• Chemo and work, Can a person still work and receive chemo?

    Asked by rustysflygirl on Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Chemo and work, Can a person still work and receive chemo?

    Newby here. my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer Tuesday. He has had a resection of the colon. He had negative node involvement, no metastasis to lung, liver ect. But does have cancer on the omentum. We meet with oncologist tomorrow to set up chemo. My question (this time) is concerning work and chemo. He works from home right now but will have an office in the next few weeks. This is a new job and we sure can't lose it now. Does anyone work and receive chemo too?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I kept working while recieving chemo. Allthough, I got treatment on Monday, got sick all day on monday, slept tue, and went back to work on Wed. Some treatments aren't as bad, some people react differently to the treatments, so it will depend. I seen lots of people that acted like there was nothing going on, treatment did not affect them badly. Good luck to your husband, I suggest you tell the employer what is going on and that your husband wants to keep working doing what ever he can, and will do whatever he can to work, even if he can't do the regular job, maybe he can do something to help. Hopefully he will take the treatments well.

      over 5 years ago
    • rustysflygirl's Avatar
      rustysflygirl

      We are hesitant to tell his employer for fear they might fire him. I don't know what we would do if he lost his job, we have to have an income and I can't imagine what it would be like without health insurance. I know we will have to sooner or later but right now, we need the security. I am currently unemployed but have an interview this next week. This too is frightening, how can I start a new job when my husband is going through chemo? How can I give my best to a new employer when my heart is with him and my mind is overwhelmed with this cancer and the treatment, prognosis ect. ect.
      On the other hand, how can I not work? Should he lose his job, we would have to go on welfare.
      Very difficult time as I am sure you know. Thank you for your answer.

      over 5 years ago
    • tspoon's Avatar
      tspoon

      One day at a time. Remind yourself once you start working, this helps his mind. He will deal with guilt for "putting" you thru this. We have been doing this a year, a lot of changes to our financials, but all for the better. My husband is terminal, so ours is in preparation as well. But we have foind our happy place in all this.

      over 5 years ago
    • Indyeastside's Avatar
      Indyeastside

      I was able to keep working, had an office job and scheduled my chemo for Thursdays so that my let down day fell on the weekend and I was back at it on Monday.

      Can't say I was full steam, moved a little slower-but my supervisor was pretty understanding.

      over 5 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar
      Bashiemn

      I am not working during chemo because i'm on an aggressive regimen (3 days of chemo in a row every 21 days) my blood cell counts bottom out. I could probably work, mentally and somewhat physically, at my office job, but my immune system is s
      hot. It's not worth the risk. Definitely have dialog with your doctor. Does your husband have short and long term disability? What about calling the ACS to see if where they can help guide you to resources? How about social security disability? You have options. I hope you are able to find what is right for your situation so you have one less worry.

      over 5 years ago
    • rustysflygirl's Avatar
      rustysflygirl

      Thank you for all of the info. It is so reassuring to know there are others out there I can reach out to. We just moved to Austin from Georgia. I don't know anyone here and our families are all on the east coast. Thank you again!

      over 5 years ago
    • happydad's Avatar
      happydad

      Three years ago, I did Interferon for a year for aggressive melanoma. It was like a year with a very bad flu. I did go to work, office job, but not full steam. My employer was very understanding. Like someone else mentioned, take it a day at a time. I had treatments three times per week and would leave a little early from work to get the treatments. Now the melanoma has come back and metastatized to my brain and other locations. Doing chemo and had radiation and this time I am not working. Basically, been told this will shorten my life. Best wishes for you.

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Hopefully, your answers have reassured you on this topic. You should be able to rest a little easier knowing his job is somewhat secure. Sure, anyone can get fired, a company can find a way to get rid of someone if they want. The bottom line is, if it is in their best interest to do so, especially in this circumstance. And most definitely not, is the answer. On, not telling them about it, if you just start calling in sick, that would be worse than telling the complete situation. Good luck with it, we wish you the best!

      over 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      It will also depend on which chemo drugs your husband will be receiving and how he reacts to them. He may also be on a portable chemo. Some people may be uncomfortable wearing the pump in the work place. You can't hide it, so his co-workers will see it and ask about it.

      I was teaching at the time so I had the summer off, but I was in the classroom during my first 3 treatments and then my last 4 treatments, and I didn't miss a day of work. Yeah, there were days when I could barely keep my eyes open, but I also timed it so my "down" days were during the weekend. There were a few times I had to run out of the classroom to use the bathroom (I had an aide in the room with me during my rough days when I knew I'd probably have some reactions to the chemo), but I was fortunate to tolerate it pretty well. I had a few very, very ugly days, but they were during the summer, so I never missed a day of work once I returned after my surgery.

      I kept a journal of all of the side effects - all the details, which did fall into a pattern, just more intense as I received more treatments. That would better prepare me to try and anticipate the side effects. I knew on which days I would be most fatigued, most likely to have stomach issues, etc.

      I would check the laws in your state. Is your husband still in a probationary period? You might want to consult a lawyer. I was open with both schools that I was teaching at and they were wonderful.

      over 5 years ago
    • danellsar's Avatar
      danellsar

      My husband did his best to keep working. He was a teacher and began his chemo over the summer break. He went back to work the first semester and was able to mostly hold it together. He missed some days and his health has generally declined. At the end of the first semester he chose to take an early retirement due to his disability. At first I thought he'd be able to work part time, but he really hasn't been able to do that. He retired about 2 months ago, having worked through the first 9 months of chemo and radiation.
      Ellen

      over 5 years ago
    • rustysflygirl's Avatar
      rustysflygirl

      Thank you all for your answers. It looks as though another of my biggest fears may come to fruition and he will indeed lose his job so I guess it is a mute point now.
      All of ones deepest nightmares come true in 2 weeks! Routine colonoscopy-colon cancer-surgery, stage 4 cancer with poor prognosis-job lost. Now what?

      over 5 years ago
    • petulisa's Avatar
      petulisa

      I have worked since receiving chemo for the past year. I am a middle school teacher. We have short WEDS so I take every 2nd Wed morning off--- get my infusion (usually 8:30-1:30) and then go back to complete the day. I wear my pump until Friday morning when it is removed. I can usually do this with not too much trouble, but sometimes it just catches up. I had a particularly long (12 hr) day after chemo this week.. I came home early that Friday and slept 8 straight hours before getting up to go to bed. There are times when I would love to just lay in bed, but life has to be lived!

      about 5 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      I Have had a total of four rounds of chemo totalling about 2 years over the past 8 years. I have not only kept my job but I actually work during chemo. Most hospitals now have WiFi so I take my work laptop and work as much as possible as it makes the time go faster. .It helps to have an understanding boss but I have managed to be quite productive and even got promoted. As to loosing the job it is bad form to fire a person with cancer and probably illegal to do so if he still he can still do the work. It may be a good idea to consult an employment attorney. My sister happens to be an attorney for the state of Texas in Austin so if you need more info on this I should be able to at least give you someone to contact. Let me know if you need more info.

      about 5 years ago
    • rocio's Avatar
      rocio

      i had 6 treatments of chemo over 6 months period. each treatment lasted ed 2 1/2 days I never missed work or stop driving. keep it up, you are a warrior against this disease! good luck

      about 5 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more adenocarcinoma, colorectal cancer questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Adenocarcinoma, Colorectal Cancer page.