To work or not to work, revisited

jsabol Member Posts: 1,145
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi all,
About sis weeks ago, after my first course of chemo was completed, I was so fatigued and debating whether I should continue work or not. After a week off, I felt better and went back. Now, after the second course, it feels like the fatigue is just growing, and my life has revolved around getting to and through my work day. (Not part helpful to kids and hubby, as well as my own spirits!)also I ran into potassium and blood pressure problems. Time for serious re-eval.
So, as of yesterday, I am on leave for the next 3 months. Feels like a HUGE relief, and I look forward to hugging my pillow each am.
Being halfway through is also a big relief; I'm hoping that taking this time keeps the fatigue a little more under control.
Thanks to all for your support, Judy


  • alihamilton
    alihamilton Member Posts: 347
    Hi Judy,

    I agree it is a good idea to follow your body's message about how much to take on, etc. My husband could in no way work for the first few months of chemo and then radiation. However, when he had recovered from the combo and was getting chemo once a week for three weeks and then a week off, he went back to work half days and it did him the world of good mentally. It gave him something other than his illness to concentrate on.

    So enjoy this time of "rest" but do make sure you keep your mind occupied on something other than cancer. I am the caregiver and the first thing I do when I go online, is check this board and another one....sometimes I wonder if I am totally obsessed!! So to focus on other aspects of life is good! I need to listen to myself!

    Best, Alison
  • taraHK
    taraHK Member Posts: 1,952
    Hi Judy. I remember when I was part-way through my chemo, my dr. 'strongly advised' me to take more sick leave. I was so relieved! I did a little bit of work from home (my job is flexible that way) - but only as I felt. For me, the chemo-fatigue did get worse, not better, as time progressed. I tried to have a nap every day! and certainly a 'rest'. It sounds like you have made a good decision. Best of luck with the rest of the chemo
  • KrisS
    KrisS Member Posts: 229
    Hi Judy- Listen to your body. If you are getting that fatigued, it is a good thing to take the time off. Just the fact that you feel so relieved having decided to do this is an indication that you needed to do it.

    I right now am in the opposite situation and going a bit crazy in that I am feeling fine. I was planning to work pretty much most of this month with the exception of a couple days off for chemo. However I've had some blood in my urine which have resulted in 7 more doctor CT, ultrasound appointments than anticipated..Of course all of these are scheduled on separate days at their whim, on the days that are most useful for me to be at work. GRRRR!

    Sometimes it is hard to run your life anything close to normal along with this disease, let alone with kids and the rest of the family to look after.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • nanuk
    nanuk Member Posts: 1,358
    Hi Judy:
    I haven't worked since going on the chemo-I don't know how people can work and get chemo at the same time..not only am I paralyzed the first week, but I
    have trouble doing simple tasks. I do manage to work a little from home during the second week, but anything I do requires much more effort. I'm glad to hear you are have more than enough to deal with. Bud
  • kangatoo
    kangatoo Member Posts: 2,105
    nanuk said:

    Hi Judy:
    I haven't worked since going on the chemo-I don't know how people can work and get chemo at the same time..not only am I paralyzed the first week, but I
    have trouble doing simple tasks. I do manage to work a little from home during the second week, but anything I do requires much more effort. I'm glad to hear you are have more than enough to deal with. Bud

    Good for you Judy!
    Jen was a bit worried that we took our holiday trip too early(only 4 weeks after coming off chemo)--and I must admit that riding 7,000 ks on our m/cycle wore me out---I just didn't tell her how I really felt--'cos it was her holiday too after all she has been thru.
    I have found that the fatigue effect even now is still with me--so who knows how long that will last--think I am gunna enjoy hugging the am pillow too!
    As MR MUM i still have the housework, home duties to do but plan to regulate them and still get some mid arvo zzz time.--suggest you do the same Judy--but with kids I guess that is a harder ask--mine are all grown up now so is just me at home.
    Take care n relax Judy!
    cheers kanga n Jen
  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145
    Hi Guys, Thanks for your support.
    Allison, I know what you mean about keeping busy. I think that is why I couldn't stop working at first...sitting around contemplating chemo was not very encouraging. Spring has sprung here, so my garden is beckoning; flowers are my passion, but I do get some veggies tucked into the beds; could keep me busy for hours! (With 45 sunblock and a big skin is so affected by my chemo agents!) Many little house projects have fallen by the wayside; I'm picking 2 to keep me busy, nothing too strenuous. I also manage my mom's finances; can't wait to see what I've neglected. My dghtr graduates high school soon; my son is one year behind, looking at fairly local schools.
    Tara, I will do a few work projects; I'll do a little training and a support group for Alzheimer's caregivers once a month; just enough to make me stay connected.
    Kris, I hope I feel like I can't wait to get to work someday again. I surely admire your energy and determination!
    Bud, with the course you've had, I think I would spend my days moving from bed to recliner. I am also having serious mush mind at times; hope it clears at some point!
    And Kanga, like you, we can't wait to celebrate the end of chemo this summer; but I will take your advice and try not to to a really vigorous trip. We spend a week on a lake in Maine each year for the last 18 years; old friends, plenty of conversation around a campfire; can't wait! We love the outdoors; part hiking, but walking around the block is doing me in...can't keep up with the 13 year old mutt! Now I may have a little time to hit the geri-gym again!
    I will have more time to keep in touch with friends, here and at home.
    Thank you again for all your support, Judy
  • kerry
    kerry Member Posts: 1,313

    Glad to hear you have made a decision and are doing ok. I was fortunate in that I didn't have to work, but if I had needed to depend on my job, I don't know how I would have done it. I admire all of your who have kept your jobs and gone through treatment at the same time. You are remarkable. I am feeling pretty good now that I am 9 months off of chemo and 15 months from my diagnosis.

    You are all such a special group of friends. I think of your often and hold you in my prayers.

  • Hi Judy:

    As usual, here comes Monika...a day late and a dollar short but your gonna get my input anyway :o)

    My motto has always been listen to your tells you things. We all just tend to ignore them. For Bert, since switching oncologists, going to work has not been a problem and he has continued to do so almost every single day since January and a good part of last year too, except for his brief hospitalization with the colon infection caused by chemo. Yes, he is fatigued but honestly, I must be truthful, he gets chemo every other Thursday, is wiped out by Friday evening, and spends most of Saturday and Sunday hugging the pillow. Monday he get's home from work tired and Tuesday, he starts to feel energy which picks up day by day. We have been blessed...truly we have.

    So, once again, goes to show you that each person is different. I think that I would want to hug the pillow a little more myself because even under the best of circumstances, I just don't have the stamina or more aptly put, the "mental frame of mind" that Bert does.