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work during treatment

kennyt's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

Is it possible to work during the chemo and radiation treatments? I'm a working general contractor and my work is physical but I feel if possible it would be therapeutic and better for my financial sit. if I could continue to work through much of this.

Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I didnt work wednesday through friday when i was getting the actual infusion but worked and mountain bike all the days in between but everyone one is different and the side effects can change from one treatment to the next. I wouldnt make too big of a commitment either way until you see how you are feeling.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

My husband cycles (road bike) and has a port a cath.  We were just wondering if anyone else is biking with one and has any hints, cautions, or if there really aren't any problems.  He notices the arm by the port gets tired more quickly than the other.  I think we are just trying to get a sense of what his limits might be.  You are doing great if you are biking all but infusion days!  That is awesome!  My guy is generally walking most days and bikes the weekend before his Monday chemo sessions. 

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1240
Joined: Jun 2013

Absolutelly possible to work at the beginning. It's good for your mind and your wallet. You also maintain normalcy and maintain that even though you have a new condition you are still an important member of your family, community, profession. Just bvecause you are sick, you are not any less, you still have all your skills and knowledge.

I am a dentist so I sit a lot. Plus I drive 100 miles to one of my jobs 2-3 days aweek and my butt hurts a lot.

I don't have any side effects yet (actually I feel better now), but prepare: carry Immodium with you, ginger gums for nausea, wipes and extra underwear, pain killer. I suggest 600mg Ibuprofen 3 times a day, but talk to your Doc.

At the same time as soon as I feel that my work will interfere with my healing I will cut back or go on disability regardless of the consequences, because #1 is your health.

Let us know man.


LivinginNH's picture
Posts: 1458
Joined: Apr 2010


Hi Laz,

Please be careful with the Ibuprofen since it's quite harmful to your liver.  I hope that you've mentioned this to your oncologist.....


MaryCarol5's picture
Posts: 102
Joined: May 2013

Many people work during treatment.  I, unfortunately, have not been cleared to return to work for various reasons.    Always, always listen to your body- and rest when it's pulling you to rest.  But if your doctor gives you the ok and you feel up to it, I think working would be beneficial.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

but for me, there was no way I could work during tx.  I'm a children's and reference librarian, so the need for high energy and a sharp brain was too much for me.  I was also quite sick starting the day after tx (as in not get out of bed sick), and this usually didn't let up for a week or so.

But I also know people who worked all the way through treatment.

Maybe you can start out working and see how it goes?  Some of it depends on the flexibility of your job.

TxKayaker's picture
Posts: 177
Joined: Jun 2009

Worked every day during the week did not have much of any side effects. Went in for my infusion then back to the office. Would often comment to my onc that he was not giving me chemo only saline solution because of very little side effects that occured. Guess I was very lucky.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2013

I worked everyday during chemo/radiation, but I was extremely tired by the time I got home (I ama high school teacher).

I am concerned though how well I torelerate being able to work when I go through full blown chemo after recovering from my upcoming surgery. I guess I will tackle that issue when the time comes.

barbebarb's picture
Posts: 464
Joined: Oct 2011

Dear Kenny I worked while on chemo for 3 months before my two surgeries (they were done within a 16 week timeframe) However, my body was compromised from healing and 4 more cycles of chemo. I was fortunate to be back at work following NED status. My point is its doable but prepare yourself based on how your body may feel. I work in a construction office at a hospital and maybe you could do paperwork or plans if you feel you cant walk the jobs /field some days. It is good to work if you are able. Keeps you feeling in the game and the mind off cancer. Take it a day at a time. Many have worked through chemo that have posted. I took some cat naps in my car at lunch when I had to. Nutrition is so important and chemo will try to beat you down at times. Protein, protein! Wishing you the best! Barb

fatbob2010's picture
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

I worked almost everyday during pre-op chemo and then almost everyday during post-op chemo.  Fatigue and chemo-brain were a constant companion, much as Anne said.  I have a little different situation in that I can make my own schedule, for the most part, and that really helped.

Everyone is different, as you have heard already.  Try not to compare yourself to others...keep health primary as much as you can.

Follow your body's lead.


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