Cancer log 62: …

Cancer log 62: Immunosuppression, what is it?

So, I typically host a big party once a month. I realize that some of you are now backing away from me slowly, shaking your heads. In my defense, there's two children's birthdays (May and September), holidays (January (New Year), February (Valentine), April (Sri Lankan New Year), July (4th of), October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving), and December (Christmas). So really, it's only March, June, and August that are extra, and those are just bonuses because they're fun.

Anyway, parties. Sometimes we spend money, sometimes we don't spend much -- potlucks are great. The point is the people, and the feeding thereof. It's a cultural compulsion; if I go too long without feeding a horde, I can feel the ghosts of my grandmothers giving me those looks. Those letting down the side kind of looks. Also, I like people. I'm sure there are people who would take chemo as a relief in some ways, a reason to hide from the world and enjoy it, but while I like and need my alone time, I also like and need my people time. Five-to-six months of isolation would make me seriously stressed, which can't be good for my health.

All of which means that I have a strong need to know what I need to do in terms of chemo and immune-suppression, and so far, people have not been clear with me. I'm planning to keep teaching my classes through April -- then I'm just at home writing from May - August, so if I don't go to some effort, I won't see anyone other than my immediate family. How careful do I need to be? Should I:

- not go out to crowded places like museums? how about parks? - not have visitors at all? - make my visitors wear masks? - wear a mask myself? - tell people not to come over if they have a cold? - only host small gatherings, like dinners, in a well-ventilated house? - not worry about it until later in the course of the chemo treatment (because chemo's effects are cumulative?) I am feeling a distinct lack of information here, and while I'll be haranguing my doctor and nurses on this on Monday, more information would definitely be helpful at this point.

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