Keeping you and your whānau safe during the Omicron outbreak
With now only those who test positive with Covid-19 and their household contacts required to isolate, the chance of catching Omicron while you’re out and about has increased.
If you’re having breast cancer treatment, keeping yourself safe and minimising the risks is key to getting through these uncertain and stressful times.
While keeping up with the constant changes can be tricky Hei Āhuru Mōwai, Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa, has provided some helpful advice on maintaining an āhuru mōwai (safe haven) in your whare (home).
If you are going through breast cancer and become a household contact, get in contact with your cancer team as soon as you can. They will be able to let you know if this means there will be any changes to your treatment.
Keep an eye out for symptoms of Covid-19 and if they appear, use a RAT to test yourself. The result might come out negative, even if you still have symptoms. If this happens, get in touch with a health professional, like your GP or head to a community testing centre and ask for a PCR test.
If you are going through breast cancer and you test positive, again let your cancer team know as your first port of call. You can keep taking your cancer medicines, and your team will let you know if there are to be any changes.
After you have registered your positive result, make sure everyone involved in your Covid-19 diagnosis and isolation support knows that you have cancer.
While breast cancer treatment is an essential service, there may be changes to how and when your treatment is delivered while your body responds to the virus, but your healthcare team will keep you updated.
There are also Covid-19 medicines available that can help treat symptoms for people with lowered immune systems and you can ask your health professional team about these.
For whānau and friends of someone going through breast cancer, being double vaccinated and having your booster as soon as you can will help minimise the risks of Covid-19.
Keep the whare bubble small by trying not to have too many people coming and going who could potentially bring the virus in. When you go out in public, wearing a mask, physically distancing and washing your hands will help reduce the chance that you will bring Covid-19 back home too.
Hand-washing and keeping the whare clean and well-ventilated will also help. Try to keep windows open as much as possible to air out the space.
Your whare may end up needing to isolate, so having supplies of non-perishable food items like pasta, rice, and canned and frozen vegetables as well as toilet paper, and medicines like Panadol will be very useful.
Don’t forget that your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing during this time. Look after yourself by doing activities that bring you joy, whatever this looks like for you.
If you are isolating as a household contact or a positive case, you are still permitted outside for short periods to exercise. If you are feeling up to it, getting out in nature for a short walk can really help lift the spirits and calm the mind.
Take care, and kia kaha.