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Pelvic Radiation for Endometrial Cancer

missbabsonmars's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2010

I had a partial radical hysterectomy 3 weeks ago. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes and was removed. However, I will be having pelvic radiation five days a week for five weeks. I have the option of extending my medical leave from work (which is high stress) at full pay and benefits with no problem. (Believe me, I am grateful that I have this choice, as I realize that many people do not have the luxury of deciding when they will go back to work.)

In talking to people who've had radiation, I'm finding out that some people can work part time while getting it.

I am looking for feedback on this. Would it be better for me to just take the time to focus on my health 100%? I think i am actually answering my own question as i write this, but would appreciate input.

Babs in Sacramento, California

Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

Today I had my 12th of 23 pelvic radiation treatments. I have been able to work full-time during the treatment. I have the first time slot of the morning @ 7:20, it takes a little over 30 minutes for the undressing, treatment, re-dressing, etc. I get to work by 8:15. I have the option of working from home on the days I am not feeling well, but have not had to do this until today. I had some diarrhea & we don't have easy access to a bathroom at work, so I went home. My job is mostly sedentary & I sit at a desk. Since your hysterectomy was only a few weeks ago, I would caution you about lifting things.

I personally find that being at work and not thinking about being sick is very beneficial. People at work have been very kind, helpful, and supportive. When my brain is not engaged, it tends to start dwelling on my illness. Everyone is different, but I feel like working has helped my recovery.

Good luck in whatever decision you make.

jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

I had 33 sessions of radiation to pelvis and do work from home part-time. I was just fine for the first 2 weeks then the fast bowels started and I was happy to be close to home, if catch my drift. The other symptom which hit me very hard was -- my wagon was dragging ....tired!! Had zero energy and felt I had to sit and rest so much more. I'm a very energetic person so this was very tough on me.

Really it depends on you and how the radiation affects your body and type of job you do. In my case being at home and working was better, as if worked in office from 2nd week on I think I would have asked for option to take time off or work from home.

Also, working does occupy your mind to think outside of the box of your health issues. Definitely is a positive!!

Good luck!

Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

I had radiation for 5 weeks. I was able to work the first 4 weeks. The last week and 2 weeks after radiation were a little harder. the diarrhea was a little dificult, but immodium and lomotil helped. Also eating smaller more frequent meals helped. The fatigue was tough but you can get through it. Working actually made me feel a little more normal and kept my mind on something else. Good Luck and remember this too shall pass it really will!

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