Mum starting chemo on Tuesday. What can I do to ensure my mum stays safe and I don't pass on a cold?

my mum is starting Chemo on Tuesday what can I do at home to make sure I don't pass on a cold or anything 

  • I will be working I will be wearing a face mask at work bit need ways to make sure my mum stays safe 

  • Hello mikki666,

    It's so thoughtful and considerate of you to think about making sure you won't be passing a cold to your mum while she is undergoing chemotherapy.  I am not sure what the official guidance is on this and I would if I were you get in touch with the chemotherapy nurse/ your mum's medical team when your mum starts her treatment. They will be well aware and informed as to what precautions loved ones may need to take and as every individual case may be different too as we all have different medical backgrounds and conditions, the team looking after your mum will be well aware of her medical notes and will be in the best position to give you appropriate advice. 

    Don't hesitate also to give our cancer nurses a call as they will be able to tell you more and give you good advice on this. You can reach them on this free number 0808 800 4040 - their line is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (but closed this bank holiday Monday). 

    Other members of our community may be able to offer you more insights on this based on their personal experiences. To make it easier for them to spot your post, I have edited your title slightly so that members of our forum can see what the subject of your thread is straight away and respond to it if they have any thoughts they would like to share with you. 

    Our website has a detailed section on chemotherapy which may be of interest to you and I hope that everything goes well for your mum on Tuesday and that she isn't feeling too nervous about starting her treatment. 

    Best wishes, 

    Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Hi,

    I lost my mum of Friday to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). 

    Mum was diagnosed in 2019 and fought so hard until it retuned in March of this year. AML affects the infection fighting white blood cells called neutrophils. It meant that my mum was highly susceptible to infection even when she was in remission. 

    My sister and I lived with mum, so over the last 5 years we had to be ultra careful which was scary during the pandemic. We had to avoid coming into contact with anyone who was ill or had been in contact with someone who had colds or viruses that could be passed on. At work people got to know our circumstances and respectfully stayed out of our way when unwell.  Regular hand washing is a must at home and when you are out and about. Hand gel is good too but make sure you moisturise as your hands will dry out. If you show any signs of feeling unwell no matter how small wear a mask when you are in contact with your mum. My sister and I would stay in our bedrooms as much as possible until we stopped showing symptoms. It is also important to sanitise surfaces she will come into contact when you are unwell. 

    Just as important as it is for you to take precautions to avoid passing anything on, it will be extremely important that your mum gets immediate help if she starts showing symptoms of anything that could turn into an infection. She will need to phone either her GP or will be given a special cancer line number to phone. Our mum would have to go up to the hospital for checks and would be given antibiotics. 

    At the same time it is important that you do not make yourself ill with worry. We cannot 100% prevent our loved ones from catching anything from ourselves or others.

    I am thinking of you and your mum x