Hi everyone

Has anyone been given any advice on meeting with family at christmas?

We were meant to be hosting this year, but some info from my hospital says you shouldn’t leave the house at all (only for hospital appointments) and you shouldn’t have people in your house…is that true?

We were also having a festive night away in a hotel…are you allowed to do stuff like that?

Are there certain periods during the cycle when you are more susceptible to infection.

I feel like I know very little about chemo, even though I listened to every word during all appointments! 

Hi, I’m due my 4th cycle next week,  and was told not to work, because I work with the public. Other, than that, I was just advised to be sensible, when I go out. So I wear a mask and obviously keep away from people, with colds etc. Hope this helps 


Hi Jukat

This is a question for your oncologist who knows all the details of your blood counts, your susceptibility etc. If you’ve had your third vaccination/booster and flu jab, you are pretty safe so long as you take the usual precautions of masks, social distance and no indoors socialising. I’m immunocompromised and I’ve been advised to lead as normal a life as possible but avoid busy shops and meeting people indoors. But that’s just for my particular treatment.

I can’t see people wanting to wear masks over the Christmas turkey and it IS a lot of work to host a family Christmas so I’d suggest you might swap with whoever is scheduled for next year. Then you can always pop in, wearing your mask. If you feel you’re up to the task, then the least you can do is request that every guest does a lateral flow test on the day at least (though there’s still a risk, as we are learning). 

We’re all different and yes, there are days within our treatment cycle when we are particularly vulnerable so your oncologist can predict that and advise you but, to be honest, if the advice is no, ask yourself - is a family Christmas that important in the grand scheme of things? Could your wild night out be rescheduled? I’ve been in hospital with neutropoenic sepsis which can arise from the slightest infection (I only had a very runny nose an temperature) and I don’t recommend it lol.

Btw, listening carefully at every appointment is different from taking it all in (if you’re anything like me). I often come home and wonder what I was told! All lhe best x

Hi Jukat,

Like Jaybro and Julie, I’ve also been told to be sensible rather than to fully shield in the house.  For my current EC treatment days 7 through 12 are normally the lowest immunity, with days at the start and end of the cycle being slightly safer.  But that will all change when I move to weekly Pac, and is very individual as to how your bloods are responding, so you should speak to your team.

I’d echo Jaybro that you really need to weigh up the risk against how important Christmas is to you and your mental health.  I’d consider a festive night away to be very high risk, there’s unlikely to be more than a nod to masks and social distancing, and we have cancelled our new year break for that reason.  Hosting probably depends on your family, whether they’re willing to take lfts and stay away if sniffly, and how many people you’re  talking about. I wouldn’t want to mix with lots of kids with COVID and respiratory illnesses so rife in schools, it’s the right answer for their long term immunity but risky for you.  

Remember that it’s not just whether you’ll be ok if you catch something, you probably will be.  It’s also the risk of having treatments delayed or cancelled altogether, which means you lose your only chance at this layer of risk reduction. There’s a thread on COVID isolation further down which shows what can happen.

All the best with deciding what’s right for you,

Ash xx

Thank you for your advice ladies.

It is a hard call to make but I think I need to let my head rule my heart. Even though I work from home so am safe in that respect (plus I am taking time out for the treatment) all of my family work with the public and are worried about passing anything on.

My husband doesn’t want us to take any chances so I think we will cancel the pre Christmas hotel break and have Christmas day with just us and our daughter who will be home from university, she also wants to isolate for the week before coming home bless her.  We did this last year due to Covid and it was so stress free and we had a lovely day.

Hope you are all navigating your treatments well xxx Julia xxx