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Is anyone able to work during chemotherapy

24

Comments

  • aoccc2015
    aoccc2015 Member Posts: 37
    Abita your experience is

    Abita your experience is almost identical to mine except half of my colon is still in there unattached. If i could go back i wouldnt have overdone it so physically much after the surgery. I got all sorts of hernias sticking out, they dont hurt just stick out. They had me so roided up between the pred and the chemo roids I felt like superman running around after the surgery. I still havent had my liver cleaned up because of the peri mets showed up, i hope it works out for you with no issues, take care.

  • ReeRee2
    ReeRee2 Member Posts: 39
    edited December 2017 #23
    Working

    I work for myself at home and have cutback on my work because of felling just lifeless from the day I have chemo a Friday through the disconnect day. I sleep 80% of the time from Friday to Monday. I start really feeling good when I.t. is time to get another treatmen.

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 254
    edited December 2017 #24
    I just went back to work 2

    I just went back to work 2 weeks ago after taking off 4 months since my surgery in August. I was so sick during my first 2 treatments no way I could have gone back to work. I could barely make it to the bathroom let alone work. On my 3rd treatment my Oxy was reduced and my fatigue weren't as severe but I decided to stay home still. I was fortunate to have enough sick leave hours accumulated over the years to be able to stay home this long and a very understanding boss that told me to take as much time as needed. Since I've been back I actually feel life is back to normal. I know my coworker is relieved since she has been doing part of my work. Lol 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **

    I just went back to work 2

    I just went back to work 2 weeks ago after taking off 4 months since my surgery in August. I was so sick during my first 2 treatments no way I could have gone back to work. I could barely make it to the bathroom let alone work. On my 3rd treatment my Oxy was reduced and my fatigue weren't as severe but I decided to stay home still. I was fortunate to have enough sick leave hours accumulated over the years to be able to stay home this long and a very understanding boss that told me to take as much time as needed. Since I've been back I actually feel life is back to normal. I know my coworker is relieved since she has been doing part of my work. Lol 

    Did you have surgery only on

    Did you have surgery only on your colon? Asking because I had that before chemo, and will have liver surgery after my 4th infusion. But I am wondering if it is the surgery that makes it worse. So maybe will feel better after I heal from the surgery, for the last month or two of chemo. I don't have sick leave. I have short term disability that pays about half my salary. And my fatigue is such that I need a nap after taking a shower. The first month after my bowel surgery, I could not stand up for more than about 5 minutes at a time. Are you work from home, or do you go into the office? I went to visit today, and the subway exhausted me.

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 254
    abita said:

    Did you have surgery only on

    Did you have surgery only on your colon? Asking because I had that before chemo, and will have liver surgery after my 4th infusion. But I am wondering if it is the surgery that makes it worse. So maybe will feel better after I heal from the surgery, for the last month or two of chemo. I don't have sick leave. I have short term disability that pays about half my salary. And my fatigue is such that I need a nap after taking a shower. The first month after my bowel surgery, I could not stand up for more than about 5 minutes at a time. Are you work from home, or do you go into the office? I went to visit today, and the subway exhausted me.

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my sigmoid colon on 8/3/17. I was told to walk when I was still in the hospital. I tried but also couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes because I was so sore. I had to be wheeled out when I was discharged after 4 days in the hospital. About 2 weeks after surgery I started to gain some stregth back. I did walk more and believe it or not walking actually helped with my recovery. I was back to myself by the end of August. Then I started my adjuvant chemo on 9/1 and of course my first 2 treatments got me bedridden. I work in an office and I drive. You mentioned you take subway...where are you? 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my sigmoid colon on 8/3/17. I was told to walk when I was still in the hospital. I tried but also couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes because I was so sore. I had to be wheeled out when I was discharged after 4 days in the hospital. About 2 weeks after surgery I started to gain some stregth back. I did walk more and believe it or not walking actually helped with my recovery. I was back to myself by the end of August. Then I started my adjuvant chemo on 9/1 and of course my first 2 treatments got me bedridden. I work in an office and I drive. You mentioned you take subway...where are you? 

    I had my sigmoid colon

    I had my sigmoid colon removed with the tumor in October. Mine has spread to the liver, but my surgeon is confident that he can remove them after they shrink a bit with my first 4 infusions. I started chemotherapy on Nove 20th.

