Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Cancer and cold

32 replies

Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:05

Sorry wrong topic, the phone wont let me change it.

Ds (8) and I live with my parents atm due to escaping domestic violence.

Please can someone help, dad is undergoing chemo, but I'm awake now and can hear ds has a cold, what am I supposed to do, I am so worried about dad catching it! Would it be best to go and stay elsewhere? Dad usually helps with school run too, should we get a cab?

OP posts:

Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:14

I am mildly panicking so anyone with any advice would be greatly appreciated

OP posts:

MakeItRain · 20/12/2019 06:15

I think just be vigilant. Talk to her and make sure she's covering her mouth if coughing/sneezing, washing her hands a lot and using/disposing of tissues. When you live together it's hard to avoid bugs. I know from a friend's experience that catching anything is a worry when you're going through chemo and he might really appreciate you saying you'll book a taxi but not making a massive deal of it. Suggest it and see what he says.

Try not to worry. My friend would avoid anyone with a bug, but she accepted that this was impossible within her own family. Flowers


Airplanes · 20/12/2019 06:22

Wash hands religiously, make sure everyone does. Make sure they stay in different parts of the house. Try and get a nasal spray called first defense - it stops a cold developing. My dad's consultant said he could use it. Some people buy in surgical masks too.

Makeitrain is right, there's no way to avoid all germs


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:23

Thanks, tbh with my situation and now this on top I feel completely destroyed, gosh, I'm considering moving to a friends now just so dad doesn't get sick!

I will speak with dad when he gets up and keep ds in the bedroom! Urgh

OP posts:

Her0utdoors · 20/12/2019 06:27

Does your dad have a specialist nurse you can contact? Or speak to Macmillan?


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:28

Yes he does, he is with Macmillan also, I am also looking into first defense.

I will keep ds in the bedroom to get ready for school today

OP posts:

OneDay10 · 20/12/2019 06:28

Is it possible to go away to your friends for a few days just till DC feels much better? If that's not an option I think you just should be extra vigilant with washing hands, maybe keeping them apart as much as possible.


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:29

@oneday10 it certainly is possible, I'm going to send some messages today!

OP posts:

ranoutofquinoaandprosecco · 20/12/2019 06:31

I had cancer and underwent chemo last year with a 5 and 7 year old at home. We just tried to make sure they washed their hands, disposed of tissues etc.
They also told me to have my own towels.
I don't think there's much more you can do. Good luck.


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 06:46

Thank you, I am just in full on panic now, there is a pharmacy across the road from the school so I will be going there straight after drop off! I could cry!

OP posts:

Spidey66 · 20/12/2019 06:54

Is your dad getting chemo? Is that why you're worried?


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 07:02

Yea he had his chemo last week

OP posts:

Almahart · 20/12/2019 07:03

Ring the Macmillan helpline and have a chat. They’ll be able to reassure you


AuntieStella · 20/12/2019 07:04

How long is his course of chemotherapy?

What type?

What does he say about infection risk during treatment?


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 07:16

Hes having it every 2 weeks, for 6 weeks, he has just had number 5.

He is having chemo via a PICC line,

Dad was insistent on taking ds to school, (we live very rurally) ds saying he has a headache so I've put foot down and ds will be staying home, in bed, with antibacterial hand stuff, tissues and I am going to go and buy some ginger and stuff to make a ginger tea,

Any advice on kicking a cold out asap would be welcomed.

OP posts:

Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 07:16

Also dad is saying his white blood count is fine at last check so he thinks he will be ok, but I am petrified really,

OP posts:

Sooverthemill · 20/12/2019 07:21

I have had chemo with a house full of kids. My FIL had chemo and was terminal. My DD had chemo as an 18 year old.

My advice is, everyone wear masks ( GP, Macmillan, boots, amazon sell them). Use liquid hand wash rigorously, wipe down handles. Avoid child going into room with your father. Ensure that his nurses know and they will either be checking daily anyway or they will ask you to take his temperature. If his temp reaches 38 degrees then notify his specialist team ( they may want to give antibiotics).

It is just a cold but your dad will be compromised because of the chemo reducing his immunity. If it was flu, that may be different.

Try not to worry.

