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Is anyone able to work during chemotherapy

abita
abita Member Posts: 1,079 **

I am just wondering if anyone works during chemotherapy. Granted, I am still recovering from my first surgery, but I am only two infusions in, and even just taking a shower exhausts me.

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Comments

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    I expect that this will get

    I expect that this will get worse with my liver surgery and 10 infusions to go.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 705
    edited December 2017 #3
    My husband works

    but he is a workaholic. Everyone is different you need to rest if you feel that's what you need to do. 

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    Not me..

     I stopped working soon after I was diagnosed.

     I might have been able to work during my Radiation and Chemotherapy (but I didn't)

    After surgery I was thinking I might be able to work.

    After my first infusion I realized I could no longer work.

     I'm now retired/disabled. (I don't need any money)

    I've heard of people working during Chemotherapy. I'd guess it depends on the severity/location of the cancer And the treatment.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,536 **
    Work?!!!

    I could barely walk.

    There are plenty of folks who do work throughout treatment, and good for them. As for me, I was hit with so many side effects, it was all I could do to go shopping. 

    Do what your body is telling you to do, and if that means rest, then rest. 

    Tru

  • aoccc2015
    aoccc2015 Member Posts: 37
    Everyone is different..i dont

    Everyone is different..i dont even notice the year long trifecta of poison and work 40+ hours on my feet, with 3 of the days every other week with a pump attached. I could quit but I think being on my feet moving constantly helps the treatment for me(like i know anything).  I hope it gets easier for you as it goes, think positive and let the surgery heal all the way.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    I worked full-time during Neo

    I worked full-time during Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation. I also ran once or twice a week 1-2 miles and typically played tennis once a week. But I had some rather severe physical limits and I worked from home most of the time. Sometimes I went into the office early in the morning when it was mostly empty to avoid illness. From what I'm reading from the many here going through Adjuvant chemo, it seems to be tougher than Neo-Adjuvant/Radiation though some had a hard time with that. I think that the cumulative stress on the body from surgery, and an ileostomy make Adjuvant harder. The higher toxicity may be a factor too.

    I just sent an email to my oncologist asking if there are people that work full-time while on Adjuvant chemo and is it the vast majority or a simple majority? I don't expect to hear from him for a few days as he was on vacation last week and is likely catching up on patients but I'd like to get his opinion on it.

    Ruth, it looks like your husband is 40-49 which is about ten years younger than I am so he likely has more energy.

    At any rate, I will find out next Wednesday.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    Mikenh said:

    I worked full-time during Neo

    I worked full-time during Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation. I also ran once or twice a week 1-2 miles and typically played tennis once a week. But I had some rather severe physical limits and I worked from home most of the time. Sometimes I went into the office early in the morning when it was mostly empty to avoid illness. From what I'm reading from the many here going through Adjuvant chemo, it seems to be tougher than Neo-Adjuvant/Radiation though some had a hard time with that. I think that the cumulative stress on the body from surgery, and an ileostomy make Adjuvant harder. The higher toxicity may be a factor too.

    I just sent an email to my oncologist asking if there are people that work full-time while on Adjuvant chemo and is it the vast majority or a simple majority? I don't expect to hear from him for a few days as he was on vacation last week and is likely catching up on patients but I'd like to get his opinion on it.

    Ruth, it looks like your husband is 40-49 which is about ten years younger than I am so he likely has more energy.

    At any rate, I will find out next Wednesday.

    Thanks,. I confess that i don

    Thanks,. I confess that i don't know what adjuvant vs new adjuvant is. I only know I had surgery to remove my sigmoid colon and the tumor, then started infusions 5 weeks later of oxiplatin, leucoverin, and 5fu. And will have surgery on the liver lesions after 2 more infusions. Then 8 more infusions after the livery surgery.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    Thanks everyone for the info.

