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Treatments and working

Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2001

Hello everyone! I've got something on my mind and would appreicate some imput on the situation. I recently returned to work, very part time. I wait tables at a local sports bar here in town. I only work 2 days a week for a total of a whole 7 hours. I am still taking herceptin treatments, 43 to go. I often find myself not wanting to go to work. I am always so tired afterwards and very short tempered with my children when I get home. I have really enjoyed my time off regardless of how sick I have been. I'm just not sure if I just don't want to work, or if it really just makes me to tired. I really feel guilty not working at all, but feel that I need to work at least a few hours a week. Have any of you ever felt this way? I am debating on just waiting until I am completely done with treatments before returning to work. I still have some surgeries to go through yet, one of which will be coming up in the next few weeks, a hysterectomy :( Maybe I am just to stressed about everything. Thanks for taking the time to help, you all have helped me so much already! God Bless you all! Carrie

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Carrie,

As an OLDER member here, I think that you are
now rethinking your priorities. Just 7 hours a week - PERHAPS?- will not upset your
finances terribly - and you know that you are young with a major illness. Also, my first thought when you reminded us of your upcoming hysterectomy, is that you should try to get enough rest ahead of this. I had a hysterectomy in my early 40's when, otherwise, I was well tho' tired from anemia and heavy long periods.

You will need strength to come through this.

My advice would be, if possible, to not work for the immediate future. Tell yourself, if you dare to think yourself lazy - that getting well is your fulltime JOB now to have many more years with your precious children and husband.

I wish you that- health and many more years -you are just a kid compared to me.

God bless you,too Carrie - Good Luck!
Love, Jean

Posts: 118
Joined: May 2001

Hi Carrie !

If you can afford to, don't work ... unless you find a lot of pleasure out of it, and it doesn't sound like it ! You need all your energy for your body to heal properly. Exhaustion is the first message your body sends you when you are overdoing it. If you don't pay attention to this first message, it will get your attention in a more dramatic way, you might come down with the flue, or something else.

Maybe you also need that time for you, to think about what you want to do different in the next few years. Most of us who have been through this have changed our lifestyles : it may be finding the foods right for you (see Lola's post), it might be spending more "quality time" with your kids, or exercising, or having just more fun generally speaking... Those decisions take time, and it is good to take that time. I just read an article explaining that most illnesses, and especially cancers, have 3 main causes : poor diet, stress levels too high, and lack of exercise (the body doesn't eliminate toxins as fast as it should). Certainly you must do everything possible to reduce your stress level. Don't feel guilty about not working. Enjoy your time off, enjoy your kids !

Big hugs,
Cathy, who used to be a workaholic

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pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Carrie
I worked right through my chemo treatments & was exhausted all the time but I loved my job & so I carried on. Now the comany has been sold & moved location so I have been forced to give up work & boy am I enjoying the rest. I know my body needs time to heal so don't feel guilty. Concentrate on getting well & preparing your body for the hysterectomy as you will need all your strength. Being grumpy is a sign of tiredness & your children deserve all of the time you can spare them right now as they too will be stressed over all your treatments & fearful of the outcome. Give yourself a break. Lots of love & hugs & all the best for the operation. Pam

Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Carrie:
I'd vote NO to working, in general, unless it's absolutely financially necessary.

When I was diagnosed, I finished up projects which I was working on and took on nothing new. I knew I needed my strength and focus for the upcoming surgery and treatments. For
me, this was the best decision. Initially, dealing with cancer and the decisions I had to make, left no room for work related distractions. My plan was to resume working when I felt up to it. To date, I haven't.
After two surgeries, chemo and currently still having radiation, I haven't the mental
desire yet. With only one week of radiation remaining I am beginning to think about resuming work. I'm giving myself 6 weeks to
recover and then see how I feel about it.

Throughout chemo and radiation, I've needed
a rest period/nap every afternoon. I've remained fairly active throughout but couldn't have coped with the pressures of deadlines and/or having to be someplace at a particular time and not able to rest when I needed it. Mostly, I didn't want to become over tired from work demands and have nothing left for my family. Quality time with them has always been a priority for me. Not working and being able to get plenty of rest has worked well. I can go shopping, out to lunch/dinner with a friend, to a movie, my son's soccer games or fix up a great little dinner at home and not become exhausted or miserable.

We're all different in what's going to work for us depending upon our individual needs and how treatment effects us. I've found that the more kind and gentle I can treat myself, the more I have left to share with those in my life who matter most. If someone told me tomorrow that this would be my last day on earth, I'd not change a thing.
That's how I know I've made the right choices for myself. If working enhances your life and you're able to do it, then by all means, work. If you try it and it isn't working, then by all means, make a change to something which may work better. Trial and error. That little feeling inside will tell you when it's right! Trust it.

Stay well.

Love, light and laughter,

Pebblesbythesea's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2017

I have been searching for more up todate replys to see how many out there decided not to work or worked up to a certain time frame during radiation. I will be starting sometime in May of 2017 for 33 treatments. I am overwhelmed by so many different replys. I know we are all different, but the one common factor is fatigue around the 4 week. I feel I am lucky enough that I have a job I can take off. I have a desk job, but not wearing a bra, itching, not knowing what time I will be able to fit in... I work a 10 hour day, 4 days a week. The center I need to go to is not right around the corner and traffic is not the greatest. I appreciate any feedback.

Apaugh's picture
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2016

I could not do it.  I am constantly tired.  When it hits me I have to go down.  I have too many physical symptoms that I know I cannot deal with and a job at the same time.  I have chemo brain and that will do me no good in the office.  I know I have to heal before I decide to work or not anymore. 

I wish you the best


Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2017

I worked throughout my chemo and radiation treatments. Usually the couple of days after the A/C portion it was impossible to move but once I statrted on Taxol it was doable. It is different for everryone so me working is not necessarily the norm. I was very tired but my boss was terrific through it all and I could go home when I got too tired.

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