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Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Feb 28, 2020 9:35 pm

Not to alarm anyone, but I hope and pray those who have to go to the hospital for their chemo or radiation treatments will be safe.  I'm glad my treatments are pretty much done.  I only have to go every six months for my Zoledronic Acid Infusion.  I'm sure the hospitals are prepared and are making sure everyone is safely following procedures.  Take care everyone!

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by MLYuen on Feb 29, 2020 11:41 am

scaredysquirrel‍ Thank you so much for your reminder. Keep our hands clean at all times, and not touch our faces without washing our hands. The virus cannot travel into us through our skin, but can go into our respiratory system through our face especially the nose and mouth. Stay safe, everyone. 

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Rene on Mar 11, 2020 4:29 pm

I have been very careful and earful in watching the latest news of the Coronavirus. Finally sat down to check in here and see what we all have to be careful with during this time forward. I have always kept my hands clean, and used tissue to flush the toilet in hospitals as well as using paper towel to open stall doors. I DO pray that there is a an answer, and allow all cancer patients receive their treatment, surgery and recovery without any complications.

I kept wondering whether upcoming surgeries for people this month and onforward will be cancelled? Just how safe is it? Since I am due for breast reconstruction, and think will there be a long delay until the coronavirus has cleared up? Any ideas here, folks?


Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by SpeedyStill on Mar 11, 2020 6:25 pm

The important thing is not to panic. Most of us are under a lot of stress without adding this new challange to the mix. When we panic we tend to make mistakes. The idea is not to focus on getting the Virus but focusing on the actions we should take to stay safe.
I am not an expert on this but I think it would make sense to wear a mask especially if go going to a place where there are several people. I would check with the local experts to have all the information to stay safe.
Since I am a Senior with health issues I am concerned and trying to be prepared.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Laika57 on Mar 11, 2020 6:37 pm

Statistically i think it is still unlikely to run into someone affected, though I just read of a case in the hospital in toronto where my husbands surgeon is.
still, I'd be more worried about c diff or any of the other lovely things you can pick up at a hospital.
Keep you hands clean, don't go kissing the bus driver, and you ought to be ok....
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Wendy Tea on Mar 12, 2020 10:28 am

It is highly likely that we will all get exposed to this virus at some point. Keep yourself healthy by eating well, exercising,  get lots of sleep and stimulate your mind. Socialize in small groups and make sure everyone understands that if someone is not well, stay home!
Wearing face masks is not effective.  Washing your hands and not touching your face is effective. Did you notice on the news how many more times people who are wearing face masks are touching their faces? Big no no!
Stay safe everyone, and if you are not well, stay home!

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 12, 2020 10:51 am

Quinn‍ Timely question!

As far as hospitals go, I’m not terribly concerned. Particularly in Canada, I know that SARS caused every hospital in my area (and probably most across the country) to step-up their infection control plans, and those lessons have not been shelved in the intervening years.

Since my Dad was first diagnosed, I’ve put precautions in place in his home (strategically placed disinfecting wipes and Purell) and I use them, even if his other visitors don’t. 

I recently got home from a cruise (thankfully not THAT company), and I’ve chosen to self-quarantine as much as possible. I still went to the grocery store, and I’ve been to a couple of restaurants, for example, but I’ve stayed away from places where I’d be in really close contact with people - guild meetings and craft fairs. 

As others have said, it’s going to places where you can maintain a “respectable distance” (2 metres or so) and being able to avoid touching surfaces and your face that seem to be the most common precautions being mentioned right now. And, of course, staying home if you’re showing any symptoms at all!

I have to say, I’m not a fan of this “elbow bump.” The Japanese tradition of bowing is much more dignified!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by CharlotteS on Mar 12, 2020 11:24 am

Sorry I have not chimed in of late. We have been dealing with the possibility of the cancer travelling. My lovely silly man started to have double vision. That set bells ringing. Like claxtons.  His Cancer team jumped into action with a CT Scan. Then an MRI on his head. We are awaiting results. My husband has renal carcinoma. His sister died of brain cancer. his Mother died of stomach cancer. We just lost another sister of emphasema.  

regarding the Covid 19..... washing hands, using hand sanitizers and they are all over the Hospital, is the best solution to spreading the virus. We also put a drop of Tea Tree Oil on the tip of our noses before and after trips out of the house. So far so good.

