I had an allergic reaction to Oxi, too. The chemo in the pack is 5FU, not Oxi. If she is being offered pills, then that's Xeloda, the pill form of 5FU and she will not have a pack. I did both, and my preference was to do the Xeloda. The pack was a pain to deal with, IMO. Others feel differently. I was never warned that I shouldn't touch my kids or prepare food while on chemo, so that' s news to me. Big news, because I hosted a large Thanksgiving dinner while on chemo and prepared most of the food! My Onc knew all about it because he gave me a chemo break so I wouldn't be tired on the days leading up to it! It is true that in places where your blood vessels are close to the skin, ie hands and feet, you might have some reaction. If you see references to "HFS" or Hand and Foot Syndrome here, that's what they are talking about. I did wear gloves a lot of the time, because if I'm cooking, I am washing my hands a lot and that just made the irritation on my palms worse. Nobody ever said I should do it to protect my family. I was told that for a few days after chemo treatment, that I should flush the toilet twice after using it, and that my husband should use protection during intimacy. Other than that, no warnings to take precautions around other people.
If she is not doing Oxaliplatin due to the allergy, then it will probably be just the Xeloda pills. She'll need to go in for appointments and get her blood checked, but it will not be 5 hours in the chair, and Xeloda doesn't have as many nasty side effects as Oxaliplatin does. For a young mom, it's much more do-able, I'd think. Do you have friends, family, a church or other social group that you could call on for help with child care while she goes to her appointments? I second the recommendation to talk to the hospital social worker. Bottom line: If she does chemo now, in 5 years it very likely all be a bad memory for her and your kids will have forgotten it. If she doesn't do chemo, she might be OK, but if she ends up back in the Onc's office, will you be able to live with the fact that you didn't do all you could to prevent it? Your chance to act is now. If you don't take it, in my opinion, you are trifling with the beast, and that is not wise. I would never have taken that chance with small kids to raise. That's just my $.02, having been Stage IIIb and now NED. It's your decision to make. Either way, this forum is a valuable source of information.
Best of luck to you.
DX Stage IIIb RC, T3N1M0, April 2010, 51
6 wks Xelox/rad 6/10
resection, temp illeostomy 8/10 Complete response!
12 rounds FOLFOX for clean up 9/10, Allergic to Oxi, started Xeloda only 12/10
Ileo takedown 9/28/11