This 1970s John Travolta film came to mind the other day when I was speaking to my chemo nurse and she was going on and on about about infections. Chemotherapy compromises your immune system - it kills off your white blood cells making the patient more vulnerable. So, I am to avoid crowded places such as the Tube, or any places where snotty children are around. As I have three snotty children of my own, this is going to prove to be quite difficult. And since I do not want to ensconce myself in my own little plastic bubble (how uncomfortable would that be?) I have had to make a few compromises.
Thus, our house is littered with bottles of anti-bacterial gel so that everyone who has to come in contact with me has to slather themselves in the stuff first. I now avoid the cats, I wash my hands at every opportunity and worst of all, have stopped kissing family members on the mouth and keep touching to a minimum.
This is the hardest for me as I am just about the most tactile person around - I hug, kiss and touch given the chance - it's my way of showing comfort, love and friendship. But since I want to be able to do this for a much longer time, a shorter period of hugging abstinence is necessary. Chemotherapy is a bugger.