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Please share your work story

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2012

I have tried to read everything I can about how work plays out during ABVD treatment. Basically, I need to keep working. I do have some sick and vaca time, possibly FMLA.
I have a flexible schedule and can work at home at times. OTOH I also do have to get into the office a few times a week, its about a 40 minutes commute. I have a desk job...
the great unknowns at this time are how supportive my workplace will be and how I will feel during treatment.
The whole thing makes me so tired thinking about it i already don't want to go to work today!
But in truth, work really takes my mind off my problems, so I really want to continue.
Thanks to all who have advice.

cathyp's picture
Posts: 365
Joined: Dec 2009

So here's the disclaimer...everyone responds differently to treatments.

That being said, I had ABVD in 1994. I was able to work the entire time with a 2 hour commute as well. I had a highly demanding stressful job and a newborn at home. For a few days after the chemo, I would feel like a had a slight case of the flu. I hope your treatments go as smoothly. (On the other hand, The radiation done 22 years ago landed me in the hospital but I'm sure the treatment regimen for radiation has improved tremendously since then.)
Just try to think, the sooner I start the chemo, the sooner it will be done. All the best to you,

1989 Hodgkins Lymphoma - RADS
1994 Recurring Hodgkins Lymphoma - ABVD
2007 Invasive Ductual Carcinoma - Double Mx

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2012

Thank you Cathy that was an extremely helpful answer. I am just blown away with people's stories and courage.

po18guy's picture
Posts: 721
Joined: Nov 2011

As the first part of my treatment, I received four two-week cycles of dose-intensive CHOEP (aka EPOCH). I was a street-level police officer working 10 hour days from 8:30PM to 6:30AM. I did this for two months before my supervisors finally convinced me to stay home. Through my faith, I found the strength each day to go to work. My thinking was that if I stayed home, it would occur to me that I was sick. I have to laugh about this now, as I was actually very sick! Keeping busy with the problems of others kept my mind off of my own problems. A little anecdote: One night I was listening to a depressed young man about 20 tell me of all his (minor and self-inflicted) problems. He was thinking of harming himself. After hearing him out, I took my cap off, revealing my hairless head and gray skin. "Dude, I have cancer! I may not survive this. Tell me about your problems again." The look on his face? Priceless.

Keep your attitude strong, be grateful for each day, and you will find the strength to carry on. Be ready to take a rest when the time comes. Listen to those around you, and compare it with how you are feeling. You will know when the day arrives to take it easy.

allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

I have been retired since 2002. After finishing 6 rounds of R-CVP chemo in Dec 2010 for Follicular NHL-grade2-stage3-typeA,I feel so grateful to have not had a job to deal with on top of everything else! I am amazed at the folks who have gone back to work after doing much harsher chemo treatments than I went through...my hat goes off to all of them!!! I think I could have done it if I absolutely would have had to, but I'm sure it would have been quite a challenge with the fatigue I experienced from my chemo. If your job is not too physical, then maybe you will do ok. Your body will let you know, so pay attention to what it tells you! Let us know how things go for you and good luck. Others have done it, so it's not impossible. Take care and best wishes...Sue (FNHL-2-3A-6/10)

Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2012

This was really helpful, it seems like it is doable (depending on the individual)...i don't want to be superwoman, but my work is important to me and it will take my mind off physical stuff.

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2009

I went through ABVD treatment from October 2008 to April 2009, I was lucky in that my company was very accommodating. I am a Business/Human Resource Manager, and I had a 30 minute commute. I had a treatment every 14 days and only had about 3 good days before going for my next treatment. I had to go into the office weekly to do payroll and other small tasks. On the week of my treatment I would have to have someone drive me over on the Sunday to do payroll before the Monday morning deadline, however on the Sunday or Monday just before my treatments (that were on Tuesdays) I felt good enough to drive myself over to do the payroll. I was extremely exhausted and nauseated for the first 10 days after treatment, it was a struggle to much of anything. But everyone responds to treatment differently so I pray you will have very few side effects.

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