Colds, Flus and Chemo

When Ann began getting chemotherapy treatments (to combat NMO) several years ago we became a bit more sensitive to this phenomena known as flu season. The stated goal of the chemo treatments is to suppress Ann's overactive immune system and keep it from attacking her nervous system. A side effect of this therapy is that Ann is more susceptible to catching things like the flu.. which also has ill effects on Ann's body - you don't want to know what happens when that stuff attacks her body.

So in light of this I thought that.. as a public service.. I thought that I might provide a bit of education (with a tip of the hat to United Health Care) to help you answer the question that often surfaces in families this time of year: Is it a cold or the flu?

Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches, the flu almost never causes an upset stomach and "stomach flu" isn't really flu at all, but gastroenteritis (caused by a virus, bacteria or parasites from contaminated food or water). Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold.

So, on a practical level, if you actually know us (i.e. live in KC) and do not see us in church do not be too alarmed for our spiritual well being. We are simply laying low for a few weeks while Ann's immune system is vulnerable to attack.

Any advice about fighting colds and flus? Do you get a flu shot?


  1. Here are a few anti-flu tips:

    + Get vaccinated
    + Wash your hands
    + Use antibacterial hand sanitizer
    + Practice good cough etiquette by coughing into your sleeve
    + Stay home if you’re sick

  2. I've been taking a 50mg zinc supplement along with my daily multiple vitamin for the past 3 or 4 years. I sill get a couple of colds a year but they don't last as long and aren't as severe as they use to be.

    I've never had a flu shot but I think I'll get one this year.

    BTW, I like your flu tips :-)


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