Stay safe everyone. Remember ...it is all about us. Tell well intentioned friends and family, now is not the best time to visit.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Buffythevampire on Mar 12, 2020 12:33 pm

I just had a treatment on March 10th and when I went into the hospital it didn't seem any different. I didn't see more masked people then usual or more gloved people. When the nurse was asking me the usual list of questions prior to my treatment I told her that "no, I was not one of the people that was hoarding the toilet paper", so she commented "no constipation or diarrhea then" and we both giggled.
I went to Costco after my treatment and saw lots of carts with toilet paper on them. People are being ridiculous.
I only have 2 more treatments to go and 1 muga then I don't have to go to that hospital anymore. I am supposed to have surgery in June at another hospital and hope that the coronavirus doesn't delay it.
I just watched a video on facebook that I thought brought up a good point. A customer was in a grocery store at the till and gave the clerk heck for not washing his hands after touching his face. So he stopped and used hand sanitizer and the customer was ok with this. Then the customer paid with a credit card or debit and preceded on her way. The customer didn't clean the interac machine before she used it and did she clean her cart prior not to mention all the other stuff she touched during her shopping trip.
I work in a grocery store and the things I see on a daily basis!!

Something I forgot about, in the treatment room there is usually a rack that has books on it, the rack was empty and a note was on it stating why it was empty.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Lianne_Moderator on Mar 12, 2020 1:59 pm

Thank you everyone for your contributions.   


As with all matters related to our health, it is important to make decisions based on credible information such as that provided by our healthcare team and other reliable sources like the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).  


Canadian Cancer Society has updated content on our site about cancer and COVID-19, informed by PHAC, which includes topics such as: 

  • What is the risk of COVID-19 to all Canadians? 

  • Are people with cancer at a higher risk for COVID-19? 

  • How can I protect myself from COVID-19?  

  • And more 




Quinn‍  I hear your concerns about the possibility of surgery and treatment cancellations or postponements. The content linked above describes further, but these are questions that will be best directed to one’s doctor or healthcare team. They are the best source of information if you have questions about your risk based on where you live in Canada or your medical history. They will also keep you updated about any possible changes to your cancer treatments during the COVID-19 outbreak. 


If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly or call Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 





Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Jackwb on Mar 12, 2020 2:02 pm

Retail, especially the grocery business, is one of the most dangerous jobs in Florida today. With Bike Week, spring break, us snowbirds, and Nascar there is a huge out-of-state presence here and the first thing people do when they arrive is buy groceries. The poor clerks and especially the cashiers are exposed to everything. I too use self check out whenever possible.

We now have four confirmed cases in Volusia county, we'll have more. I listened to a woman from Dayton, Ohio this morning telling people that her town was finding more cases, even in the high school. I wonder what she brought down with her.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Mar 12, 2020 8:10 pm

I just wanted to add the link at BC Cancer that is being used to spread information on their responses:


I was in for a CT scan this morning and was amazed at the precautions I see being taken in the hospital. A lot of little things - sanitizing of ticket dispensing stations, including a volunteer who just handed out tickets from the machine so no one had to touch it,  staff wandering around constantly sanitizing, holding up health cards and reading numbers so that no one had to touch them. And the procedure itself had more than normal cleaning built in to it.  And of course lots and lots of screening questions from reception to nurse to radio tech. Be prepared for things to take a little bit longer.

Stay safe folks.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Elsie13 on Mar 13, 2020 2:16 pm

A cancer doctor in Hamilton tested positive for COVID -19. Everyone who was in the clinic is being contacted:  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/03/11/hamiltons-first-case-of-covid-19-is-a-cancer-doctor-at-juravinski.html 
In 2016: diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. Treatment: hysterectomy, chemo, radiation. Afterwards: No Evidence of Disease!

