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Topic: Nurses who have had breast cancer and Covid-19

Forum: All things COVID-19 or coronavirus —

A place to discuss the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on you and the ones you love.

Posted on: Apr 13, 2020 01:21PM

Kikki wrote:

Hi everyone! Just wondering how many of you guys are working in the healthcare field and are concerned about risks with Covid-19 or not.

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Posts 1 - 12 (12 total)

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Apr 13, 2020 03:41PM gb2115 wrote:

Not a nurse, but allied health in an outpatient setting. I have had co-workers be quarantined (positive) and we had a positive patient this week. The patients come multiple times a week so we were all exposed. Yet we continue to work unless we get symptoms. It sucks and I am very worried. I just managed to secure an Ativan prescription for which I am grateful.

Dx IDC in Oct 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, Lumpectomy + rads + tam. Age 38. 5/21 Dx IDC. 1.6 cm ER/PR+, Her2 -. Gr 2. 2/2 nodes positive. AC/T. Age 42
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Apr 13, 2020 06:24PM Kikki wrote:

Hi gb2115!

I am sorry to hear about your stress. I have been off work as an er nurse for the past month due to radiation skin issues/ fatigue. I am scared to death wondering if I am at higher risk. Still not sure what to do. I am speaking with my cancer team, but know there’s not much data out there right now. I wondered how many others were in the same boat. Ativan huh? I’m also due to start Tamoxifen in a few days. I’m sorry you have had to deal with all this

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Apr 14, 2020 06:08AM gb2115 wrote:

Hi Kikki... that's a tough decision! Are you otherwise able to continue to stay out of work if your team decides that's best? I would give anything to be pulled out of work, but my family would be ok for awhile if that happened. I've honestly thought about quitting because the company I work for has been so awful through this entire thing. But it's not a good time to be out of work or pay $$$$ for Cobra. Sigh.

Dx IDC in Oct 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, Lumpectomy + rads + tam. Age 38. 5/21 Dx IDC. 1.6 cm ER/PR+, Her2 -. Gr 2. 2/2 nodes positive. AC/T. Age 42
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Apr 14, 2020 01:31PM Kikki wrote:

Hi gb2115! Smile

In answer to your question, yes I could stay out of work indefinitely if I needed to. My husband is good with his job for the next year. I have the premium health insurance since he works from home as an independent business as an email developer/ coder. As long as I could cobra for the time being I would be good. I want a letter stating that I would be at a higher risk for complications if that is the case so that I could justify leaving to my boss if I need to. I live in Ohio and I feel like if I leave my job then I will be blacklisted from my company( it’s the biggest one around) and will not be able to go back after this. After cobra is used up, even if I had gotten another job in the meantime I worry my insurance wouldn’t be as good and I would slide through the cracks of our healthcare system. People in general have been very good to me when it came to getting me in for mris2x), surgery and radiation. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the health insurance I would have talked with my boss about it and told her everything before this and prob left due to no real answers. I thought I was ok because my rad onc said so. However, after doing my own research there’s no real evidence to support that. There’s a 50/50 in the medical community as to whether I need to worry or not. Not to mention, I have a history of a mild brain injury with some neuro issues and was told it is from cerebral palsy(can’t get ahold of that doc though). Thanks for listening to me. I’m sorry your company is not treating you right. That’s the other thing too. My job s highly stressful, but my boss and assistant manager(s) one in particular have been so nice to me through all this and I don’t want to let anyone down. Plus hubby had testicular cancer 10+ years ago, so I worry about him too. Also, I am supposed to start Tamoxifen today or tomorrow! Crazy time

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Apr 14, 2020 02:45PM April0315 wrote:

I am a nurse in a hospital setting. I'm working full time. Been 6 months since my last chemo and 4 months since mastectomy. My oncologist says I should be just about back to my pre-chemo T cell levels so no extra precautions needed. Fingers crossed (and lots of PPE, which fortunately we have adequate supply of).


Dx 2/28/2019, IDC/IDC: Papillary, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2019 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/18/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/12/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 11/15/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Apr 14, 2020 04:06PM Kikki wrote:

Hi April 0315!

Thanks for responding! I read your post above! Wow that’s crazy that you have recently been through all that so recently and now this! Lots of PPE indeed. As far as I know we too have plenty of PPE too. I was wondering what you think about viral load and Covid-19? That is one of my main concerns since intubation and aerosol txs are common with this virus once it hits the lungs. I have read different responses to this as well, lol.






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Apr 15, 2020 06:52AM DogMomRunner wrote:

I'm not a nurse but a social worker in a skilled nursing facility. We are still admitting residents from the hospital and the community. We screen as best we can but there is always the possibility that someone (now it would be staff) bringing it in.

