mononucleosis & bronchitis - delay chemo?

Son (16) has had about 4 weeks of ‘cold’ symptoms which we took to the doc 2 weeks ago. He was diagnosed with bronchitis and & mononucleosis (what we called ‘glandular fever’ when I was his age) & was put on antibiotics for bronchitis, and told that the mono would last somewhat longer. Distracted with my own health (I am a BAD mother) I neglected to check what this mono meant. As I said, it was called glandular fever when I was a kid, & I know what that is. And would have enforced appropriate rules.

He went back to his beloved ice hockey a week or so later - when he should have been ‘off’ for up to a month - according to web sites & the doc we took him to today. He’s a strapping lad who’s never sick, so I’ve overlooked the cough because it hasn’t seem to get him down, but if you don’t look after this virus there’s a risk of liver & spleen enlargement, all kinds of horrors. He is suddenly very tired & doesn’t feel up to fighting it anymore, though he’s been ignoring fatigue and aches and pains for a few weeks - NOW he tells me. It is also highly contagious. He may have caught it from me, because I had glandular fever as a teenager, & they say it stays with you for life - we have been known to eat off each other’s plates and hug. It is also known as the ‘kissing disease’ - so he may have caught it through the normal channels. This is all a real drag.

I’m supposed to start chemo (TAX) on Thursday & naturally I’ll consult with onc tomorrow, but it seems to me that it might be a bad idea to embark on chemo with this kind of health problem floating around the house.

Has anyone had this kind of problem, or have an opinion to offer? Or questions I should ask the onc tomorrow? I really don’t want to postpone the first session, I want to get going and get it over, but not if it is a really bad idea…

Cheers, M-L

As far as I’m aware it is only contagious when you actually have the virus - so yes it is known as ‘kissing disease’ because it is common in teenagers and they do kiss!!!
You should be immune to it as you have had it as well. I am quite sure you never gave it to him - he would have caught it in the ‘normal’ way viruses are spread ie sneezing, coughing etc. I had this in my teens and was misdiagnosed - story of my life -and ended up with permanent spleen enlargement and had an enlarged liver at 18 but that went back to normal so yes, he needs to be careful but I don’t see it as a problem for you cos otherwise you’ll be waiting for months and you don’t want that.
I would tell the onc tomorrow but unless your white blood cells are low already, I can’t see it as a problem.
My kids have been small, with colds, stomach bugs etc all through my chemo and my chemo has always gone ahead as long as I am well regardless of the starte of my family.
It’s very scary starting chemo for the first time so I would write a list of questions.
The most important thing when you are having chemo is to make sure you don’t pick up unnecessary infections by sharing drinks, eating off each others plates etc. If you do ever feel unwell, immediately phone your chemo helpline and don’t just wait and see.
I know how awful it was for me at 18 with severe glandular fever which lasted baout 6 months in the end because of the misdiagnosis and it must be so worrying for you when you are so recently diagnosed and starting chemo.
Look after yourself

Dear Kate - this will get me through another round of worry until tomorrow when onc will be phoning with results of scans. It’s pretty much what son and I argued to each other - I had it first when I was about 11 when my dad went off to Viet Nam to train Australian artillery troops and I was devastated. I then proceeded to get relapses every time he went back - and the dad loved VN and went back for five years. The virus is supposed to stay with you for life, but I don’t quite know what that means. The antibodies stay? The potential for recurrence stays? Strikes me it’s another of these bloody diseases that have mixed opinions about ‘best practices’.

It’s pay-back time for the old dad now, as my equally irresponsible OH heads off for a month of filming Finnish Fear Factor in Argentina the day after first chemo. I suddenly bottled out of going solo with sick son on Saturday & called the aged dad in Wales and told him he was to get his sorry a*se over here and look after our little household. He’s 78 and very involved with party politics in Wales and didn’t wanna. Yeah, right. He’s on his way. With manuka honey, which is unavailable in Finland.

Y’gotta laugh.