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Life time Chemotherapy treatment and Work

Rica10
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2017

Hi just want to ask if anybody here is on for permanent treatment as in Life time Chemo every other week or something similar.. I would like to know how they are coping. How did this changed their lifestyle. Are they still able to work while on the regimen. What changed, what remains. I would like to know anyone who is willing to share their story.  Thank you in advance.

optimist777
Posts: 38
Joined: Feb 2018

For the vast majority of cancer patients this would be impossible-- end of story.  Imagine the worst flu of your life, fatigue, pain, and brain fog.  I suppose a few iron men/women exist, but they are extremely unusual, and probably have relaxing jobs like bird watcher, or something.  Just my two cents.

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Trubrit
Posts: 5217
Joined: Jan 2013

Bird Watching is not relaxing. I've hiked miles and miles up steep mountain terrain to bird watch. Great exercise. 

Garden bird watching, is relaxing though.  Sit back in a chair in front of the window and enjoy nature. 

Tru

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

and nutraceuticals.   Longer cancer responses, fewer problems than standard.   Click my 'nym.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5217
Joined: Jan 2013

We have a few stalwart members here who are on the chemo for life regime, and are doing well, on the whole. So yes, it can be done. 

I guess 'life' is a relative term. What is life? 50 - 60 - 90?  Allot of folks pass of 'natural causes' in their 50's, so life can be anything, really. 

Hopefully a few of our lifers will respond and be able to answer your questions. 

Tru

aoccc2015
Posts: 37
Joined: Sep 2017

Really depends on how well you tolerate it...my only issues working with oxaplatin was that half of my work was in the cooler lol..not fun. But if had a desk job, easy stuff.  Feet were rough by round 12 so around hour 7 or 8 on my feet i would start to feel it. The iri i dont even notice, i think my clinic fills it with sugar water or something. Anyway i hope you can keep going, work really makes you feel normal and keeps your mind off of things.

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lizard44
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

I'm thinking is the same as the maintenance chemo I'm currently on. It's similar to  treating a chronic condition, which  in a way,  metastatic cancer is.  I know there are  some here who have been on maintenance chemo longer than I have, but I began neoadjuvant chemo (Folfox plus Avastin) in May 2015, followed by  chemo/radiation, then a liver  ablation. My oncologist switched me to Erbitux and Irinotecan given every two weeks in April 2016 and have been on that combo ever since except for a break for APR surgery in  October 2017. I'm in my  seventies and retired, and at 85 pounds, hardly consider myself overly hardy, so can't answer about whether it would be possible to go to work every day, but except for  the day of and the day after treatment I feel pretty good and am able to do most everyhing I did before, including gardening, yoga, walking the dogs,  housework, shopping,  cooking- and I do watch the birds that congregate at the feeders, which admittedly, is nowhere near as strenuous as the variety of bird-watching Tru does ;-). I think a lot depends on the person, their physical condition, mental attitude and support network,  the drug combination, the   medical team, etc., but for some people it is doable.

Grace/lizard44

Pamcakes
Posts: 104
Joined: Jan 2018

We are not sure if DH will be a chemo for life, but he could be. he was diagnosed as stage 4 in July. Had emergency surgery and then 1 month later he had a liver ablation. About a month after the ablation he started folfox, 5 fu pump and Avastin. He started back to work in late October, but on chemo and pump days he was unable to work. He was so sick and just wanted to sleep. Now with his maintenance plan of Xeloda and Avastin every other week, he will keep working. The only issue we may have is on the day of Avastin infusion the center is about 50 miles from DH's work. His work will do whatever they need to, I am just concerned the driving will be hard on him as the center is about 20 miles from our home. So that may be an issue, but it may be fine on him.

Greg2
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2017

I was diagnosed with stage 4 CRC 5 years ago.  started on fol fox, some avast in and surgeries followed.  Was able to work for 5 or 6 month stretches without too much problem.  Been on capecitabine for past 3 years 8 months, still work part time as consultant but can’t work full time very well.  So based on my experience, part time or temp work is doable

 

Woodytele
Posts: 163
Joined: Apr 2017

stage 4, chemo for life. I work outside sales M-F, stay home when on the 5FU pump. I enjoy working, keeps my mind off the cancer stuff, and focusing on life. 

Macdougal's picture
Macdougal
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2017

it really depends on the individual.  I think age and fitness play a part.

I’m stage 4, lifetime chemo, and handling it astonishingly well after 9 rounds.  I’m young but not fit.

I work a slightly reduced schedule because of testing & chemo days.  Energy and brainpower mostly still here but I won’t take on a really challenging assignment.

I don’t know how long this will last.  I have a personal goal of 100 rounds of chemo and eventually it’s going to catch up with me.  I watch my oxi neuropathy like a hawk.  Had to get on Neulasta to combat a WBC crash.

Best of luck,

-Doug 

 

 

 

 

Rica10
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2017

Glad to hear you’re handling it we’ll Doug. I’m on Oxi right now and it seems your story is similar to mine Especially with the neuropathy. I’m on Neulasta as well but have to deal with soreness days after. No complains. May I ask when We’re you diagnosed? Take care and Best of luck to you as well

Rica

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Macdougal
Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2017

I’m in treatment at MDA, diagnosed 28 September 2017.  Treatment started November 8th. Folfoxfiri + Avastin.  High doses I think, my onc asked my permission to treat the cancer aggressively and I said  yes, so here I am.  I hope you got your Neulasta prophylactically, I didn’t get mine until a WBC crash landed me in the hospital for 6 days.  No injection site soreness.

Best of luck.

 

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

Far and away, the best QoL (work) and longevity stage IV group record is with Lin's ADAPT protocol.  It's a small study, so oncologists typically ignore  it.  From my point of view, the real task is to improve, personalize, and customize backbone formulas like it even better.  Lin later tried to lower the Xeloda doses even more, and I suspect that did not work well - we've hit a  clear 5FU minimum requirement ourselves and I think others have too.   

Our point of view is,  rather to further improve mild metronomic chemo with high potency supplements with properties that have noticeable, even measurable improvements and effects that also counter chemo's side effects.  We are able to simply dispense with most of the expensive bandaids that accompany regular cyclical chemo.

Most people either can't do 4 straight years of regular chemo (e.g. Folfox/Folfiri), or it quits on them from resistance.  In Lin's breakthrough study, his patients had not hit the median OS at 94months, almost 8 years. The place I see major upside, is that oncologists don't know beans about the off-label drugs and supplement areas, and are not using opportunities already known in the medical literature.    

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