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Mar 13, 2020 7:19 pm

So another story about what being proactive means.

I was in my cancer clinic for my metastatic support group today. As I walked in I was stopped by a young lady at a desk positioned in the hallway. Everyone passing by into the clinic was asked about cough, temperature and shortness of breath. I'm impressed. There were masks available for coughers and hand sanitizer.

Of course I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to answer the cough question. So today's answer was " Nothing that you can't explain with terminal lung cancer." accompanied by a big smile. I heard a snort behind me and a doctor said, "that is one of the best answers I've heard all day."

For the record we spaced ourselves in the room and the next sessions have been cancelled out of an abundance of caution. There has been some discussion of doing some sort of a conference call to get us together but we'll see if that comes to pass. It is important to find ways to maintain social contact while maintaining social distance.

Stay safe folks.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Treepeo on Mar 14, 2020 6:39 am

Hi Lianne_adminCCS‍,

Thank you for posting that link.  It was very helpful.  I appreciate the list of phone numbers that were included, because if I get sick, the last thing I want to do is worry about what number to call.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 14, 2020 6:54 am

WestCoastSailor‍ ...You have the best responses ever!!

I had my Zometa treatment at the hospital yesterday. I called prior to be sure it was still on , particularly since i had just been in the US.  I was told as long as i don't have any symptoms to come.  There were lots of volunteers with hand sanitizer - many of them elderly hospital auxiliary volunteers. I wondered if this put them at any additional risk?

During my treatment - the same precautions were used.  They focused on wash your hands, don't touch your face and keep a distance from others. I must say that hospital staff are our heroes - they continue to show up in environments that are higher risk - i am so thankful.

I was hoping that we could get free parking during this time - as the parking pay machine is touched endlessly!!!! No such luck....lol...

Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Mar 14, 2020 8:41 am

Kims1961‍ , buy a multi-visit parking pass from the kiosk. That way, you don’t have to touch anything except your own card, and you save a few buck over the “pay as you go” daily rate.

I agree with you: most of the volunteers at any given hospital are in the “high risk age group.” But, bless ‘em, they keep showing up! My aunt says, “Growing old isn’t for sissies,” and those people sure aren’t sissies!
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Laika57 on Mar 14, 2020 11:34 am

I think the hospital is probably one of the safer places right now. They still have hand sanitizer and an active prevention protocol.
now the grocery stores yesterday were a different story. Between products, shopping carts and money, there are so many things everyone touches, also being bumped by fellow shoppers, standing endlessly in line, etc...
grocery delivery must be getting very popular just now.
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Elsie13 on Mar 14, 2020 8:39 pm

 CharlotteS‍ , is your husband still having double vision?  When do you expect the MRI results?

In Montreal, all the public libraries have closed due to Covid - 19.  I thought that was a bit odd, as the one I go to is never crowded, but then I thought of all the germs that might be on the books!!!  My husband does volunteer work at a couple of senior's residences, but he won't be allowed in now. Very sad for the old folk. 

At the zumba class this morning, there were only 8 people. The whole gym was rather quiet, but then it's the end of March break. I estimate that about 60% of the usual numbers are not there. The supermarket was busy, but not crazy.  It's one of those Mediterranean/middle Easter stores, so the serious hoarders are likely at the bigger supermarket chains. 
In 2016: diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. Treatment: hysterectomy, chemo, radiation. Afterwards: No Evidence of Disease!

