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May 15, 2019 09:17AM
Great advice, Ruthbru. When faced with this, I found that the hostess and other party guests were way too busy to monitor what I was or wasn't eating. Drink lots of water and maybe stash a protein bar in your bag, just in case. Having a stomach that was too empty contributed to my nausea.
First and foremost, though, don't compromise your health. Be kind but firm about rejecting / limiting hugs and cheek kisses. That was really hard for me - I'm a hugger. Wash your hands frequently even (especially) at the party. Be mindful of not touching your face while you're there. It's a PIA, but it's temporary and it's worth it. This is the moment to embrace your inner germaphobe.
One tactic I was able to use at social gatherings- settle myself in a corner and behind a coffee table with allies to either side who knew I was immune compromised. It made me visible, but not physically accessible because well wishers had to climb over my friends to get to me. I could waive and chat from a distance and be engaged, but didn't have to hug everyone who came by. If someone was insistent, holding up my hand and ruefully explaining my immune system was on strike did the trick. If you haven't shared your diagnosis and aren't inclined to, a simple "not feeling well" also works.
Truthfully, the social pressure to be more physically engaged was hard to resist. I'm not the only hugger out there! But I got through 5 months of chemo and critically low WBC at the end without ever getting sick, and thus without having to delay treatment.
11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2-
12/6/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel)
5/27/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
7/16/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall