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Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:23 PM

How do you avoid infection when you are immune compromised?

Do you go to church or clubs?

How about gyms, swimming pools?

Grocery stores, malls?

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Reply How do you avoid infection when you are immune compromised? (Original post)
hedgehog Aug 2015 OP
Solly Mack Aug 2015 #1
slipslidingaway Aug 2015 #2
olddots Sep 2015 #3
davidsmith75 Sep 2015 #4
Contrary1 Sep 2015 #5

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 08:40 PM

1. I avoided children as much as possible.

Darling little vectors they can be.

Also anyone with an illness I could catch.

I was careful when I went out, but I didn't stop going out. Well, I went out when I felt like it.

I got flu and pneumonia shots.

Got a tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis ) shot as well.

Already had the Hepatitis B series for work.

Washed my hands. Didn't shake hands with anyone. Extra careful about where and what I touched while in public.

Mainly I was just more vigilant about things a person should be doing anyway.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Aug 31, 2015, 11:49 PM

2. It really depends on the severity and just how compromised your immune system is ...

and these are questions you need to address with your doctor ... never be afraid to ask

As someone whose husband has had two allogeneic stem cell transplants I would automatically say no to community pools, a private pool that has been maintained with a limited number of swimmers might be OK. Public places might be OK, but wash hands and use sanitizer often, open doors/buttons with an elbow or knuckle as you are less likely to touch your eyes, mouth with those areas of your body. Most public places can be controlled, if someone is coughing or sniffling step away, opt for seats on the end of an aisle and when possible some distant behind you in case someone sneezes. There are simple precautionary measures that you can take to decrease the possibility of catching something without driving yourself crazy.

If one's immune system is compromised you should also be looking at a low microbial diet, no uncooked vegetables, fruits, rare or even medium cooked meats, no buffets etc. There are other items, we were told to not us a sponge after transplant (paper towels here we come) but you can soak the cleaning utensils in bleach, put them in the dishwasher or the microwave. Just be aware of what touches uncooked meats and vegetables and clean them often ... cutting boards, counters. Toothbrushes also carry quite a few germs so if your ANC (absolute neutrophil count) is low then change them often along with hand towels that are used by others.

All this being said, I do believe that when your immune system is severely compromised, when they intentionally try and wipe out your immune system in order to replace it with another immune system many threats come from within our own bodies from viruses that we all have and that surface when there is either no immune system or close to it play a large role ... CMV, EBV, BK, C Diff being a few.

Circling back, it depends on the severity so check with your doctor.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Sep 1, 2015, 12:22 AM

3. Depending on the cancer going put in public


is not an option .Your doctors have the answers ,they work for you so don't be afraid to ask them these guestions .Also try to ask them about what will happen after they treat the cancer because this is going to be the beginning of your life in many ways .

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Thu Sep 17, 2015, 09:50 AM

4. avoidance

I know life has to go on, but avoiding many things is the only way to go.

You can wash your hands every 10 minutes, wear a nose/mouth cap, use anti-bacterial gels and wipes all the time, but the more people there are or have been, the more difficult it becomes to stay away from germs, bacteria and viruses.

When I was sick, I avoided these places after making the mistake of going to the mall on a Sunday. I came back really sick and took me months to get over a simple cold.

I did go to malls on less crowded days, stayed short. I'd wash my hands constantly and not touch things (not even clothes when browsing. Or touch the counter when ordering a basic coffee to go)

I did go to the gym, but only early in the morning and the same rule of washing hands and using antibacterial wipes I apply.

Grocery shopping I did mostly online.

What I did most and was the best part of my day, was go to the national park or forest. The healing power of nature is amazing!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Fri Sep 18, 2015, 04:24 AM

5. I stayed home...

If family or friends wanted to visit, I asked them if they had been ill, or exposed to anyone who might have been.

It's only temporary, but you have got to think of yourself first. Do not risk infection.

My chemo was delayed because of infection. It wasn't caused by an outside source, but the doctor determined it wasn't worth the risk.

My best advice is to be safe.

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