    Thanks everyone for the info.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    Mikenh said:

    I worked full-time during Neo

    I worked full-time during Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation. I also ran once or twice a week 1-2 miles and typically played tennis once a week. But I had some rather severe physical limits and I worked from home most of the time. Sometimes I went into the office early in the morning when it was mostly empty to avoid illness. From what I'm reading from the many here going through Adjuvant chemo, it seems to be tougher than Neo-Adjuvant/Radiation though some had a hard time with that. I think that the cumulative stress on the body from surgery, and an ileostomy make Adjuvant harder. The higher toxicity may be a factor too.

    I just sent an email to my oncologist asking if there are people that work full-time while on Adjuvant chemo and is it the vast majority or a simple majority? I don't expect to hear from him for a few days as he was on vacation last week and is likely catching up on patients but I'd like to get his opinion on it.

    Ruth, it looks like your husband is 40-49 which is about ten years younger than I am so he likely has more energy.

    At any rate, I will find out next Wednesday.

    Googled. Yeah, that initial

    Googled. Yeah, that initial surgery really wiped me out. But my tumor had perforated the colon and I had an infection. The excruciating pain from the infection is what brought me to the emergency room.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 705
    edited December 2017 #11
    Mikenh said:

    I worked full-time during Neo

    I worked full-time during Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and Radiation. I also ran once or twice a week 1-2 miles and typically played tennis once a week. But I had some rather severe physical limits and I worked from home most of the time. Sometimes I went into the office early in the morning when it was mostly empty to avoid illness. From what I'm reading from the many here going through Adjuvant chemo, it seems to be tougher than Neo-Adjuvant/Radiation though some had a hard time with that. I think that the cumulative stress on the body from surgery, and an ileostomy make Adjuvant harder. The higher toxicity may be a factor too.

    I just sent an email to my oncologist asking if there are people that work full-time while on Adjuvant chemo and is it the vast majority or a simple majority? I don't expect to hear from him for a few days as he was on vacation last week and is likely catching up on patients but I'd like to get his opinion on it.

    Ruth, it looks like your husband is 40-49 which is about ten years younger than I am so he likely has more energy.

    At any rate, I will find out next Wednesday.

    Mike

    Gary is 50, he turned 50 In May. He sporadically worked out so he was not in great physical shape. Before this chemo he was very ill with severe jaundice from the tumor blocking his duct.  Twice he was horribly jaundice with severe itching and stomach troubles. I guess for him that was so bad he actually feels better During chemo than that. He takes two supplements the naturopath dr gave him, and a friend's husband took them as well and he also felt well. Not sure if it's a coincidence or not. He works 40 hours in work, and 20-25 from home a week. It's a desk job though, he isn't doing construction or anything like that. 

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777

    Mike

    Gary is 50, he turned 50 In May. He sporadically worked out so he was not in great physical shape. Before this chemo he was very ill with severe jaundice from the tumor blocking his duct.  Twice he was horribly jaundice with severe itching and stomach troubles. I guess for him that was so bad he actually feels better During chemo than that. He takes two supplements the naturopath dr gave him, and a friend's husband took them as well and he also felt well. Not sure if it's a coincidence or not. He works 40 hours in work, and 20-25 from home a week. It's a desk job though, he isn't doing construction or anything like that. 

    60-65 hours a week is still

    60-65 hours a week is still rough though. i will do that if a project requires it but couldn’t sustain that long term.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 705
    Mikenh said:

    60-65 hours a week is still

    60-65 hours a week is still rough though. i will do that if a project requires it but couldn’t sustain that long term.

    That's cutting back for him

    I think because he has always worked that much it's easier for him. I have been after him for YEARS to cut it back but when he tries to he is just miserable. It must be what keeps him going, absolutely NOT the norm. I doubt very much I would be able to do half of what he does if any during chemo. 