You can't cure a cold but you can practice scrupulous hygiene eg hand washing, tissues and throw in bin immediately, cover mouth when coughing. Etc


Sooverthemill · 20/12/2019 07:24

Your dad will know if he's neutropenic which is when white blood cells are very low and he's at high risk. When each of us were neutropenic we had to be vigilant and avoid certain food ( eg salad) and DD was nursed in special room in hospital that had super filtering system and a hallway.
Try not to worry. I know you will. His specialist nurse will ah e given him a number for advice, USE IT. They never ever mind phone calls and they ( someone in team) carry the phone 24/7 so phone now. And then have a cup of tea


Fedupofitnow123 · 20/12/2019 07:25

Thank you for that, dad is not taking his temperature, mums just disinfected all of the handles, ds has antibacterial handwash for use especially when he needs the toilet! Will be ringing Macmillan at a more reasonable hour!

OP posts:

Sooverthemill · 20/12/2019 07:29

Is Macmillan his specialist nurse? If not, The hospital he gets treatment from will have given him a pack of info which will include a telephone number of his specialist nurse ( they bleep whichever is on call). I have phoned at midnight for my DD when her temperature reached 38.9 and they did not mind. In the hospital they all carry the phone everywhere even answering in the loo! Please don't worry about asking them even at this hour. Time is precious
( I was in a Marie curie ward, my FIL was Macmillan and my DD was teenage cancer trust but we all had number of a specialist NHS employed cancer nurse)


Sooverthemill · 20/12/2019 07:30

Also, in his lack there may be a thermometer? Or do you have one? I would take it. We had to do ours 4 x a day while on chemo so were given a small digital one but we already had a Braun one


iVampire · 20/12/2019 07:46

I am on long term cancer treatment (cytotoxic inhibitor, not chemo on the usual sense)

You can’t always keep away from everyone showing signs of infection (and of course cohabitants may be passing infections on in the incubation period before symptoms show).

Yes, you need to isolate anyone likely to be infectious as far as is possible within the household, and be extremely vigilant with hygiene (including opening windows)

You need to make sure you know where the 24/7 contact number is (I have an Acute Oncology Alert Card - he’ll probably have similar)

All adults in the household need to know what symptoms mean they ring in immediately (should be listed) plus the symptoms of sepsis (risk of neutropenic sepsis is raised, and it can kill). If you don’t have this info, ask the Macmillan nurse to re-send it

If your DDad feels weird, make sure he takes his temperature. He sounds unfazed, and there really is no need to worry more about him than he does himself.

Patients know we can’t avoid all germs. Rescheduling a chemo session because of blood count is very common, as is dealing with winter lurgies generally.

Flowers and I hope final session goes ahead on time and that the courses of treatment have the expected effect


Spidey66 · 20/12/2019 07:49

When my mum was having chemo, we had to take her to a&e with a cold which obviously you want to avoid at Christmas!

Ring his care team for advice.


thatwasMauijustmessingaround · 20/12/2019 07:56

As for infection control, I'd get a tin of dettol spray or a pack of anti bacterial wipes for all door handles, door frames, stair rails etc! Even the toilet. Anything your child might touch which your dad might after. Giving stuff a quick wipe down after your son has used it won't take a second and should make you feel better!

Just a tip: if you use an antibacterial spray for the worktops usually & think that'll do the trick, read the bottle, most take 5 minutes to actually kill any bacteria and should be left down before you wipe. That's why I'd go for a tin of spray dettol or a pack of wipes really. I'm not normally one to advocate disposable wipes but this is one of the circumstances I'd use them.


Likethebattle · 20/12/2019 08:01

Your dad needs to be vigilant about hand washing, proper washing with soap before he eats anything. The cold is passed via touch. So if your dh coughs/sneezes he must cover his mouth then wash his hands, if he sneezes onto a surface that your dad then touches them eats/touches his eyes or nose or mouth he will be exposed. Ask him to avoid touching his face and wipe down light switches, remote controls, door handles, bannisters regularly. Tell your dad to stop being stupid and take his temp as his last chemo could be delayed if he has the cold, his best chance of seeing his grandson grow up is to take care of himself.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?