On my last visit with the oncologist on Monday, I asked about H1N1 shots once again. This time she had some information. This year for the first time, the clinic will be offering free shots to the cancer patients.
Her first statement to me was that H1N1 could kill me. I was a bit shocked at what she said ... like I thought; did she really just say that to me? It was a bit of a reality check.
We then discussed the H1N1 shot. How the shot works ... a person needs 10 days for the vaccine to become effective. In my particular situation, because I’m on chemo, I can only get the shot after my blood work shows I’ve recovered from the last chemo treatment.
The big issue is that there isn’t 10 days between the blood work and the next chemo treatment. I get the blood work one day and chemo the next. If I get the shot and chemo the next day, the H1N1 vaccination is destroyed in my body by the chemo. It would not have time to immunize me properly and therefore making the vaccination ineffective.
My doctor does not recommend I delay chemo for the H1N1 flu shot because of the risk of my cancer growing. I was on the fence about getting the H1N1 shot and leaning to not getting it … so I guess that solves my problem … no flu shots for me.