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Coming Home Checklist

by Suzie SummersPatient, stage IV adenoid cystic carcinomaApril 10, 2020View more posts from Suzie Summers

My Coming Home Checklist

Hi there, I’m Suzie. I am currently in active treatment for stage IV adenoid cystic carcinoma (a rare head and neck cancer). I was diagnosed in October 2017 and have been in treatment ever since. Prior to becoming a cancer patient I worked as a nurse in OB/GYN and my husband works in Biotech, supporting the production of immunotherapy medicine.

Now I am doing what I love most – making greeting cards that are a mix of heartfelt, sassy and cancer-specific. Cards are such a meaningful way to appreciate the people we love and the moments that make up our lives. And that’s what we’re all trying to do right? Stay alive and appreciate our moments while we have them.

Link to cards:

I’ve created this checklist below based on my nursing experience and my husband’s expertise, plus standard operating procedures for a biotech facility and airborne precaution PPE protocol. I wanted to share this with the community to help with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Coming home checklist*

  • Take shoes off outside door**
  • Set shoes down on mat with toes to wall
  • Put keys in dish
  • Take phone out of pocket and put on gray mat***
  • Take off clothes and put in hamper (often best to wear long pants and long sleeves)
  • Take off goggles from back and put on gray plastic
  • Take off mask from back bottom strap first and put on gray plastic
  • Purel hands – 20 sec
  • Lysol shoes and keys and outside of mask****
  • Clean goggles with alcohol and paper towel
  • Move to green mat once clean
  • Spray phone with alcohol move to green mat
  • Purel hands for 20 sec
  • Go inside
  • Take shower making sure to wash exposed skin areas for 20 sec

*Please consult your physician on any questions on proper procedures. This is not meant to replace any recommendations made by your physician or hospital.

**We do this entire procedure on our back porch. So not in our house. Depending on what people have as an ante-room to their house, whether that’s a garage or porch or even just a foyer, it’s ideal to create a space at an entry point where you do this. Not just while walking all around your house.

***For clarification, the gray mat mentioned is just what we use to put “dirty” items on and once they are sanitized we move them to a green mat (which is just a clean plastic cutting board). This way a clean item is not being set back down on the surface a “dirty item” was.

****People wearing paper masks or n95 masks should not use Lysol to sanitize them. We use that because we have rubber/plastic construction style masks that almost look like gas masks. So we spray the outside of them. But Lysol can degrade the material of paper masks over time. I think fabric is OK to spray.

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