Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Visiting Parents

This week I am fortunate to be able to visit with my parents. This was a visit that had to be timed very carefully because of the various factors that need to be considered with my father's chemo therapy. For a certain amount of time after he receives a dose he excretes toxins through his skin and anyone around him is at risk of receiving second-hand chemo. It isn't good for anyone to be exposed to but there was extra concern for me because even low levels of exposure can result in infertility.

The other concern is his immune system. He is starting to have signs of improvement but that is only in relative terms and every treatment cycle will cause a fresh drop in resistance. We were very careful to plan our trip for the few days between when the toxins would begin to lessen and his immune system would begin to crash. Fortunately that happened to coincide with his birthday.

Even though we picked the optimal time, precautions still need to be taken. His immune system is still very, very weak so we are wearing masks anytime we are in the same room. I am also being careful to wear gloves anytime I need to handle anything he's touched to avoid exposure to second-hand chemo. It is possible that we are being overly cautious but the risks on both sides are so great that we feel it's better safe than sorry.