Protecting someone going through chemo

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Anna Anna 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1249

    JosieS
    Participant

    Hi,

    My hubby recently got diagnosed with lymphoma and the doctors are keen to get him into chemo. Is there any advice on what to do to give a loved one the best fighting chance when going through chemo, what with the impact on the immune system? I was thinking about things like:
    – avoiding public transport?
    – avoiding sick people at work (or wearing a face mask like Japanese tourists have?)
    – not having visitors from overseas (or sending them away for a couple of weeks until they’re not infectious from whatever they catch off the plane trip)?
    – stop him pulling cars to bits and risking cutting himself and getting infections?

    You see the kind of thing I’m talking about.
    Thanks in advance,
    Josie

    #1251
    Anna
    Anna
    Keymaster

    Hello Josie,

    Welcome to CancerChat and thank you for your email. It’s lovely that you are thinking about ways to support your husband through his chemo. You will get a lot of information from the hospital about care, but I can help with the general principles.
    The immune system will be affected, mainly in the middle week between chemo, if he is having doses three weekly. The week after and the week before chemo will be times when his immunity is better, so they might be good times to see friends and family.
    It is sensible to avoid sick people when possible- ask them not to visit if they have colds, and he could talk with his work (if he feels he wants to) about reinforcing the idea that people should stay home when unwell.

    However, it is impossible to avoid every situation with the general public and isn’t really necessary to try. General common sense and increased awareness is what you can do. Having some hand sanitiser around, not sharing drink bottles or cutlery etc. If he loves the car stuff and other garden/handyman work, it’s fine to do that. He will need to have things he likes to do to relax and feel normal.

    Your hospital nurse will discuss keeping an eye on his temperature and signs of infection, and regular blood tests will be monitoring his immune system. Your support can include knowing these and when action is needed, as sometimes people don’t want to make a fuss about a temperature, but please, do stick to the rules your treating medical team give you. Nutrition, sleep, relaxation will all be important in his general well-being and you can support him with those, balancing his need for care with his independence.

    Kind regards,

    Anna

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