CLL Support Association
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Protecting my husband from my cold?

Hi. I haven't had a cold for about 4 years or so and now my son (grown up, but living with us) both have colds!

My husband ( half way through cycle 5 of FCR) is the healthiest in the house at the moment!!

We have been extremely careful about hygiene all the way through treatment and can't bear to think of infecting him now (although he started a cold last week and his neutrophils were really good ).

If anyone has any tips, other than him living in the shed, they would be gratefully received! We don't have the option of staying elsewhere.

Many thanks, hope the rest of you are doing well, Fran 😉

7 Replies

Hi Fran,

From personal experience, it is very difficult to avoid the spread of respiratory infections between people in a house. The best I've been able to achieve is several weeks. You might have a better chance if the first to get it, get it concurrently, rather than sequentially.

My tips would be:

Those having a cold should wear face/surgical masks whenever they are in common areas of the house and only remove them when they are in a room only they occupy, i.e. a bedroom. Keep the door to that room closed.

Everyone needs to pay particular care to hygiene, washing hands frequently and ideally after every nose blow (yes I know, that can be pretty well impossible if you have a runny nose with the cold).

If you have more than one bathroom, let the cold free person use one bathroom and those infected use the other.

Your husband should have his meals separately from the rest of the family while they have an obvious cold and for a week after they are over it.

Your husband needs to consciously avoid touching his eyes, nose or mouth unless he has just washed his hands. Remember that you'll all be sharing the use of light switches and door knobs. All that's necessary to expose him to the virus, is for someone with a cold to blow their nose, forget to wash their hands, turn off a light to a room which your husband then turns on up to a day later and then rubs his eyes, etc.

Weather permitting, let as much sun and air into the house as possible

Try and be patient with each other! It's not an easy way to live.



That's a problem, hard for you. So difficult to prevent germs from spreading if airborne. Good luck. Peggy.

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First of all Yay for your husband having a good neutrophil count 5 treatments in!

Next week starts my husband's 3rd round of FCR and so far so good, you give me hope it can continue, still holding my breath.

I appreciate your post and the helpful replies because that is one of my biggest fears is being the one to catch the cold and pass it on. He is staying away from crowds and able to work in his office with the door shut but I still have to go to the grocery store and work in an office pod. I wish I could put myself on the same restrictions, how will I get through cold and flu season? However, we both did last year, so fingers crossed.

I hadn't thought of the face masks but I will be getting some on hand just in case along with the sanitizing wipes for light switches and door knobs.

Wishing you and your son a quick recovery and continued good health for your husband.



Hi Julie. Bless you, that's so kind of you to reply ☺️

Paul's chemo hasn't been too bad, after we got over an awful first cycle! Results have always been good. He is off work for 6 months, but I work in a busy secondary school!

We too stay away from crowds- the most difficult part has been not visiting our one year old granddaughter 😔

He has been amazing all through and just hope we get a great outcome at the end! I guess we'll be back on watch and wait again! Like you, I hold my breath all the time - I know life will never be the same again, but we're luckier than lots.

I'm not sure that we will be using face masks, but I have wiped everything that doesn't move ever since he started chemo!

Thanks for your kind wishes, colds seem to be improving-I can't believe I've got one after all this time!

Really, sincerely wishing you lots of good results,

Fran 😊

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Hi Fran,

Good to hear that your husband hasn't been too bad after his first cycle. You all must have really wondered how he could ever survive the full course!

With regard to your comment about not being sure about using face masks, remember we are talking about an easily spread respiratory illness here and breathing and talking also release droplets containing viral particles. Coughing and sneezing just spreads them further. Wearing masks stops most of the cause of contagion at its source. Colds are infectious enough amongst healthy people, let alone for those with compromised immune systems from CLL and chemo treatment. As I said, from my experience, even wearing masks only delayed the spread of colds for several weeks - colds are very contagious.

It's great to hear that your colds are improving and I hope you are all able to get through this without Paul sharing it; obviously your industrious hygiene efforts are paying off. Talk about bad timing!!!



Thanks for your responses. Yes, we're getting there and you and all the other amazing people here have helped an enormous amount , keeping us informed and helping us to feel so supported.

Thanking you and sending our very best wishes,

Fran 😊

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Just be careful Fran. You're obviously doing well in looking after him.

Don't forget to look after yourself as well!

My best wishes



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