  • Bunny822
    Bunny822 Member Posts: 23
    Still working full-time

    Hi Abita...I am fortunate that I am able to work from home which I have done for past 5 yrs. I work on the computer completing treatment authorizations for Tricare as I am a registered nurse. I was diagnosed Sept 11, 17 with rectal cancer Stage 3. I have had 5 chemo treatments same regimen as you so far...have 3 to go and then get 1 month off before I start radiation. I come home with a pump for 2 days after chemo...usu tired on pump removal day. I listen to my body and rest when needed but am managing well all things considered...everyone is different pending response and side effects as a well as severity. If I were still working in the hospital probably would have been out on short term disability. So I think working depends on numerous factors... nature of work, hours, how you are tolerating treatment, pain factor...again feel fortunate that I have an understanding supervisor and manager who are supportive. Important to get enough sleep and maintain your weight...better outcomes if you maintain healthy stable weight...most important of all maintain a positive attitude...mind over matter...trust me I am a psychiatric nurse...attitude is everything...I am taking things one day at a time and feel continuing working is positive for me...keeps me going...keeps my mind occupied and keeps me future oriented. For those of you who are still able to work please know your limits. Dealing with cancer is life changing, however does not mean you are instantly disabled...talk with your Drs, social worker or nurse navigator...figure out what is best for you so that you will get better and heal...work may not be possible depending on circumstance but I thought I would attempt it and see how things went...so far so good...still too young to retire...wishing you the best whatever you decide and what works for you...no pun intended...LOL...

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777

    That's cutting back for him

    I think because he has always worked that much it's easier for him. I have been after him for YEARS to cut it back but when he tries to he is just miserable. It must be what keeps him going, absolutely NOT the norm. I doubt very much I would be able to do half of what he does if any during chemo. 

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my 20s, 30s, and 40s and wouldn't be surprised if that contrinbuted to colon cancer. Missed time with kids for sure that I can't get back.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    The Doctor's nurse got back

    The Doctor's nurse got back to me about working during Adjuvant Chemo and said that many of their patients go to part-time or short-term disability. The nurse that I spoke with when I asked the question about Neo-Adjuvant Chemo and radiation said that most people work through it. It's hard to get a precise read as these two things could both mean the same thing depending on the interpretation. These aren't the same nurses either. I will ask the chemoteach nurse the same question on Tuesday.

    I am thinking of going to an unlimited cellular data plan so that I'd be able to work during the infusion and anyone taking me there and back would also be able to work there. The hospital has WiFi but it's a pain to connect to and drops out from time to time. I prefer something more reliable for work. I have no idea whether or not it's practical to work during an infustion or the stuff before or afterwards.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 705
    Mikenh said:

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my 20s, 30s, and 40s and wouldn't be surprised if that contrinbuted to colon cancer. Missed time with kids for sure that I can't get back.

    I agree

    100% with both things, no one in their last days says, I wish I had worked more. I also think contributed to him getting sick.

  • Phoenix_66
    Phoenix_66 Member Posts: 118
    edited December 2017 #18
    Whatever helps

    For me, I worked all through the three separate occurances of cancer and chemo treatments but I worked mostly in the office.  Working helped me feel somewhat normal.  Do whatever works best for you.  Did it wipe me out?  Yes, but in the long run I felt that was best for me.  I didn't want to stay at home because I felt that if I did, I would get depressed about my situation.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    Mikenh said:

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my

    I did 60-80 hour weeks in my 20s, 30s, and 40s and wouldn't be surprised if that contrinbuted to colon cancer. Missed time with kids for sure that I can't get back.

    I think being busy

    I think being busy contributed to where I am now if only because I was too "busy" to schedule a colonoscopy, so I didn't catch it when I should have.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **
    Thanks for the input. I think

    Thanks for the input. I think the surgeries wipe me out. I had one in Oct, and will have the liver lesions removed in January, hopefully.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    abita said:

    Thanks for the input. I think

    Thanks for the input. I think the surgeries wipe me out. I had one in Oct, and will have the liver lesions removed in January, hopefully.

    I had my surgery late October

    I had my surgery late October and I was surprised at how much it took out of me. I'm far more functional six weeks out but still nowhere near 100%. I'll know better when I get into it.