    I get the walking. I was actually in the hospital for 10 days before they found the tumor, and was in a total of 19 days. They tried to get me to walk the second day while still on the epidural. Epic failure that resulted in me being surrounded by doctors. But I did leave walking. Because I live in a walk up, and alone, it was required that I be able to walk up a flight of stairs before I could be discharged. But your recovery was faster than mine. At 5 weeks, I was still only able to stand about 10 minutes at a time. I was released 7 days after my surgery. That is probably why I was walking better than you were. 

    I live in Manhattan and my office is in midtown. Glad you are better now. That surgery is so major, takes a lot out of you.

     

     

     

     

  • OzarkGal
    OzarkGal Member Posts: 41
    I work

    I work.  I only take off on infusion days.  I have an office job.  It gives me a sense of normalcy and purpose.  Side-effects so far have been managable.  My cat also provides me comforting and therapy.

  • Mikenh
    Mikenh Member Posts: 777
    edited December 2017 #29
    abita said:

    Did you have surgery only on

    Did you have surgery only on your colon? Asking because I had that before chemo, and will have liver surgery after my 4th infusion. But I am wondering if it is the surgery that makes it worse. So maybe will feel better after I heal from the surgery, for the last month or two of chemo. I don't have sick leave. I have short term disability that pays about half my salary. And my fatigue is such that I need a nap after taking a shower. The first month after my bowel surgery, I could not stand up for more than about 5 minutes at a time. Are you work from home, or do you go into the office? I went to visit today, and the subway exhausted me.

    I'm sure that the surgery

    I'm sure that the surgery (and ostomy) make it harder but you're getting stronger over time from the surgery while getting weaker from the chemo. I recovered from Neo-Adjuvant in under two weeks so I felt great between two weeks after Neo-Adjuvant and surgery. I cannot say that I've come anywhere close to full recovery from surgery after six weeks so there will be the effects from surgery and the chemo at the same time.

    I'm going to have a chat with my manager basically stating that I don't know what to expect. You live in NYC so I'd guess that you're already a strong walker, especially without an elevator in your residence. There may be differences in surgery too like open vs laparoscopic, colon vs rectal, having to take out anything else, etc. I was back at work two weeks after surgery and I walked for 9 miles ten days after surgery and was doing strength-training two weeks after surgery using isolation machines. I feel a little better every day - problem is that I want to feel a LOT better every day.

    So it looks like we have a very wide variance in what people can do and when they can do it. I'm optimistic but I often overestimate what I'm capable of.

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **

    I thought so. I'm also in NYC

    I thought so. I'm also in NYC but I'm in Queens. Gosh I haven't taken the subway for over 12 plus years now. Stay safe abita especially with the bombing 2 days ago. My surgeon was very pleased that I recovered quick and well. I only took the Oxycodone for 2 days after gotten home because I didn't want to be addicted to the narcotic. As crazy as it sounds, I really think that my cat helped me heal faster too. He would curled up next to me, although he wanted to be on my belly but not after my surgery, his purring vibration penetrated through my body actually made me felt good. Kind of therapeutic. Hang in there, every day you will feel little better and stronger. It took me about 3 weeks to finally able to walk straight up. No more Igor's walk. Lol! How are you getting along by yourself? Are you able to cook? Call God's Love We Deliver, they can deliver free meals for you during your treatments. This is the number: 212-294-8102. They're located in Midtown. Not far from you. 

    My cousin was here for a week

    My cousin was here for a week, and set things up for me since I am alone. Put the cat food and water on the table so I wouldn't have to bend over. Got me a shower seat and a hand held shower head. Got baskets to organize medicines, paperwork, etc. Things like that. I order groceries via amazon fresh or jet.com. I had frozen meals and canned soup when my stamina was about 5 minutes of standing at a time. Pre-washed salads. It isn't easy. And has led to a couple of crying jags when I needed something but was unable to get it. I did have a home health person my second week out of hospital, so she did my laundry that week. I have about 2 or 3 good hours a day, and I use that time to cook and straighten up. On Sunday before infusion, I cook up some seitan to last for the first few days of my cycle. My cats have been wonderful. They were a bit distraught when I just disappeared for 19 days. Especially since they knew I was very sick the few days before I went to the hospital.  The first two weeks or so, they took turns watching mommy(me). They are still very attentive, but not like when I could barely move. My youngest cat knows something isn't good about the take home chemo, so the two times I have had that so far, she stays inches from me. In fact, it was so cute. When I came back the second time with it, her expression was, not that thing again! I seriously could not do this without my cats. I also have fabulous coworkers who take turns coming to infusions with me. Oh, I also had visiting nurse to change my bandage wound when the spot around my belly button hadn't healed. And often I just get sad that I don't have a husbnd or boyfriend to help me. :)

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

    I work

    I work.  I only take off on infusion days.  I have an office job.  It gives me a sense of normalcy and purpose.  Side-effects so far have been managable.  My cat also provides me comforting and therapy.