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Laika57 on Mar 14, 2020 9:45 pm

Just talked to a friend in Switzerland. She is a pharmacist and has been told to bring an overnight bag to work, as they're expected to be needed 24/7 soon. She even mentioned there will be a military presence to guard the shop. That is scary. They're not that far ahead of us in the general progression of the virus spread...
In grocery stores, they have stickers on the floor at cash registers to indicate proper spacing between people waiting in line... hospitals are running out of masks and disinfectant. Deliveries aren't arriving and supplies are being stolen. She saw people fighting in the store over a brown banana... and, naturally, is afraid of what will happen when they start running out of medicines at the shop. This is in Switzerland. A western country. Organized to a tee. With, what I thought until tonight, reasonable, educated people.
more than anything, this chat has changed my perspective.
I was upset at a flower show being canceled. I had been looking forward to a weekend "away" from home and cancer.
Yeah, I still frown on hoarding, but we do need to be careful.... I will go to the store tomorrow, buy a bag of kibble for my dog and a weeks worth of groceries, and try and stay home for as long as that lasts.
meanwhile, my seasonal allergies are kicking in. And every time my nose starts running, i get worried it could be the virus...
Have you hugged your dog today?

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Mystiquewolf on Mar 15, 2020 10:03 am

I just went to the grocery store yesterday to get our regular shopping done that we do every week. My daughter came with me. I am in remission and my daughter has Graves disease. We wiped off the handle of our cart and proceeded on our way. Walmart was an eye opener. The toilet paper, paper towel and kleenex shelves were completely empty. Thankfully we had bought a large package of toilet paper and kleenex the week before, but not because of the virus but because it was on sale and we needed it. I didn't go out with the intention of stocking up. First of all I don't have the extra funds to do that. I am still trying to recover financially from being off with the cancer. I really think people are being silly. There are only two reported cases in my city. I have told my mom who is 85 to stay home because she has COPD and I don't want her to risk catching anything, even a cold or the flu. Walmart also had shelves like pasta and spaghetti sauce that were empty and the microwave popcorn was no where to be found. There was no chicken either that you could buy. The candy isle had lots on it so my daughter and I made sure we got some junk food...lololol....We even went to a local Tim Horton's and got a drink and a donut. The staff was wearing plastic gloves and they were very friendly. The place though was pretty empty. I think as long as we take care to wash our hands and don't touch our face which is really hard we should be ok. That my take on things, these people that our hoarding food are silly, but what do I know. Take care and be well. Mistiquewolf.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by a3a on Mar 15, 2020 12:50 pm

hi Mystique, I was in Walmart last week here in Nanaimo and some areas of the grocery department were bare--canned goods especially.  I don't grocery shop there, but thought I'd take a look.  Our smaller local stores seem to be in good shape.  Glad your mom is being cautious. It feels very futuristic, watching the news and seeing so many people in haz-mat suits.  Hope a vaccine or anti-viral is found soon!  Ginny

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Brighty on Mar 15, 2020 1:40 pm

Our whole city is shut down..  it feels like a ghost town here.    Our grocery  stores are .bare. .. no toilet paper ..no paper towels ..canned goods gone..... it feels like the acopolipse!  I'm so glad I stocked up on paper products  at my last  grocery  visit.      🙂
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by Lianne_Moderator on Mar 15, 2020 2:02 pm

Hi all
These are definitely different times.

I would like to keep this thread focused on the subject line and how it affects those affected by cancer and the people who care for them.

Thank you


Re: Coronavirus and Cancer Treatments

Posted by MCoaster on Mar 15, 2020 3:06 pm

I am scheduled to have elective surgery, to tidy up after a bilateral mastectomy, on the 24th. and was told to expect a phone call from anaesthesiology last Friday but no call came.   Pharmacy is due to call tomorrow so it will be interesting to see if they do.  My son, who knows one of the hospital doctors, said that they are clearing out the hospital in preparation for Covid19 just in case.  I did call my surgeon to see if I should cancel and she said not to cancel.  My take on the situation is that no one really knows because it is new territory and the operation theatre and recovery ward equipment may be required for folks in respiratory distress.   I understand from the radio that respirators may be in short supply.  My surgery  is elective and priority must be given to those in greater need.

As a expat I favour the “Keep Calm and Carry On” approach.

We must all take care of each other.