Should I babysit chicken pox grandchild?

I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy 2 weeks ago but after finding more cells with no clear margins I am due back in surgery for a full mastectomy on the my 2 yr old granddaughter has a bad case of chicken pox and I have been asked to go to stay to care for her while her parents work. I’m a bit concerned about picking up anything that might mean surgery has to be delayed or recovery will be more difficult. I want to say no but feel mean. Am I worrying needlessly?

Re: Should I babysit chicken pox grandchild?





Have you had Chickenpox yourself, if not then I don’t think you should go as you may develop shingles which can be pretty bad. Maybe you could phone your BCN and ask her advice, but you definitely don’t want to hold up any forthcoming surgery and you need to be as fit as you can be, it is getting a bit too close for comfort.

Hope all goes well

K M xx


See details about chicken pox in adults and shingles. 


Whether or not you become ill, depending on how thorough the pre-op assessment is at your hospital they may delay your surgery because of your recent exposure to a young child with an infectious disease.


What’s worse in the long run? Feeling “mean” about saying no or dealing with the potential repercussions of delayed surgery?  Sorry, but only you can decide and a lot of the decision-making process will depend on your attitude to risk.

Hi Barbersdrove. Either way I would say no to having your grandchild as if you haven’t had chicken pox already then you could catch it and be pretty ill with it. And if you have had chicken pox then you could get shingles. Eitherway not worth the risk iI’m afraid xxx

Hi there,

If you havn’t had chicken pox then there is a good chance you may catch it.  if you have had it there is no immediate direct link to developing shingles ( I think i’m right in saying shingles can develop anytime in someone who has had chicken pox and is at a low ebb , weather they have been in recent contact with the disease or not) BUT be kind to yourself - put yourself first (you sound a very selfless person!)  You are about to have major surgery and however much you love your family you need to give yourself a bit of me time - time to relax and get your self in order ready for the treatment to come.  Hopefully your family will be understanding and find someone else who can step in to help

best wishes


Thanks everyone. After reading yesterday that you cannot catch shingles from someone with chicken pox I woke this morning having decided to go as I feel fine. However I decided to contact the cancer care nurse who after some research advised me to keep clear. Apparently despite beliefs to the contrary you can have chicken pox more than once no-one has 100% immunity. That is the concern not shingles as you don’t catch shingles from someone with chicken pox. The incubation period is anything between 8 and 21 days and you are infectious for 2/3 days before the rash appears. This would be around the date of surgery so blood tests would have to be done before any surgery. She was very thorough in giving her reasoning and had obviously spent some time looking into it for which I was grateful. Daughter fully understood and has made other arrangements it was more me feeling selfish in not helping out. It’s very rare for me to so that.