Today I'm feeling better! The bone pain is dissipating although I still feel a little weak. I found a new website called chemotherapy.com that has some good information. I discovered that more than 50% of febrile neutropenic events occur in the first cycle of chemotherapy. Yikes! So preventing infection is of the utmost importance!
Simple but effective steps to help protect against infection triggered by low number of white blood cells:
- Always wash your hands with soap and plenty of water. Many infections are transmitted through hands and things that you touch, such as doorknobs. Washing your hands thoroughly is the most important thing you can do to prevent infection.
- Avoid people with colds or the flu.
- Avoid large crowds to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with sick people.
- Bathe daily and carefully dry your skin.
- Take steps to prevent cuts or scrapes, as these provide entry points for infection:
- Use an electric razor instead of a blade to avoid cuts.
- Use caution with sharp objects.
- Wear gloves when possible.
- If you have a cut or scrape, keep it covered with a clean bandage until it heals.
- Prevent cracks in your skin by using lotion.
- Cook your food thoroughly to kill any potential microorganisms that may be on raw food.
So, I'll be following the above precautions as I move through this process. All of you should also feel free to take the above precautions (especially if you will be around me!)