    Oh my goodness. That is one

    Oh my goodness. That is one cute face! I have a dilute calico too. She has helped me mentally. 

  • Mickeyclaude
    Mickeyclaude Member Posts: 21
    abita said:

    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.

    perforated colon

    Hi- My tumor was in the same place as yours. I am going to see the surgeon today for follow up to the resection two weeks ago-Is that when you found out it had perforated? Or did you know right after the surgery or before it?

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,079 **

    perforated colon

    Hi- My tumor was in the same place as yours. I am going to see the surgeon today for follow up to the resection two weeks ago-Is that when you found out it had perforated? Or did you know right after the surgery or before it?

    I was admitted to the

    I was admitted to the hospital after going to the emergency room for the most excruciating belly pain. They saw that my colon had perforated and I had a massive infection. A drain was put in, and when it was drained, we thought I was going to be okay. The scan to see if the infection was gone showed a mass. Colonoscopy the next morning showed the tumor. 

    Have you started chemotherapy? I started 5 weeks after my surgery. My 3rd infusion will be Monday. I have 12 to complete in total, with a liver resection to remove 3 lesions after the 4th.

  • Mickeyclaude
    Mickeyclaude Member Posts: 21

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my

    Yes, I had a colectomy on my sigmoid colon on 8/3/17. I was told to walk when I was still in the hospital. I tried but also couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes because I was so sore. I had to be wheeled out when I was discharged after 4 days in the hospital. About 2 weeks after surgery I started to gain some stregth back. I did walk more and believe it or not walking actually helped with my recovery. I was back to myself by the end of August. Then I started my adjuvant chemo on 9/1 and of course my first 2 treatments got me bedridden. I work in an office and I drive. You mentioned you take subway...where are you? 

    Chemo

    *

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 254
    abita said:

    I had my sigmoid colon

    I had my sigmoid colon removed with the tumor in October. Mine has spread to the liver, but my surgeon is confident that he can remove them after they shrink a bit with my first 4 infusions. I started chemotherapy on Nove 20th.

    I get the walking. I was actually in the hospital for 10 days before they found the tumor, and was in a total of 19 days. They tried to get me to walk the second day while still on the epidural. Epic failure that resulted in me being surrounded by doctors. But I did leave walking. Because I live in a walk up, and alone, it was required that I be able to walk up a flight of stairs before I could be discharged. But your recovery was faster than mine. At 5 weeks, I was still only able to stand about 10 minutes at a time. I was released 7 days after my surgery. That is probably why I was walking better than you were. 

    I live in Manhattan and my office is in midtown. Glad you are better now. That surgery is so major, takes a lot out of you.

     

     

     

     

    I thought so. I'm also in NYC

    I thought so. I'm also in NYC but I'm in Queens. Gosh I haven't taken the subway for over 12 plus years now. Stay safe abita especially with the bombing 2 days ago. My surgeon was very pleased that I recovered quick and well. I only took the Oxycodone for 2 days after gotten home because I didn't want to be addicted to the narcotic. As crazy as it sounds, I really think that my cat helped me heal faster too. He would curled up next to me, although he wanted to be on my belly but not after my surgery, his purring vibration penetrated through my body actually made me felt good. Kind of therapeutic. Hang in there, every day you will feel little better and stronger. It took me about 3 weeks to finally able to walk straight up. No more Igor's walk. Lol! How are you getting along by yourself? Are you able to cook? Call God's Love We Deliver, they can deliver free meals for you during your treatments. This is the number: 212-294-8102. They're located in Midtown. Not far from you. 

