Personally I would take advantage of the comfort your cat gives you. He sounds great. Our cat also sleeps on our bed (in the middle obviously!) and I didn’t have any problems when on chemo because of that. However, you should always wash your hands after petting your cat, changing litter etc. I also travelled on the tube and buses all the time. Again, always wash your hands on arrival and insist visitors to your home wash their hands on arrival. Get a tympanic thermometer so you can monitor your temperature easily and accurately. My onc said the source of most chemo patients’ infections is themselves! Don’t worry - if you are reasonably fit and healthy now you should be fine. For most people the chemo is not as bad as you fear. If you have pre-existing problems like asthma then you will need to consider extra precautions. Take care.
I am going to get some masks and a scarf for low immunity days after reading this just to be safer. I hope to go back to work at some point and will have to take public transport on some days. I would like advice on this and coping with pets. My cat is always sat on me. He is a very affectionate animal and gets in my bed often for snuggles. Will this have to stop?
I bought a mask but never used it. I was lucky in that it is only me and my husband at home. We don't have pets and I do not have to use public transport. I did not have to go shopping either because my husband or neighbour would do it. Therefore I never really had to worry about germs/infection.
That said other woman have school age children that will bring germs home, pets to feed and clean up after, no choice but to get on a bus and have to go shopping. They will have more challenges with infection than I ever did but somehow they cope and are still here!
Your side effects are easily managed once you find out what they are. No point making a long list of them because you won't get all of them so no sense in alarming you. I would just make sure to have something for heartburn and upset tummy. Nothing worse than needing some Gaviscon at 2 am and the shops are shut!
Once you know what side effects you will have tell your team and they will sort you out. I did not have any sickness but they gave me loads of tablets just in case. Never took a single one. I did ask for omeprazole because I got dreadful heartburn but that sorted me out. My worst side effect was fatigue.
I caught a cold & cough from a relative after my 2nd chemo but it was totally fine. Kept an eye on my temperature but it didn't rise and to be honest it was just like having a bug in "real life"! I've been careful about hand hygeine and not mixing with obviously poorly folk but otherwise have live my life as normal.
I would say it feels like having jet lag or a mild hangover. You get tired and out of breath quickly when exercising. I also had bad constipation with the EC. And hair loss despite using cold cap. But I was never sick and didn't even feel nauseous. Broadly I could carry on as normal provided I limited the number of things I tried to do each day so I didn't get too tired. They will give you a 24 hour emergency phone number and probably some emergency antibiotics as well. I also had "chemo brain" - forgetful and lack of concentration - but at least that means you don't get too bored! Xx
Hello - no need to be petrified!! The key thing is to wash your hands before you eat, when you get home, after you touch pets etc. Basically as much as possible without developing OCD. Make all visitors wash their hands on arrival. Makes a big difference. I also carried antibacterial wipes with me everywhere. I bought some masks but did not wear them in the end. They can give you drugs that bring your immune system back up again (e.g, Neulasta). I had a Neulasta injection after each EC treatment and had no problems with low immunity. If you don't use Neulasta or similar, after FEC your immunity will be lowest around days 7-10 after treatment. With weekly Paclitaxel you have slightly low immunity all the time but even then all I got was a slight cold that wouldn't clear up properly until I finished chemo. I travelled all the time on buses, tube trains, went to the theatre, shopping centres etc and had no problems. However, I think if you have a history of asthma or lung problems you need to be much more cautious. I hope that has reassured you a bit. Also for most people the chemo generally isn't nearly as bad as you fear. Take care. Xxx
A couple of times during chemo my husband had coughs and colds etc, so we both ended up wearing masks at home, any one else was told to avoid coming around if they had anything similar, never wore them out though, During my low immunity times I tended to avoid crowds,shops etc.