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Working during chemo & radiation

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

How many of you ladies were able to work during chemo & radiation? Next week I am starting round 1 of Taxol & carboplatin. I have the option to work at home, but am wondering if I will even be able to accomplish that. Thanks.

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

I too had the same drugs you did for chemo and faired okay. I am self-employed and work from home, as it worked just fine. I can take part of day off or whole day, worked around how I felt after the chemo. Generally the day after I was tired, and continued for 3 more days. I could walk down the hall when felt good and work, or stay in bed.

Comparing to working in office, I can't say, but assume more stressful. If at home and working, get tired or sick to tummie, you can leave and take care of yourself. In office you have others to contend with during your issues.

What type of cancer are your dealing with? What treatment schedule?

Best to you!

kkstef's picture
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I also had the taxol/carbo every 3 weeks. Everyone reacts very differently. If you have had radiation prior to the chemo it is harder to keep you counts up and more frequently need to delay a week or two (at least that is what my oncologist said). It also depends on your age, your level of activity prior, other health issues, etc. Our bodies all just respond in various ways. I had just retired about 6 months before my diagnosis, but I don't think I could have worked full time during that time. It may also depend on the type of job you have, level of stress, etc.

I found myself really dragging by the 3rd treatment. Take one day at a time and see how YOU feel after your treatments.
Wishing you the best!

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I also work from home and have always been able to continue with my work responsibilities throughout my treatments. Because I am self-employed, I worked from home and could lay down if I needed to and didn't have to worry about being exposed to co-workers' germs. You could try it and always back off later if your body reacts badly to the chemo.

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

Thank you for your responses. I have UPSC FIGO stage IIIC1. I had a radical hysterectomy March 2 and recovered very quickly. I will be 48 years old next week and prior to my surgery was in the best shape of my life. In October 2008 I climbed to Base Camp of Annapurna I in Nepal as part of an ovarian cancer awareness campaign, which strengthened my mind and body.

Will likely have sandwich therapy (chemo/radiation/chemo). I am getting a mediport placed this Friday. I have youth, a positive attitude, and a strong body on my side. I know I can beat this.


jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010


You've got a wonderful attitude, as I do too. I've always been a very positive thinker and love to work out and eat and take proper vitamins to help my body.

I endured the same drugs and came thru with flying colors...but only been 7 months since last treatment. ALso, had hysterectomy and started chemo 2 weeks after surgery, and in middle had 33 radiation and ended with last 3 rounds of chemo. The last 3 rounds were tougher on my body and had to take Nulasta drug to bring up my white blood count.

You'll find the positive attitude will get you in very good places. I just had my next 3 month checkup and am NED -- NO CANCER!!!! I feel in control when I can eat, exercise, and do things to help by body, as knowing the chemo and radiation are in hands of doctors.

Hang in there and keep smiling....

TiggersDoBounce's picture
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Sending hugs!

I was 49 when diagnosed....I am the breadwinner in my household, so not working really is not an option for me...I have done Radiation (8 weeks external/4 sessions Internal)and Chemo concurrently. I have two more Chemo rounds to go.

I work in IT Management and have worked through the treatments. I can work remotely, however only usually work remotely 2 times per week if I need to.

EVERYONE is different and you really need to stay open to the hand you are dealt.

Sometimes pre-planning how you will handle it can set you up for an emotional let down, so be careful not to be too hard on yourself!!!

Please keep in touch...


Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2009

I didn't and could not have worked at my job during chemo and radiation. I didn't feel very well for the first 4 or 6 days after each chemo. By the time I had the radiation in the middle my energy was zapped by radiation.
I had a high stress management job and there was no way I wanted to deal with anyone else's issues other than my own.
I was in good shape physically and mentally before the surgery. When I hear about women continuing to work I am amazed. Some days it was all I could do to do a little house cleaning and then I would have to take a nap or sit down for a while. Plus I have a little cognitive issue with chemo brain. Not quite as sharp mentally with all the toxins in my brain (carboplatin and taxol).

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I am scratching my head. This UPSC thing is such an insidious thing - you are/were so healthy and look was happened!!! There are so many stories like that (maybe not like you being such a super athlete and all) but many of us were healthy and lived healthy lifestyles with no risk factors and boom - aggressive uterine cancer. I have UPSC Stage 3a, finished the standard 6 chemos, no radiation, and have been NED for a year post treatment. My next check-up is this week - it's always disconcerting to wait for the "verdict" - do I have another reprieve????

Re: working. I didn't know I couldn't or shouldn't. Just did. Told my doc and his only comment was "good". So I guess it's up to you - whatever you feel like. To be honest I had to get out of the house. On the day I was at home (I worked a 4 day week - not totally FT) I did lots of worrying and crying while I was waiting for phone calls and fighting with my insurance company (Thank you US healthcare system!!!). So it was best for me to be out and in the world and distracted from my health problems. I vote for going to the office if your body can handle it.

Love and light to you and all. Mary Ann

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