How long to stay away from chicken pox after chemo?

Help Ladies please!

I finished chemo very end of November 11 and my Grandson who lives with us has just been sent home from nursery with raging spotty chickenpox - my question is this:

How long after chemo generally is your immune system knackered and should you avoid sick people etc?

I am worried about getting shingles more than anything I suppose and dont mind taking my chances if my immune system is normal or therabouts but dont want to take the risk if not - have already tried NHS Direct (too busy to talk to me) and the helpline (shuts at five)

I appreciate this is not an exact science but I just need to know whether to see if he can stay at his Dads for a few days if I am at risk maybe?


Hey ruby

Can you call the chemo unit and check.

I was in hossy recently with neutropenia andmy friend also got admitted and she finished her chemo 9 weeks previous. However she was undergoing radiothearpy at the time and she was neutropenic. So i guess we dont automatically recover

Hi Ruby, I vaguely recalled a thread on this very topic. Having done a quick search it is here: not sure if it answers your question… alas I’m trying to juggle a phone conversation and type at the same time.

Thanks ladies - the thread doesn’t really answer my question as I am 3 months post chemo, I just dont know if I am at risk or not!

If you look at this towards the bottom under “Chickenpox and shingles” it says,

“Once you have had chickenpox, you usually develop antibodies to the infection and become immune to catching it again. However, the virus that causes chickenpox, the varicella virus, remains dormant (inactive) in your body’s nerve tissues and can return later in life as an illness called shingles.
It is possible to catch chickenpox from someone with shingles, but not the other way around.”

There is also a link the tell you more about shingles. On this basis, you should be OK.

Hope he feels better soon.


Just to put a spanner in the works - I had chickenpox twice! Once as a child, then again in my thirties - it was definitely chickenpox and not shingles. (GP check out) it was horrible second time around!

If you can, I would avoid close contact and check out with the professionals in the morning.


I dont know about your immune system post chemo, but your grandson should not be infectious once all the spots are scabbed and no new spots appearing. Its hard keeping away from them isnt it. My grandaughter is two and a half and cant understand why she cant see Grandma as much as usual. She rings me every day instead.

You can have chicken pox more than once. My Mum had chicken pox as a child and shingles when she was in her 30’s. She then got chicken pox again later, twice.

Oh, it’s not a good thing. Even the mild case of chickenpox looks disgusting, look at it I wish nobody got this crap. Take care of yourself. Otherwise it can be hard and dangerous, do not torment anyone and yourself.