I’ve said before how this entire journey has been one of much learning for both CC and me. I mean, I heard about immune systems being compromised during treatment but had never thought about how to address that–including the havoc seemingly healthy foods could wreak on a chemo patient’s system.
After my first month in Chemo Canyon, I felt pretty adept at grocery shopping, pharmacy shopping, house disinfecting, reminding CC (sometimes insisting) to take meds, mixing up baking soda mouth rinse and paying attention to a myriad of details I never dreamed important.
So when it was time for me to leave Chemo Canyon and fly across country to my own family, I made sure CC’s husband, family, friends and any well meaning person who stepped foot into her house knew Chemo Chick’s Laws of the Land. I emailed the list to whomever I could then printed and posted it on the fridge for everyone else.**
Hand Sanitizer! Everyone who walks in front door needs to use hand sanitizer—located on entry hall table. [I found a huge pump bottle at the drug store–it was awesome!]
Fruits and Veggies must be thoroughly washed under running water. Scrub with dish rag; no soap. The thicker the skin, the better, (oranges, bananas, squashes).
Veggies must be sautéed/cooked to some degree—it’s important to get some heat on them.
Never Allowed: lettuce, raw spinach, sprouts, deli meats, kitchen tap water, white sugar, processed foods, raw fish
Glasses, dishes, utensils, etc.: When washing items, please add a pour of bleach to the hot sudsy water and let items soak a few minutes to kill germs and bacteria. Rinse well with hot water.
Paper plates, bowls, napkins, plastic utensil and drinking straws are located to the left of the kitchen sink. Plastic utensils can be washed in the soap/bleach.
Doorknobs, kitchen appliances, faucets, handles of any kind, remote controls, keypads, keyboards—basically anything that gets touched on a daily basis: Wipe often with disinfecting cloths (placed throughout the house) or paper towel and alcohol (located under sink in both baths).
Water & Ice: Please use purified water to make ice cubes and all beverages. [The plumbing in CC’s rental house was 1950’s original, ew, so we opted for a water cooler service to assure the water was as clean and pure as possible. This turned out to be an extra perk as the dispenser had instant hot water, making hot herbal tea an easy task for CC and others to handle.]
Laundry: Launder kitchen and bath towels in hot water. Vinegar can be used as fabric softener and disinfectant.
Anything scented, even lightly, can cause nausea.
Lubricating eye drops need to be in individual, one-time vials—not a bottle.
Coupons are in bowl on hall table.
Night time: The living room up light is the perfect night light for trips down the hall. Switch is on left as you walk down into living room.
Please make sure CC is staying super, uber hydrated throughout the day
**After his jet lag had subsided and before I left, I sat down with CC’s husband, his notebook in hand, and went over every important what-to-do, what-not-to-do, what-to-expect, why, where, who and how pertaining to life as he would soon come to know it.