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 254
    edited December 2017 #36
    abita said:

    My cousin was here for a week

    My cousin was here for a week, and set things up for me since I am alone. Put the cat food and water on the table so I wouldn't have to bend over. Got me a shower seat and a hand held shower head. Got baskets to organize medicines, paperwork, etc. Things like that. I order groceries via amazon fresh or jet.com. I had frozen meals and canned soup when my stamina was about 5 minutes of standing at a time. Pre-washed salads. It isn't easy. And has led to a couple of crying jags when I needed something but was unable to get it. I did have a home health person my second week out of hospital, so she did my laundry that week. I have about 2 or 3 good hours a day, and I use that time to cook and straighten up. On Sunday before infusion, I cook up some seitan to last for the first few days of my cycle. My cats have been wonderful. They were a bit distraught when I just disappeared for 19 days. Especially since they knew I was very sick the few days before I went to the hospital.  The first two weeks or so, they took turns watching mommy(me). They are still very attentive, but not like when I could barely move. My youngest cat knows something isn't good about the take home chemo, so the two times I have had that so far, she stays inches from me. In fact, it was so cute. When I came back the second time with it, her expression was, not that thing again! I seriously could not do this without my cats. I also have fabulous coworkers who take turns coming to infusions with me. Oh, I also had visiting nurse to change my bandage wound when the spot around my belly button hadn't healed. And often I just get sad that I don't have a husbnd or boyfriend to help me. :)

    It's hard when you're by

    It's hard when you're by yourself, physically and emotionally. Glad that at least your cousin helped you out. My upstairs neighbor had helped me out after I came home from the The hospital. She cooked for me and shopped for me. I'm so grateful for her. Also gotta love our kitties. they help us go through this ordeal. 

  • Lily Flower
    Lily Flower Member Posts: 254
    edited December 2017 #37
    OzarkGal said:

    I work

    I work.  I only take off on infusion days.  I have an office job.  It gives me a sense of normalcy and purpose.  Side-effects so far have been managable.  My cat also provides me comforting and therapy.

    Aww what a cutie pie you got

    Aww what a cutie pie you got there, OzarkGal! 

     

     

  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248
    Working during chemo

    I had Xeloda,oxy, Avastin.  I had chemo on Monday - worked part time from home  Tue-Fri. - mostly Th and Fr,  Very part time, but then I worked fairly normally the next 2 weeks - going home if I felt really tired.

     

    It can be done even if you are Stage 4 (me(.

     

    Betsy

  • mozart13
    mozart13 Member Posts: 118
    Very weak

    I was very weak during folfox treatment, slept most of the time. Went back to work between chemo/rad and folfox. No surgery.

    After 8th dose of folfox developed permanent neuropathy, on long term disabillity now, bored. Coming around from chemo that finished in Oct., still feel it, most lab results have bounced back, mentally recovering nice, had brain chemo during folfox, couldn’t remember 3 things.

    Thinking about doing something totally different from my previous profession, just to get out.

  • Ruthmomto4
    Ruthmomto4 Member Posts: 705
    edited December 2017 #40
    abita said:

    My cousin was here for a week

    My cousin was here for a week, and set things up for me since I am alone. Put the cat food and water on the table so I wouldn't have to bend over. Got me a shower seat and a hand held shower head. Got baskets to organize medicines, paperwork, etc. Things like that. I order groceries via amazon fresh or jet.com. I had frozen meals and canned soup when my stamina was about 5 minutes of standing at a time. Pre-washed salads. It isn't easy. And has led to a couple of crying jags when I needed something but was unable to get it. I did have a home health person my second week out of hospital, so she did my laundry that week. I have about 2 or 3 good hours a day, and I use that time to cook and straighten up. On Sunday before infusion, I cook up some seitan to last for the first few days of my cycle. My cats have been wonderful. They were a bit distraught when I just disappeared for 19 days. Especially since they knew I was very sick the few days before I went to the hospital.  The first two weeks or so, they took turns watching mommy(me). They are still very attentive, but not like when I could barely move. My youngest cat knows something isn't good about the take home chemo, so the two times I have had that so far, she stays inches from me. In fact, it was so cute. When I came back the second time with it, her expression was, not that thing again! I seriously could not do this without my cats. I also have fabulous coworkers who take turns coming to infusions with me. Oh, I also had visiting nurse to change my bandage wound when the spot around my belly button hadn't healed. And often I just get sad that I don't have a husbnd or boyfriend to help me. :)

    I love the cat in your picture!

    i love all animals and I have 5 cats right now, in addition to a lot of other pets. I think they are absolutely a  help in the healing process.  I am happy you have them to keep you company!

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,712 **
    Hard to Tell

    It's hard to tell.  It really depends on your cocktail as well - if you take some of the medications you just are out of it, but others seem to just fly by and have no symptoms and go to treatment and go to work after.  You just have to play it by ear.  See what you can tolerate and then decide.  Wishing you well.  While my cocktail contained steroids I'd be an energizer bunny but when they disconnected me then my bunny was laying on the couch.  Don't over do it, but do what you feel comfortable with.

    Kim