all the time. I hold em, love em, change a diaper or two (I'm afraid of getting that stuff on me!) and send em back to mom when they cry. They lower my blood pressure and they are just so sweet.

I know if it were my own grandson, I'd be a little cranky about not being able to hold him. In fact, I'd probably tell momma to smarten up and get a little education regarding chemo before spouting off her theories.

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Or is she truly ignorant? I think Peggy's idea of handing the phone over to the onc/nurse is a good one, or take her to an onc appointment where she can ask away. I kow sometimes with mother + daughter-in laws there can be power struggles + some use the kids in the struggle, that's why I asked if it's a power thing; she might be insecure + be using this to gain the upper hand. Or she could truly be scared + some education could help. In any event, I am really sorry for this turn of events.

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

GILIPOLLAS ! don't look for the translation!
Hugs dear liker!!! LOL

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

"The medications that you receive during your chemotherapy are
very strong. We use them to kill the cancer cells in your body.
Because they are so good at their job, they can also be toxic to
others who come in direct contact with you. It is important that
you know about the precautions you need to take during and after
receiving chemotherapy. These precautions will help those around
you avoid contact with toxic and dangerous chemicals. "

From: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/

Every chemotherapy chemical used today, is a well known
carcinogenic. They administer it only after considering help vs risk.

The chemicals are harsh to adults and toxic to a baby. I can't
understand why anyone that might be carrying even the smallest
dose of a toxic chemical, would want to take a chance of it
making a baby sick.

The "half life" of the chemical as it excretes from your body
isn't an absolute, it is an assumption; everyone's different. There
are very, very few studies that indicate what the chemicals can do
to a baby that may come into contact with the excretion, and much
less regarding pore excretion.

"News readers will have encountered these ideas, including the
risk of environmental contamination from very-polluting used drug
patches. But the sweat angle: That’s new.

Not to pharmacologists, of course. Some of them have been
reporting for decades that health care workers can encounter
substantial exposures to chemotherapy drugs and other
pharmaceuticals while washing patients’ clothes and bedding. I’ve
included a few cites to such papers accompanying this blog. But
the concern in those papers has been potential risks to workers’
health. As Ruhoy and Daughton point out in their new analysis,
family members and friends remain a largely ignored ̶ and
therefore uninformed ̶ population that may also be at risk of
coming into dangerous contact with sweated-out pharmaceuticals or
skin-applied drugs."

Here: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57874/title/Skin_as_a_source_of_drug_pollution

There are tons more easily found on the web.

All new moms and dads are over-protective of their newborn,
and my wife and I were no different. Our protectiveness may have
insulted dear ol' ma..... but according to her mom, she was no
different when she popped me out.

I may sound rude here, but you really oughta' try to understand,
rather than get insulted. You'll gain a whole lot more ground shedding
the crapola.

(Just my .02)

(I love ya' anyway!)


Sigma34's picture
Posts: 207
Joined: Jul 2009

Oh good grief! Well, you should go to Home Depot and get one of those suits and 3M surgical masks with gloves. But I am guessing person does NOT has a sence of humor. I am sorry you have to experience this.

Peace and Calm,


Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

I always just made sure that the kids never drank after me or took a bite after me, because it is in your saliva...but come on No contact!! What's her email address!! :-0

pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

no problems!
Not understand !

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I guess I wouldn't be so insulted, except I was okay, to babysit since the day the baby was born, and it was just last night I found out through my son, that she was ticked I had held him the night before because of my chemo.
She never said a word to me about it, and apparently it's something she just decided the other night, after they got engaged, and she's the one that had me babysitting while she goes to the gym until the other day.
Which leaves me extremely puzzled, and yes it is insulting, that she wouldn't ask me about it, or talk to me about it, that I find out through my son after 3 months of holding and watching over my grandson, she and I have never, when they argue (which isn't often) I never take sides, just tell them when they have a problem they'll work it out, and I lent them the $200.00 for the down payment for the ring (they already paid me back the next day), I buy diapers, formula, etc., so if it's power play, or just all of a sudden my chemo is bad, it's a surprise to me.

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

When we had our son, my parents had sold their house and
stayed with us until their new location was ready for them.

Mom had a dog that seemed to crap everywhere, and even
though it was in our semi-finished basement, it was still a mess.

So mom put a diaper on that damned dog.. And she'd go change
it several times a day.

That went on for weeks. I was working and didn't pay much
attention to what was going on.

Finally on a weekend, I noticed that after mom changed the dog's
diaper, I didn't hear the water run in the downstairs's sink. Holy
%$^&**#... Mom wasn't washing her hands, coming upstairs
and holding my newborn son after swapping the dog's diaper?

