Need "back to work" advice

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2013-12-30

 

 

 

I have been reading posts on this site obsessively since christmas anticipating the journey ahead. To say I've been impressed with your collective wisdom and courage would be a severe understatement! Now , I need your specific opinion on this: i begin IMRT rads (60 gys to primary, reduced level to bilateral neck as "mop up" after robotic surgery for soft palate surgery t1n2amo) that will last for six weeks. The question is--will I be able to resume work in an office environment four weeks after treatment ends? Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

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  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    work

    Rommotu,

    Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry that you are here, but nice to see someone jump right over treatments and get back to work.  Now, if your desk converts to a bed, you have a really sweet deal.

    If you are like many of us, you may fatigue easily, it really depends on what type work you do?  Are you an elite member of a SWAT Team or a Bakery Chef  (lol, I know you said office).

    I would say, I would not be surprised if you were anywhere from 60 to 100% of normal. Less if you have a rough time responding to treatments.

    Good luck, good work ethic,

    Matt 

  • Rommotu
    Rommotu Member Posts: 4
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    CivilMatt said:

    work

    Rommotu,

    Welcome to the H&N forum, sorry that you are here, but nice to see someone jump right over treatments and get back to work.  Now, if your desk converts to a bed, you have a really sweet deal.

    If you are like many of us, you may fatigue easily, it really depends on what type work you do?  Are you an elite member of a SWAT Team or a Bakery Chef  (lol, I know you said office).

    I would say, I would not be surprised if you were anywhere from 60 to 100% of normal. Less if you have a rough time responding to treatments.

    Good luck, good work ethic,

    Matt 

    Thanks Matt. by the way, I

    Thanks Matt. by the way, I have enjoyed your many posts and appreciate your sense of humor--something that I have not been able to emulate over the last several weeks even though I'm trying!

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    Rommotu said:

    Thanks Matt. by the way, I

    Thanks Matt. by the way, I have enjoyed your many posts and appreciate your sense of humor--something that I have not been able to emulate over the last several weeks even though I'm trying!

    got to be more

    What humor?

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    Hello Rommotu....and

    welcome to the club nobody wants to join.  I'm glad to hear you've been reading this forum so you have some idea what you're about to go through.....

    As you have probably picked up, every person is different....every body handles treatment differently, and recovers at their own pace...it's difficult to predict how another person is going to feel 4 weeks post treatment.  I went back to work full time 6 weeks after treatment ended.....I was also in an office enviroment, however I worked swings and graveyard shifts.   I was dragging tail for 3 months....now that could partly be attributed to working shift work, but I was REALLY tired. 

    I say get through treatment, see how you feel at 4 weeks.....you might pull it off.....but don't hold yourself to that plan....go week by week till you think you can do it without sleeping at your desk.

    PS.....listen to the Drs. when it comes to your bloodwork.....you don't need to be in an enviroment that is filled with sick folks....immune systems get depleted during treatment. 

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    CivilMatt said:

    got to be more

    What humor?

    Xactly

    ..., nuff said, LOL...

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    Yes/No/Maybe...

    Welcome...

    No body can really answer that for you..., you're body, determination, and attitude will decide for you...

    Physically and mentally more than likely you will be able... But it depends on the above...

    I do 90% computer related work. I worked from diagnosis in January 2009, until September 2009 entirely from home..., connecting to my work computers over the internet.

    It wasn't a 8-5 regime..., more like when I felt like it and didn't have treatment... That might be at 4:00AM, but I put in my hours and only missed a few weeks upfront when the tonsils came out..

    STGIII SCC HPV+Tonsils and a lymphnode, nine weeks of chemo (three week cycles), then seven weeks of concurrent weekly chemo, and 35 daily rads...

    I was very lucky though, no PEG and very few side effects, no sickness, and no severe burning.

    I did loss all taste and saliva for nealry 6 - 12 months (two years to completely get my taste back)... And for 8+ weeks.. I switched over to all Ensure Plus and water and a few sliced peaches to keep the throat swallower working...

    Some had all of the side effects... You never know until you're in the thick of it...

    So I'm opting for you to have it light, and thoughts and prayers your way...

     

    But then again..., I'm Abi-Normal...

    John

  • Roar
    Roar Member Posts: 269 Member
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    My journey

    I had 3 citsplatin and almost 40 rads then another 7 rads around the lymph nodes- I was out of work about 1 month - I was able to work almost to the end of treatment but the recovery was much harder than I expected - my advice would be to have all the pain meds out of your system before you make your return. Fatigue will be apart of life for at least a few months. If possible try to take walks just to get a little fresh air and exercise. Once your off the meds and out of the fog you will know what you need to do.the hardest thing for me was to get back on a schedule. I am out of treatment almost 13 months and still have side effects. I do what I need to do - eat healthy - exercise etc. i don't even remember the first few months back to work except it was hard just getting to work and back home- meetings? Looking back it was almost funny- I was a mess. So my advise which my doctor gave me and I didn't take would be to take off a couple of months and take care of yourself if possible.