Cancer treatments

Share experiences and get support about any types of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, biological or hormonal therapies, transplants, and clinical trials.

Chemotherapy & infections

itsabi
Posted by

Hi everyone, my OH is due to start chemotherapy soon (not sure what type, or for how long just yet), and I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to keep infections and germs at bay?

We are pretty prepared for the hair loss, fatigue, mouth ulcer side effects, but we live quite a sociable life, and I'm so worried about him getting an infection.


Meeting up with friends/family and going on date nights is really important to us, and we love our life, and days out etc, but im starting to worry my paranoia over germs will housebound us both-and we don't want that!


If possible, we would like to be able to carry on as normal as possible, doing things that make us happy. Has anyone got any tips on how to minimise the risk of infection?


I'm already considering buying an anti-bacterial gel dispenser (like the ones in hospital wards) to put up by our front door!


I work in a school, so really worried I will bring home a host of germs that will make him ill.


Any tips, or am I destined to shower in bleach and anti-bac to keep clean, with no contact from the outside world?!


Abi 

src60
Posted by

Hi, glad you are thinking ahead and also still thinking about life while he has treatment. The anti-bacterial gel sounds a good idea and you can get small bottles to that he could keep in his pocket. The doctors often advise hand washing to avoid infection as we often pick up infections via out hands and then rub eyes/nose or suck finger. Obviously him avoiding people with some infectious disease is helpful but if he feels up to it it would probably be quite a life to get out. One trick some people do is to aim to go out at less busy times.

Might also like to look at What should I bring to my chemo?-

<<hugs>>

Steve

lorraine51
Posted by

Hi Itsabi,

The fact you work in a school is going to be difficult to avoid germs, but people have recommended Vicks First Defence, a spray for up your nose, get one each. Also keep out of crowded places and packed buses, this is where I have picked up colds from in the past. Tell friends and family if they have coughs and colds to delay seeing you, the last thing you want is for OH to get a bug and have treatment delayed. 

Best Wishes and hope treatment goes well.xx

src60
Posted by

Those are quite good suggestions, especially the one about giving some control over friends and family when they know they have active infections. For your partner it would be good to check out the nasal spray with the oncology team though as if will almost certainly be fine but there can be some really odd interactions with some chemotherapy drugs.

For what he gets to do while he is on chemotherapy a lot will depend on how he feels, in my wife's case the first chemotherapy she had caused all her hair to fall out and from time to time she had real problems with nausea, sorted by a change in the supportive drug regime. The second chemotherapy had almost no side effects except stopping the cancer from growing (that is a side effect she definitely can live with!).

<<hugs>>

Steve