People contact/isolation confusion

BenAbbyArchie3 Member Posts: 2
edited January 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Information overload.
It's been go go go with all the tests etc since I found lump in right breast on Christmas Day.We were prepared for some sort of operation and was thrown when specialist recommended starting chemo first to reduce the size and then operate. Husband compares it with spraying weeds before then pulling them out :)  First chemo session was 2 days ago & went well with inserted port. First cycle involves 4 fortnightly sessions & then 12 weekly sessions.
Received long list of dos & donts and still trying to figure it all. I realise I should stay away from ill people but when are 'danger periods" to me or others? I don't want to be isolated. I'll go nuts but I don't want to get sick or put anyone else in danger.
Is there a magically timeframe or do I just sit back & stop complaining?


  • Brenda5
    Brenda5 Member Posts: 2,423
    Usually its the first 10 days after the infusion your immunity is at its lowest. It is called Nadir. Thereafter your body will recover somewhat. Mostly I would just suck on an antibacterial Strepsils when in drs office or shopping centers, as would any visitors to me. I never caught anything.
  • Beryl C.
    Beryl C. Member Posts: 270
    You are not complaining - you are making sure you are fully informed. Keep asking questions and remember that we are all unique. This forum is so supportive!
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    I felt remarkably well during chemo (considering what might have happened) and continued working. So no sitting isolated at all. I did take some care not to hang around people snuffling and sneezing (who shouldn’t have been at work anyway!) but nothing much more than that. It really depends a lot on how you are feeling - if you feel washed out and unwell, rest! Fatigue can be a problem and is often cumulative. Best regards. 
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    It's kind of weird all this cytotoxic stuff.  Mostly it's for your protection.  I was told the first 7 days when your neutrophils are down.  Mine had always bounced back to normal by day 4.  It's different for everyone though.
     They tell you all this stuff and there I was sitting behind my desk, working in a public hospital all cytotoxic heheheh.
      I never hibernated, did all my usual things, went out for dinner, parties etc.  After the first two treatments I kind of just forgot about it. 
    The only thing I was careful of was hand rails/knobs,ATM and elevator buttons (those things get gross)  and wiped my work phone down constantly as it's used by everybody. 
    Never got sick at all.
    All the best lovely, I hope your weed spraying does it's job well.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    I carried on as normal but was very careful to not touch my face when I was out and about. The only other precaution I took was to keep sick people out of the house. However I live with six other people who all had various ills during my chemo, and I never even caught a cold.

    Be cautious but not paranoid! K xox
  • Tezza
    Tezza Member Posts: 1
    I've taken to making appointments at the least busy time. Doctors appointments first thing in the morning or first after lunch. 8am pathology (same place as the docs) and going to do paper work at school between recess and lunch. I try to avoid shopping after school drop off/pick up and early on the Aldi specials day 😁. On a disability pension now, so easier to do than if I was working.
  • Shellshocked2018_
    Shellshocked2018_ Member Posts: 283
    Hi there, I started my chemotherapy treatment this time last year, I took precautions throughout my chemotherapy.
    I had support workers coming into my home daily to care for my daughter with a disability, I had a container of hand sanitiser that they had to use when entering home ( as they look after other people), there was also face masks available if they thought they might need one,  If they felt unwell or had a cold they were asked to stay at home. If I wasn’t feeling well I would wear a mask myself when I had visitors.
    You will learn to know what are going to be your worst days after treatment , listen to your body and rest, report any issues to your oncologist straight away, don’t wait until your next visit, checking your temperature is very important.
    Everyones chemotherapy treatment is different, and we all respond differently.
    My first 4 fortnightly dense dose A/C knocked me around a fair bit and ended up with neutropenia, so I would definitely stay away from people during this time.
    If I went shopping my husband he would push around the trolley, or I would use a disinfectant wipe, if I heard or saw someone coughing would go down a different isle.
    I didn’t drive during this time as I didn’t feel well enough, so i was always with my husband.
    Family and friends would stay away if they felt unwell or been around someone that had been unwell.

    Drink plenty of fluids during chemotherapy and the nurse would have given you a list of dos and don’ts regarding toilet flushing , hand washing etc.
    I kept hand sanitiser in my bag, and anti bacterial wipes if I had to use public toilets.
    My husband didn’t use our toilet at all in our en-suite during my chemo, and I cleaned my toilet with disinfectant after every use.
    But this was just me as I didn’t want to get sick.Hence even with neutropenia, I was able to recover and continue with all my treatment of chemotherapy for 6 months.
    Hope all goes well for you, take one day at a time.
    Any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

    Sending gentle hugs xx

  • BenAbbyArchie3
    BenAbbyArchie3 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone, especially Shellshocked2018. 
    The dense dose of chemo seems to really knock me about.
    Glad I slept so much so I didn't have time to be bored. Been a week & still got jelly legs. 
    Sunday had trip to emergency & overnight stay. Discharged provided I go back asap if temp rises.
    Realisation that treatment can be so so different between people from 1 extreme to other.
    One day /one chemo at a time. xxx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,687
    Sorry to see you here @BenAbbyArchie3, in the club no-one really wants to join - but you are in the right spot for getting support and tips on getting thru this shitfest!  I hope you can work out a pattern soon for your subsequent doses.   Yep, keep an eye on that temp - hopefully no more midnight flits to Casualty!

    Whilst I didn't have chemo, my husband did for his cancer & he just got VERY tired after about day 4 & put himself to bed for about 3 days and we just stayed away from sick people all the time.   As @Shellshocked2018_ said re using his own toilet & drinking heaps to flush the chemo out.  Hubby also had to be very careful in the sun, as his regime made his skin very sensitive to the sun.   His taste buds also had everything tasting like metal - so he went off eating for a while & dropped weight (couldn't afford to as he was only 50kg at the time!) & I had to find stuff that he WOULD eat (even Maccas & KFC) if that was what he 'could' eat.  Treat yourself!

    Take care & all the best for you ongoing treatment xx .  big hugs coming to you in cyberspace xx