Are you getting cancer treatments during COVID-19?

Posted by Colleen Young, Connect Director @colleenyoung, Thu, Mar 26 4:46pm

Are you getting cancer treatments at the moment? What about diagnostic tests, like blood tests, CT scans, mammography, PET scans etc? Is your surgery going ahead as planned or postponed?

I’d like to hear from you. What is like being in treatment during the COVID-19 crisis? How are you doing?

My son, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, had this filter placed in some vein just a few weeks ago when he was having a bleeding problem in his stomach. He didn't seem to have any ill effects since he is home now and waiting for info on chemo.

Best wishes to you.

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@seaspray

Have not received my CURE subscription yet but thank you for sending this. I have my labs and infusion Thursday and to be honest, I am scared to death. As I had said previously, Mayo was not wearing masks and asking patients not to wear mask unless they were sick. This was last Monday and Tuesday when I went for brain radiation. Now that masks have been allowed by the CDC, I wonder if they will wear them. Because I have had progression, I am hesitant to cancel my infusion. I did receive a message on my portal that my PA will have a phone conversation with me instead of the office visit but that they feel I need to have the labs and infusion done on time. Not a great feeling. I plan on wearing a N90 mask and they will have to deal with it although I feel like I have already been exposed by 4 of them last week.

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@seaspray, you can certainly wear a mask and are encouraged to do so if you have one. The guidelines are shifting everyday. You may also be interested in this article written by Mayo Clinic's Cancer Education Center team.
– Another Reason to Wear a Mask during COVID-19 https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/cancer-education-center/newsfeed-post/another-reason-to-wear-a-mask/

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@colleenyoung

@seaspray, you can certainly wear a mask and are encouraged to do so if you have one. The guidelines are shifting everyday. You may also be interested in this article written by Mayo Clinic's Cancer Education Center team.
– Another Reason to Wear a Mask during COVID-19 https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/cancer-education-center/newsfeed-post/another-reason-to-wear-a-mask/

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Thank you Colleen for sending this! I just checked on my portal and they are still saying no masks unless you are sick! It is still worrisome that the 4 doctors and nurses I had contact with Monday & Tuesday for my brain radiation. did not wear masks. Tomorrow I go to an Orthopedic Podiatrist for an ongoing clogged sweat pore in my foot, and I will be wearing a mask. Thursdays I go back to Mayo for labs and then infusion and I plan on wearing a N90 the whole time.

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@seaspray

Thank you Colleen for sending this! I just checked on my portal and they are still saying no masks unless you are sick! It is still worrisome that the 4 doctors and nurses I had contact with Monday & Tuesday for my brain radiation. did not wear masks. Tomorrow I go to an Orthopedic Podiatrist for an ongoing clogged sweat pore in my foot, and I will be wearing a mask. Thursdays I go back to Mayo for labs and then infusion and I plan on wearing a N90 the whole time.

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Wear a mask – yes. Better than doing nothing. Take shower when you get home- in medical place -more more defense mode- our thought are with you while you go the process

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Here is the latest information from Center for Disease Control (CDC) and guidance on cloth face masks.

– Face Masks https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
It includes information about
– How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
– Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
– How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
– How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
– Instructions on how to make a cloth mask

Also see these links
– Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html
– Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html

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@colleenyoung
Time to go find where I stored the sewing machine, I guess….

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@elizm

@colleenyoung
Time to go find where I stored the sewing machine, I guess….

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Colleen, just dusted my sewing machine off and made 4 masks for family. You know, it’s like riding a bike- you never forget how to😂

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@colleenyoung

Here is the latest information from Center for Disease Control (CDC) and guidance on cloth face masks.

– Face Masks https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
It includes information about
– How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering
– Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
– How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
– How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
– Instructions on how to make a cloth mask

Also see these links
– Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html
– Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html

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Thank you for these very compete directions for making masks. I will pas them on to my family.

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Diagnosed with ET. Numbers seem to be somewhat unstable. I feel fine except Hydroxyurea makes me a bit nauseous, so take it with food, which helps. See Hematologist usually every three months. Now a couple of weeks overdue as they do not want me to come to the hospital center, in nearby small city. We live in a rural area and our local lab is closed, along with some others, due to threat of Covid19. The Doctor wants me to get a blood test before he can issue new prescription. I have found a lab in small town nearby and have an appointment in a few days. They are doing tests only by appointment, one person allowed in at a time and they check before you enter re Covid 19 symptoms etc. I am 79 and my husband is also older, so we have been trying to do our part by social distancing and isolating etc. We have everything we need. I would certainly rather not be going to any lab or appointment right now but it seems that the blood test is necessary. The Hematologist phoned me the day I was to have been there for his appointment to check on me and he reiterated the need to go for the blood test. Be careful everyone to avoid the virus threat.

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I’ve had my infusion a week ago. Also brain MRI. These were done at the CDI and cancer center in St Cloud. My scans at the Mayo in Rochester were postpone from April till June. Ok with me. Rather be safe than sorry.

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@huronshores

Diagnosed with ET. Numbers seem to be somewhat unstable. I feel fine except Hydroxyurea makes me a bit nauseous, so take it with food, which helps. See Hematologist usually every three months. Now a couple of weeks overdue as they do not want me to come to the hospital center, in nearby small city. We live in a rural area and our local lab is closed, along with some others, due to threat of Covid19. The Doctor wants me to get a blood test before he can issue new prescription. I have found a lab in small town nearby and have an appointment in a few days. They are doing tests only by appointment, one person allowed in at a time and they check before you enter re Covid 19 symptoms etc. I am 79 and my husband is also older, so we have been trying to do our part by social distancing and isolating etc. We have everything we need. I would certainly rather not be going to any lab or appointment right now but it seems that the blood test is necessary. The Hematologist phoned me the day I was to have been there for his appointment to check on me and he reiterated the need to go for the blood test. Be careful everyone to avoid the virus threat.

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@huronshores– Good morning. It must be extremely frustrating to have your doctor poo-poo a lot of what you ask him. Have you considered a second opinion? Does your doctor want to give you a new medicine or just a refill for the Hydroxyurea? I'm so glad to hear that you are following recent recommendations for protection against COVID-19. Make sure that you wear a mask and gloves. Most phlebotomists wear gloves, but I hope that yours has a mask on. If you have plenty of masks maybe bring one in case she doesn't?

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@richcolleen

I’ve had my infusion a week ago. Also brain MRI. These were done at the CDI and cancer center in St Cloud. My scans at the Mayo in Rochester were postpone from April till June. Ok with me. Rather be safe than sorry.

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@richcolleen– Hi. I bet that you're glad that those are done. Do you have the results yet?

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Yes. One word which said reassuring .than my primary Dr called and said looked good.

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My chemo was stopped about 8 months ago because of my lung function,or breathing was difficult , since working with a pulmonary doctor I have normal lung function again. I have a growing renal cancer tumor in my lung which came from removal of kidney was completely cover with renal cancer. I have cancel a knee replacement and have reservations about going back on chemo even though the tumor is still growing, I do ct scans every 3 months on the upper body.

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@w5wiggi– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Connect. You've really been through a lot! Side effects from treatments that are so bad that they have to be stopped are really the pits. I'm really glad that your lung function is once again good! Is your doctor thinking of trying another chemo treatment?

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