It’s a pretty clear post title. It’s been a pretty clear message all along. But some immediate family members have misjudged the severity of my words and warnings…or worse, chosen to ignore it. I wasn’t joking. This isn’t a game. This is my life and your illness can kill me.
I’m writing this because I’ve had a few close contact encounters with sick family members or people who’s significant others who are sick in the past three days. Note that this is plural, meaning multiple offendors, not only one individual is guilty.
I HOPE BY READING THIS POST IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR I CAN NOT BE IN THE PRESENCE OF SICK PEOPLE, OR PEOPLE WHO HANG OUT CLOSELY WITH SICK PEOPLE. IF YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND THIS WE NEED TO CHECK YOU INTO THE PSYCH WARD, PRISON, OR MANAGED CARE.
Most people do not misjudge the severity of what I said in the past about me getting sick, and I appreciate that. Some people just didn’t know, and I totally understand that. I make it a point to ask before I see people I believe aren’t in the know about my chemotherapy restrictions. I’m not blaming those people.
It was immediate family that violated this, three times.
I’ve been told laws are written for stupid people. Involuntary manslaughter is a crime you commit when you ignorantly kill someone. You didn’t intend to, but you accidently took someone’s life. Wikipedia defines this very well…killing someone via a “willful disregard for life“. Say you jump your snowmobile off a 30 foot snowdrift with a passenger who’s drunk, they fly off and smash in a tree and die…that’s involuntary manslaughter. I’m familiar with this as a former immediate family member committed, was convicted, and served prison time for this crime.
Don’t commit involuntary manslaughter to me with your illness. Stay home if you, or someone close to you, is sick. Don’t even come on my lawn or driveway. I will very much appreciate your honesty, forethought, and respect to allow me to live. I’d much rather you do it this way. You’re doing everyone a favor.
So in the remainder of this post, let me set out to do two things here:
- Give evidence how I communicated not to come around me if you are sick
- Give evidence from respected organizations why not to come around me if you are sick
1) Evidence how I communicated not to come around me if you are sick
- Isolation – 1/25/2009
“Every time I go around other people while I’m on chemo, I risk getting sick. Getting sick on chemo is very bad news. These next several weeks, please don’t take it personally that I won’t come visit, or that I won’t let you in my house. I’m not being a big anti-social cancer jerk. I’m not trying to sit atop Mt. Crumpet staring down at all the whos in Whoville. I’m simply trying to survive.”
- The Real Deal – 1/23/2009
“During chemo I’ll have a weakened / nonexistant immune system. Catch a cold on chemo, your body can’t fight it, you’re potentially looking at spending several nights as an in-patient at a hospital. Get a cavity, almost die. Read or heard too many of those stories. Chemo patients are instructed to avoid large crowds. Wash hands before and after eating. Avoid people who are sick, or people who were near people who were sick.”
- Beefy 20 Ounce – 1/18/2009
“I will be asking everyone and anyone I come in contact with if they are sick or were around someone who was sick.”
- Risk Status – 1/13/2009
“If I catch a cold or an infection, it could be deadly”
- !W00T for my WBC – 2/10/2009
“If you are giving me a ride or will come in contact with me, please let me know if you are sick, or if you’ve been hanging around someone who’s sick. Don’t take it personal when I put a mask on. Getting sick or an infection now lands me a trip as in-patient to the hospital automatically…I was warned of that again today by the nurse, heard and read the stories from others it happened to on chemotherapy.”
- Extremes – 2/12/2009
“Angela’s Grandma Died, and She’s Not Going to the Funeral Because of Me. Plain and simple, Angela’s says it is best for her not to go because there will be (confirmed) sick people there, if she catches something and brings it home I’m toast, because I’m already compromised.”
Not to mention all the stories I’ve told verbally about how it’s unfortunate that I had to cancel with other people I was going to get a ride with, Angela not being able to go to her own grandmother’s funeral, Angela not seeing her family for a month because they were coming in contact with sick people, etc.
Oh ya, was it obvious that I ended up in the hospital when I just got sick? For four days? But Angela had the same thing as me and she was there…10 hours. Now why would Jeff stay so much longer than Angela…OH YA his immune system is compromised and he can’t fight off anything.
By the way, my white blood cell count is already lower than miminum acceptable levels per my oncologist on Saturday.
Sick people “close” to you examples you need to tell me about:
- Someone you sleep in the same bed with
- Someone who lives in your house
- Someone you kiss
- Your kids
Great example…I got sick Wednesday…Angela got sick Friday. Husband and wife are close, therefore someone close to you who is sick is likely to become ill as well.
2) Evidence from respected organizations why not to come around me if you are sick
- National Cancer Institute
“Stay away from people who are sick. This includes people with colds, flu, measles, or chicken pox.”
- American Cancer Society
“Chemo lowers your white blood cell count, which can lower how well you are able to fight infections. Your cancer care team may ask you to do certain things to avoid infection, such as:
- Wearing a surgical mask when in crowds or public places
- Staying away from people who have infections or fevers”
“Avoid, if possible tightly crowded places during the height of the cold/flu season. Generally a mask will not offer much protection from infection, so it is better to avoid close contact with people coughing and sneezing.”
- Beaumont Cancer Institute
“Avoid people who are sick with communicable (contagious) illnesses, including a cold, the flu, measles or chickenpox.”
I didn’t want to write this. I wanted to write something happy and about all the funny experiences at the hospital. Instead I’m writing something angry. Some individuals gave me no choice. I realize that these individuals do not represent everyone and it has not shaken my faith in humanity.
If you find this post to be vulgar, angry, crude, carass, unfair, or you just don’t like it, I will understand if you chose to not read this anymore, if you chose not to talk to me, if you chose to estrange me, if you call and yell at me, whatever. That’s fine. The alternative to me not stopping these intentional slip-ups is my death, if you can’t accept that, I am totally willing to sever all ties with you so that I may live.
If you’re not clear about any of this, ask me. Communication is great.