With everything going on in the world right now, it's normal to feel scared, especially if you're either in the middle of cancer treatment or post-treatment. It’s scary times for immune-compromised people but there are ways around it. I know a lot of these tips you have already heard a million times and it’s been shoved down your throat but I do believe some of them are great ways to stay well. Covid-19 is not just the flu, it's way more serious then that but if you start doing things to be more hygienic and careful, you can get through this pandemic. We are all in this together.
Wash your hands! – Yes, I know, it’s probably the simplest and overheard tip of them all but it still doesn’t take away the importance of it. When I say wash your hands, I mean don’t just quickly wash them with soap and then finish, you really need to do it well. I have found some great videos on YouTube of doctors showing how to really wash your hands well. I suggest maybe going and having a look at them for more tips.
Stay away from people – If you have had chemotherapy or still in the middle of it you will be used to this right now from being neutropenic, please stay away from everyone other than the ones you live with. Having a low immune system means this is super important, and even if you haven’t had treatment for years, your immune system can still be affected by chemotherapy. I haven’t had chemotherapy for nearly 9 years now but I am still wary about my immune system and I don’t take that risk.
Feeling alone while in isolation – I know this one isn’t advice on how to stay safe, it’s still helpful when feeling alone in isolation. Recently I have been in isolation with my family and I haven’t been able to see anyone, even my boyfriend, I have felt pretty alone. To deal with this loneliness I decided to Skype my boyfriend. This made me feel so much better! If you have friends maybe organise a time to all have a chat using video, be creative and think of ways you can still do fun things and enjoy your friend's company even if it’s not in person.
Disinfect everything! – If you are not already doing this during treatment I really suggest starting it. During my treatment and still today I carry sanitising wipes and gel. If I’m out shopping and got to sit at a food court I get it out and wipe the table down. You can do this at home as well, wipe down doorknobs, taps and anything you use frequently. We can’t see germs but these spots that are used by everyone frequently are the best way to catch germs.
Be equipped with essentials – Having a good supply of medications or any medical equipment is crucial. Have someone go out and get any equipment or medications you need before the virus gets worse. It is important to have a good supply of these things in case the virus becomes worse. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the future so please be prepared and ready!
Get some fresh air – There is nothing worse than being locked up inside your home, getting some fresh air and being in the sun can really brighten up your day (literally), and make you feel 100x better. Even if you want to go for a walk, that’s fine as long as you don’t touch anything or come into contact with anyone. It’s also nice to just sit outside when your drinking your morning coffee or having breakfast.
Stay in contact with your doctors – During this time if you are worried about your health and immune system don’t be afraid to contact your doctor or specialist. They can give you even more ideas to stay safe and offer support. You can usually organise an online face to face consultation through Skype or Zoom as well to keep you away from the public.
Have someone to rely on – There will probably be times when you are running low on essentials and you can’t go near the shops. For these situations, it’s a good idea to have someone to rely on to go and get the things you need and drop them at the door or something similar. This way you can still stay safe and have everything you need.
Family members/people you live with – If you are currently living with others whether that be your family or others, make sure if they’re going out for work or other things, they are coming home and going straight to wash their hands or even better, having a shower. Doing this can stop anything bad coming into contact with others living with you and of course yourself. The people you live with need to be on the same page as you and need to support and be aware of the situation and immune deficiency.
Use the Cancer Talk forum or Facebook group! – If you haven’t already, go to our forum and chat with people with similar experiences and understanding. It s really a great way to stay connected and not feel alone. We also have a Facebook group where you can jump on and join the conversations, we are one big family and would really love some more members!
Cancer Talk is here for you and everyone right now. It is a difficult time but we can get through it! Please if you would like more support and don’t know who to turn to, message us on Facebook, Instagram or send an email to Cancertalk@hotmail.com. We are always here to support our family!
Stay safe! xx