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markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005


I'm going to be starting treatment for rectal cancer with liver mets this month. I just started a new job in December of last year. I'm a little worried how all the time I'm going to be missing is going to work.

I am not elegible for FMLA until after I have been employed with a coampnay for a year. I can't take Personal Leave until after 5 months.

Not sure how its going to work out. I am not married and rely on my employment for medical insurance.

Anyone with experience with this?


spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Maria -

I'm not a lawyer - that's just a line I use on the cute gals in the bar - but you may be protected - at least some of your rights - under the Americans With Disabilities Act - RunnerZ... what do you think?

BusterBrown's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: Mar 2005

I was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer and liver mets. I started my chemo in the beginning of Jan 2005, I'll start my 5th dose this coming Monday. FYI, I have yet to miss a day of work and by looking at me you'd never know I have cancer. I still have my hair, however it's thinning a little bit, hardly noticable. Anyways, I recommend you go to work as often as you can, it's a great way to keep your mind of your illness. Last week I had a ct scan of my abdomen, the three leasions that were there on my first ct scan are no longer visable. Chemo does work:o) Hang in there...

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I agree with Buster. I have rectal cancer, was stage 3, now stage 4. During ALL my treatments (chemo + radiation, surgery, chemo, surgery again, chemo again) I only missed a total of 10 weeks of work. I worked through everything, full time. BUT, my co-workers & supervisors couldn't have been more supportive. I lucked out big time. I was allowed to leave early if I needed it. All in all, I handled everything very well.

Just take it all one step at a time. Every person reacts differently to treatments. Call the American Disability people.
Another thought.... do you have any charming co-workers you could marry? :)
One step at a time. Good luck. jana

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Well, after finally getting treatment plan straightened out and insurance coverage, started first round of chemo for rectal tumor with liver mets that was diagnosed Feb 05. They have decided to do chemo first before radiation or surgery then re-evaluate.

Its going ok so far. Worse part yesterday was getting the PICC line placed in my arm. Gave me the heebie jeebies thinking of then pushing the line up my vien in my upper arm to my heart. And then still freaked me out some that the chemo is going directly into my heart. Expecially after I was told how toxic 5-FU is. I guess it can damage your skin if it touches it! Eessh.

I got Avastin first yesterday, then Oxaliplaitin an Leukovorin at same time. Then a 5-FU push, and then 500 ml of 5-FU delivered by pump for 46 hours. I'm at about 24 hours in right now. Feel a little ill. Not too bad though. Taking Anzemat for nausea and Lorazepam for anxiety.

Very glad to be starting on something to kill those cancer cells that have been having their way in my body. Raargh...hope they shriveling to nothing. I was and stiil am a little nervous about Avastin. I've read of lots of scary side-effects, including bowel perforation. I have rectal tumor that bleeds a lot. I'm worried that I'm going to sit down in the john and see just a ton of blood, especially when I get cramping, feel like I'm putting a lot of pressure on the area and that that the tumor is going to pop. I'm going to try to get more answers to thes concerns tomorrow when I get pump taken off.

Thanks for reading. Good to type out what is going on with me and concerns and hopes. So for so good. I know that chemo can have a cumulative effect and that it may get worse, but so far its going ok.


Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hi Maria, If you feel up to it try to work because I stopped & man I hated/missed it, and like Buster said keeps your mind off of it all, I think depending on the job & the chemo you may be able to continue, I was a waitress & my biggest was the bathroom all the time, not so much anything else, and though, fatigue, you may be able to swing it , but also check out the laws on that too like SB said. Some chemo is tolorable, mine (2nd time around) now is pretty decent, I feel kinda good except the dihaerra, and nausea, but hey Pills!! Good Luck & God Bless

Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Hi Maria,

The only thing I'd add is that taking care of your body (getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising) will help you get through the chemo, so try to prioritize all that as well. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

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