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Finished Rads, work is questionable

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Well family....I finished rads last week, about 35. Throat burn never got as bad as they said it would, although it sure was there. The exterior burns to my chest and back were was the worse part of it, but healing now. However...when I swallow, the first couple swallos sends a sharp pain up my neck to the base of my skull , on the back side of my neck...Anyone have this situation?
I am 1/2 way through with 1x/week chemo (carbo/taxol), maybe 12 weeks left and I have a CT scan on Aug 30th.....sort of worried..although earlier CT showed significant reduction to main tumor, but the CT will give me a good indication of where we are at with my IIIb nsc adenocarcinoma. I told my work that I want to review this scan and talk to docs before I come back to work, but it will be past the FMLA timeframe, they said ok....but back of my mind, I dont think I can handle the chemo and working, I have been approved by my work insurance carrier for income disability.
If you could live on the income from disibility, would you drive an hour to downtown Detroit, work 8 hrs in a high-rise, then drive 1 1/2 hr back in heavy rush hour...or just relax and concentrate on myself and get well? As you all know, the chemo and cancer makes us fatigued by noon in most cases.

I welcome your folks thoughts...
Dave

kelli1843's picture
kelli1843
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2010

Boy, do I understand your dilemma. I've been at my same job for 18 years and have been using accumulated sick/vacation time since beginning of year so I've remained on payroll.

It's been a rollercoaster ride-dr. kept extending my time off. Finally discussed my not being able to return to work at all, so I put in for SSA disability and early dbl retirement, just waiting to hear.

I would miss my co-worker's but not the job-related stress. I think if I were to return to work, I'd also (back of the mind) be wondering about too many what-if's..like if the tumor returns (which it's known to do), I'd be off work again, only this time with no days to cover me; working while I could be spending my time with family, dogs, etc.

Dapsterd's picture
Dapsterd
Posts: 291
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanx Kelli...I needed to hear this, plus if we go back to work, we could get laid off for some reason, then we have no income and will be in a jam, SS and work related disability will be impossible because you would not be employed....or...we go back to work, then have to take more time off due to any possible complications, testing, etc... and no matter what anyone says....my coworkers will have some resentments with this, I just know.

NOT ONE PERSON I have asked said go back to work no matter what, they said take care of yourself and maybe in a couple years see what happens.

Thanx..>Dave

kelli1843's picture
kelli1843
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2010

I like my job and enjoy working so it has been major decision for me. My pulmonary and onco doc's have already told me that my type of cancer does return, which could mean starting chemo/rad over again. I feel worse now than I did all year.

My work year runs July - June (school system), so by October, I'll have already depleted my entire year of sick/vac days just from what I've used so far.

I dislike uncertainty and dealing with "what-ifs" and "who knows down the road" kind of things.

It's also been unfair to my employer in a way; since January, I've been out on doctor's excuses..first 2 weeks, then a month, then 3 months, then unknown and now unable to return to work in one doctor's opinion. They have to have other's cover for me, get subs, etc.

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