My WBC is low coming off of chemo this summer. So I'm somewhat concerned but I am taking precautions. I can't do most of my work from home although I have been offered the option of staying at home. My husband had to shut down his practice for the duration so we need the income.

You ain't run far enough to say My legs have failed You ain't gone far enough You ain't worked hard enough You ain't run far enough to say It ain't gonna get any better. Nathaniel Rateliff Dx 4/24/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 5/17/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 6/6/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/6/2019 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/22/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Apr 15, 2020 10:16AM Kikki wrote:

Hi DogMomRunner!

I’m sorry that you have to be in such a predicament! I see you too have had to make some tough decisions about work due to Covid-19. Do they let you wear an N95, goggles and gloves at your work place or would that be cumbersome with the type of work you do? I used to work in a skilled rehab place, so I understand about residents going in and out of the building due to hospital admissions, etc. I commend you for the work you do, I know it isn’t easy!

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Apr 15, 2020 12:55PM Dani444 wrote:

I work in an emergency room as an EMT. We have seen an increase in potential patients in the last two weeks and we are supposed to peak this week. I spoke to the nurse at my MO’s office and she said they are telling their patients that they are at higher risk for serious complications. She told me that my last bloodwork was good and if I wear the proper PPE I should be fine. We have enough PPE for now, most of us were able to get our own half face respirators that filter at a level higher than a N95. We are conserving but now we get one surgical mask per shift and those wearing N95’s can speak to the manager and get a new one if they feel they need it. All masks are locked up but I understand why, we had a lot of theft in the beginning.

I worry about how long I will need to isolate from my family. I am single and live alone. I will not go around my parents or my sister, as she is immune compromised. It gets very lonely sometimes. I think the emotional aspect is more stressful. A coworker is now on a ventilator with suspected covid, and I have coworkers whose family is in a nursing home with an outbreak. It’s all just so tragic that they cannot be with them. At our hospital we are allowing 2 visitors at end of life so that is better than what has to happen at other facilities. Sorry for rambling and thank you for listening 😁. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/5/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/19/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Surgery 4/18/2021 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 15, 2020 02:31PM Kikki wrote:

Hi Dani444!

I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this right now! If your MO’s telling you you’re at higher risk for complications from Covid-19, couldn’t they at least move you to a different department other than the ER? I asked my MO and she too said I was at higher risk and compared me to someone having asthma, then backtracked and said something like I should be fine as well. What the heck? Speaking to my RO tomorrow and I emailed a lengthy letter to my primary since my MO did not seem at all interested or concerned about me as well. I am not sure what I will do. I was hoping they could use me in some other capacity, but I doubt it. I’m so sorry you can’t be with your family, especially right now! It’s so unfair for you. 😔

I am sending you a virtual hug and prayers for you and everyone else to be safe.

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Apr 16, 2020 08:51AM April0315 wrote:

From what I have read, having been thru treatment does not make us more susceptible to COVID but more prone to complications if we do contract it. My co-workers are very protective of me, but I was in a r/o room a lot yesterday. We needed to transfer her to ICU at the end of the shift, she was going down hill fast. I'll be surprised if that comes back neg.

Dani444 Our stuff is locked up as well also due to theft in the beginning of everything. I understand people are scared but why would you leave your co-workers in a position where they cannot access enough PPE to be safe. So frustrating.

Kikki.. I have no opinion on viral load. I haven't focused my research on that. Let me know what you have been reading about it.

Dx 2/28/2019, IDC/IDC: Papillary, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2019 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Dx 4/18/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/12/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 11/15/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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May 12, 2020 08:59PM Kikki wrote:

Hi April,

Sorry I didn’t get back with you sooner. I read some interesting medical articles on whether viral load plays a part in the severity of Covid-19. Doctors and scientists are still not 100% sure, but all the articles I read stated that they believed viral load + immune system = severity of Covid-19. The one article I read explained that if someone coughs in your face and has Covid-19 a person would be hit with many, tiny pieces of the virus attacking the immune system all at once versus say touching a package that has coronavirus and having just a few of those pieces which are in a more weakened state because they have been on that piece of cardboard for 16 hours already. A few weakened pieces of the virus in a weakened state is more likely to give a person a mild case of Covd-19 as long as their immune system is not suppressed/compromised(to what degree that’s the interesting question)! They also explained that if someone is very sick(needing to be intubated in the E.R. for instance), their viral load would be pretty high. I hope that you and everyone else in our cancer community is doing well and staying safe!

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