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eing around kids during treatment?

Last update: 04/25/2013

Question: I have a very large family and my mom is stuck on me staying with her during my treatment so she can help me take care of my 3 kids.

I am hoping that i won't need any help and will breeze right thru treatment with no problems but my realistic side is saying that may not be the case.

My mom's question is about me being around kids during treatment, now I don't care what type of treatment I have I plan on hugging and kissing my babies daily but I will take precautions as to germs. I have heard people say that their counts were lowest around day 10 -14 ...

Patient-to-patient advice (WebMagic board):

bullet Karl writes: The risk of infection depends on the kind of therapy and the dose. My impression is that the nadir (the low point) for blood counts is typically 10 days after you receive chemotherapy.

I think it's wise (as you've done) to discuss what is happening and how it might change routines for a short while. I suppose hugs are a nice and relatively safe substitute for kisses during therapy.

bullet Sue writes: I went through 8 cycles of RCHOP and more chemo before an auto stem cell transplant with two young children. During chemo I hugged them a lot and did not do a lot of kissing. I was afraid of getting infections from them so I used a lot of Purell.

I made them wash their hands when they came home from school. I also used a separate bathroom from the rest of the family.

I think they would have been clueless about me going through treatment but once my hair fell out they new something was not right. At the time my son was 3 and my daughter was 5. I just told them I had a booboo and needed medicine for it that would cause my hair to fall out.

I was able to do a lot during RCHOP, I went hiking and I did a lot of walking. Everyone handles chemo differently. I tried to be as normal as possible around the children. When they were in school I tried to take a half hour nap while they were gone, so I could be ready for them when they came home. I took them to parks, the beach etc. I did not want them to see me sick.

On the days I received CHOP my husband took over bathing and caring for them. If you have any questions PM me. Best of luck....Sue

My husband is going through RCHOP now and we have three little ones 4 and under. He still hugs, but tries to avoid kisses if possible. We do the Purell and hand washing as much as possible.

Our oncologist seemed to think it was unrealistic to recommend staying away from your own kids! He just said to try to be careful.

bullet Jen writes: It sounds like you are handling it really well with your kids - in terms of preparing them.

We told our 4 year old that Daddy was sick and that the medicene he was taking made his hair fall out. We tried to be light hearted about it.

Everyone takes turns feeling his head and telling him how silly he looks. The other two are way too little to even realize anything is really going on. He's been fortunate to not have suffered any nausea yet, although we have been dealing with a neutropenic fever these last couple days.

bullet Beth writes: Hi! I am really just echoing what others have said.

I went through 5 round of RCHOP and have kids ranging in age from 5 to 14. We did lots of hugging...and stopped sharing drinks...probably a good idea anyway :-)

I took help when I needed it, but was able to just be "mom" most of the time.

I lost my hair and worried my youngest would be upset, but in reality she giggled with me while my best friend shaved my head and helped me pick out hats and bandanas. She helped me keep a smile on my face and not take myself too seriously.

At one point, my oldest (a boy - age 14) caught me looking in the mirror trying to fix a bandana and said..."mom, you look great...just go with it!" Kids are great...give yours a hug for me :-)

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