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Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by LGS on Jul 10, 2020 11:09 am

I am currently almost finished Chemo (one more to go) which will be followed with radiation. I no longer have family and was deserted by friends after my treatment started. But what I wondered is how much others undergoing treatment during COVID are going out, whether socially or errands or otherwise other than hospital visits. 

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Trillium on Jul 10, 2020 3:51 pm

Hello LGS‍ 

Sorry to hear your friends are not supporting you. I am a caregiver for my son and he is 2/3 the way through his chemo. He will go out to buy take out food but does wear a mask. Other than that he never goes out. I only go where I need to and not often. I have gone a few times to a nursery for garden plants but always wear a mask and keep my distance from others and wash hands when I get home.

Must feel good to only have one last chemo left.

Warm hugs to you!

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Trillium on Jul 12, 2020 9:16 pm

LGS‍ —-I hope others respond too. I’m also wondering how long after chemo is finished are you no longer immune compromised and can carry on with regular activities?

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Danae on Jul 13, 2020 9:04 am

Hi LGS‍ ,
I was wondering too for that. I'm,or better say was, on immunotherapy and so far I don't go almost anywhere, except doctors appointment and once in a while to the grocery for items that hubby cannot buy. I always wear a mask and try to keep social distance. Otherwise, I'm home all the time. I would like to know when can do some more normal things, like going out for fun with the kids, or a day trip, or meet someone or something that will make me feel normal. I have an appointment tomorrow with my oncologist and that I one of my questions. Will keep you posted.
I hope everything will be better for you soon. 

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Runner Girl on Jul 13, 2020 1:32 pm

Hello LGS‍ and Danae‍ ,

LGS - I am sorry that you have been abandoned by family and friends.  I was unfortunate enough to be abandoned as well.  Fortunately I had a great, supportive group of people in my office.  

For both of you regarding your immune system after chemo, from breastcancer.org - Treatment can last for anywhere from 3 to 6 months. During that time, you would be considered to be immunocompromised — not as able to fight infection. After finishing chemotherapy treatment, it can take anywhere from about 21 to 28 days for your immune system to recover.

Masks, hand sanitizer and lots of handwashing is really the way to go.  During chemo and beyond until this virus thing is solved, one way or another.

I am 18 months since chemo ended but I only go out if/when I have to, always wear a mask, use hand sanitizer while I'm out and give my hands a good wash when I return home.  I figure better to err on the side of caution.

Stay well,
Runner Girl
Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day!

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Mrow on Jul 14, 2020 10:56 am

I am 2 1/2 months out from my last chemo treatment. I live in a region that has very low daily cases of Covid. I feel quite comfortable going out a bit. But I am very careful.
Depending on what I need, I go out early in the morning for groceries or hardware type items.  I have shopped a little for clothes ( mine are not fitting very well at present).  If it is busy, I skip it until it is less busy. I don't wait in a line and I avoid crowded places. 
The places I've been have staff counting people as they enter and limit the number of customers.  Hand sanitizer is available for use on entry and exit.
I take my own "covid-kit" - mask, wipes and sanitizer- with me and wipe the cart/basket even though they've been done.  
I think you need to be cautious, follow the guidelines and wash your hands a lot. 
Best wishes and I hope you find some support in your community. 

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Danae on Jul 14, 2020 4:50 pm

Hi LGS‍ , 
as I promised I will update you on my doctor's advice. Although my treatment is put on hold due side effects, I will be considered as immune compromised for a long time. When I asked for instructions he said that it difficult and different to give set to stone instructions. The main idea is to use common sense. For example, don't go to Wasaga Beach, which will be packed, choose one that is quite. Or movie theater are opening, make a movie night with the kids at home instead of going into a close room with other people. And when you go outside make sure your wear you mask, don't touch everything, eg in store, wash/sanitizer your hands. In general assess  the situation and pick the least "dangerous".
I hope that helps a bit and you are welcome to connect with me if you want/need. I have only my family here and I haven't heard from my "friends" for a very long time.

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by LGS on Jul 14, 2020 11:40 pm

Thank you for your support. Today was my final chemo session. So it will take 3 to 4 weeks to get my immune system back up. I know from my previous blood tests that 3 weeks was fairly good but4 is better. However I will be starting on Letrozole in about 4 weeks and radiation about the end of August. Radiation will definitely lower my blood resistance again. I remember my oncologist said it would be about 5 and one half weeks of treatment but I have a meeting with him next week about the treatment. So it appears I will have a tiny window between when my blood count is up and when it goes down again. After which I will have to wait another 3 or 4 weeks.

i have avoided going grocery shopping, have my groceries delivered and only gone to hospital and pharmacy. I followed similar advice by going to a place that opened at 6 am to buy my flowers for my balcony planters to order to avoid other shoppers who wouldn’t be out that early. Also the same with a bakery. I don’t fear the employees just other shoppers who don’t practice social distancing. And I always wear a mask. But there are a few places I would really like to shop so I am hopeful to be able to stock up in my small window. I absolutely crave Chinese food.

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by JustJan on Jul 15, 2020 10:28 am

I had 2 cancer diagnoses, 2 surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy in 2019. I started Lynparza (PARP inhibitor) in December 2019. In March I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and am now also on blood thinners. My risk is fairly high   at this point. I did have a conversation with my team at my followup last month to understand what I could and couldn’t do as I need to find some semblance of normal. Staying home has given me too much time to ruminate on what if’s.  Understanding the need to balance my mental health with my physical health, my team said to go ahead and do “normal” things but be smart about it. Wear a mask, hand washing and social distancing were paramount and try to ensure the places I was visiting had good protocols in place. One caveat to this is that currently my blood counts are excellent. If they weren’t good, it would be a different story. 
Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't. - Rikki Rogers

Re: Going out during COVID and Cancer Treatment

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jul 15, 2020 10:44 am

LGS‍ and Danae‍ 

We have some great webinars in our Cancer and COVID-19 webinars series. Check them out here.