I didn't know for sure, but......

I mentioned it to my wife, and that's when she said that is was
bothering her an awful lot, but she didn't want to say anything.

Well..... -I- said something, and it wasn't all that pleasant.
And.... of course, mom and dad moved out that week, in a huff..
and we didn't talk for a few years....

I learned later, that they blamed my wife, not me, thinking that
she encouraged me to say something. My wife never did any
such thing.... she never said anything to me, because they
were my parents and she didn't want to start trouble.....

Well gal.... I guess parents stick up for their lil' ones, and the
spouses just take the hits... I read your words, and it sure looks
like the same type scenario to me.

Listen.... the kids are worried, just as all new parents worry.
Maybe they never thought about it, and some friend mentioned
something, or they saw something on Oprah, or Dr. Phil, or Oz...

Does it really matter? If they're worried, they have reason to be
worried. Yeah, it may be a nice gesture to take the inlaw to the doc's
with you and have some reinsuring words said.... Will they believe it?
I doubt it. Cancer is scary, and chemo/radiation is scarier.

Babies are pretty tough, and can survive a lot of things, but there's
a whole lot of concern lately of all the chemicals in life, and there
ain't much more toxic than chemo.

I hope you can try to understand and accept their fears; it's not
easy for you, and I doubt it's easy for them....

It was difficult for me to tell my mom that I didn't want her holding
my son unless she washed her hands after changing the dog's diaper...

We lost a lot of years because I said what was bothering me...

Who was right; who was wrong?

Sometimes we should take life as it is; it only goes by once.

Stay well, ehh?


We found out later, that we couldn't always hear water
in the downstair's sink running, from upstairs......

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

Boy, I'm glad you didn't work around AIDS patients like I did, You'd be down right scared by them.
Have you had sex with your wife lately? Yes, even chemo patients have sex, although it's recommended because of BODILY fluids within 48 hours of chemo to wear a condom for protection, etc.. etc.., but after that? Yep, you don't have to worry about the chemo effects after that. Bodily fluids being swapped, is the concern for the first 48 hours. Not HOLDING each other, not hugging, nope, we can do all that right after chemo and not fear.
Fear Mongers, honestly, we can do without.

Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

Rather than getting mad, educate! Ignorance = fear. Any parent wants to protect their child from everything.

Give her the information about chemo. Agree to a compromise. Do not hold the baby when you are hooked up to chemo and for 48-hours after disconnect. So for 5 days out of 14, you are deprived, but the other 9 you can get your fill of grandchild time!

I realize just holding the child doesn't put them at risk like other activities that would include sharing any body fluids. But it seems fair to put the parent's minds at ease, but still get your time with the baby too.

maglets's picture
Posts: 2589
Joined: Jun 2006

haha...the first year I was on xeloda we went to our cabin in woods. There was no washroom....still isn't come to think of it but at that time the latrine was a sawhorse placed over a hole in the ground. I used that hole many many time that summer as I coped with post liver resection and chemo. The hole was always filled with giant dung beetles and now we joke that the beetles on our island are probably mutant...gigantic weird creatures ........to me this toxicity is a joke....
Kathryn is right....don't waste your energy on mad....laugh and compromise....

hugs mags

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sep 2010

LOL ... I have a similar sense of humor. Maybe someone could up there and film a pseudo documentary ... sort of like the Blair Witch Project ... about the Legend of The Mutant Dung Beetle.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

I do my chemo once every three weeks at the hospital, I have no hookup at home.

herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

And they were there when asked the onc, and also asked the chemo nurses, none saw a problem, as long as he wasn't sucking on me, which, of course we won't let happen.

Posts: 217
Joined: Apr 2010

I was told it would be smart to stay away from the grandkids during chemo, since they are germ filled. Actually did not do a lot of hugging during chemo.....didn't think about exposure to body fluids during chemo---husband is freaking----he cleaned up the puck,etc when I was sick....oh well, that is why this board is so informative......on all sides....Pat

chicoturner's picture
Posts: 285
Joined: Apr 2009

Well someday when you are strong and all finished with Chemo and that baby is grown-up you can hopefully laugh about this......I was thinking about the mosquitos that bite me and live.....you would think I would not be so tasty! Jean

Posts: 82
Joined: Apr 2009

i was thinking, would you see it as a compromise to allay her fears about skin contact and to also keep the peace , to suggest, (although you believe it to be no danger anyway), you could hold him in a blanket etc, so essentially you are not touching him anyway?
that way you still get your cuddles , and her baby stays "safe"????
she's a new mum and she might be over-reacting, but her baby is the most important thing to her atm....where she's right or not, and its also important that you get your cuddles in too...

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