• TC Chemo: Starting on 8/25, should I plan to work or stay home during 12 weeks ?

    Asked by Chrisg51 on Friday, August 8, 2014

    TC Chemo: Starting on 8/25, should I plan to work or stay home during 12 weeks ?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • Carool's Avatar

      There are so many factors involved: what kind of work you do and how much physical (and mental) effort is involved; how you will react to the chemo; how supportive are your coworkers and boss(es); how you will feel if you are not occupied by work....Each patient has a different experience with chemo. Many of us who took chemo for breast cancer find we are able to work at least much of the time. I had four chemos of Adriamycin and Cytoxin together (I didn't have Taxol at all). I was 51 at the time and working 25 hours a week in a very tolerant and open office; I was able to work almost all the time. I suggest that if you don't have to decide in advance of your treatment, you wait to see how you feel once treatment has begun. Remember that so many, many people have had chemotherapy and managed to maintain their regular routines or close to that - and remember, too, that some people have a difficult time with chemo and can't work or be active in general. We all do what we have to to get through this bad spell. Best to you - Carool

      about 6 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      Because everybody reacts differently to chemo, it's best to take one day at a time. It's all going to depend on the side effects you experience, and not everybody gets every side effect. You might want to decide for yourself what you are most comfortable with as far as head coverings go so you are ready in the event your hair falls out. It helps if you have a supportive boss to whom you can talk about your upcoming treatments and the attendant side effects. They might even make accommodations for you. Do you know how long your infusions will take? Mine were just under 3 hours each, but some folks here have had all day affairs. I even heard of one lady who had her infusions over her lunch hour and went right back to work. Also, what kind of job are you doing; that has a bearing on it too. There are so many variables to consider here. I hope you find the balance that is right for you and that you come to us any time you need. Chemo is no fun, and loads of us have been through it and can help you deal with it. HUGS and God bless!

      about 6 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      I took off work during chemo, although my gyn onc strongly urged me to work. I work in a large place where people heat up their food all around the building. I knew the smell would make me sick, so I didn't want to be running to the ladies room (where there's always a line). I was also worried about meeting deadlines, with treatment and days not feeling well. I felt like I could work about 1/2 the time during my first 3 chemos, but was really wiped out by the last 3 (needed 7 blood transfusions to finish treatment). I felt like I would receive 60% of my pay on sick leave, but might work less than that and receive less pay if I tried to work. As a temp employee, I was lucky my boss took me back when I was done with treatment.

      about 6 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      For me, I did not work for the first couple rounds of chemo. I wanted to see how I would feel after the individual infusions & recently the Neulasta shot. It is good I didn't work as to be scheduled & not show up would have caused problems with my one job. My other job is meeting with clients, so I have to be there for appointments. I ended up back in hospital after my second infusion & had many problems. I have now made it through a chemo cycle & I know what days I am able to work & what days I am down for the count. I also have pretty much one day a week where I am at appointments & getting chemo. I just talked to job #1 yesterday & asked if I could be on the schedule the next two Monday's. I plan to go to job #2 in the next few days & see if I could work a couple Saturday's.

      I used to be working 11 hour days, 7 days per week with both jobs. I haven't worked at all since my surgery in May. I started chemo at the end of June & it took until now to have the dosage right & know what to expect. My 1st infusion only takes 2-3 days to recover (plus the day of chemo makes 4). My second infusion is taking me about 9-10 days to recover. This only leaves about a week where I can work in my chemo cycle of 21 days. Even on my good days I get tired easily & cannot work those long days. I am going to see if I can make it 6 hours.

      I am so glad I didn't commit until I knew what I could do. I am fortunate that both jobs have said they will work with me.
      Good Luck whatever you decide!

      about 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I worked all through all three of my dx's. I couldn't work during surgery or when I got low WBC, for a few weeks I couldn't work, but for the most part I tried to stay on top of going to work everyday. For one, it makes me feel a little more normal, and it shows my employer that yes I can do my job and get treated, so don't take my job away from me. I tried to do the best I could. I hope you can keep up the energy.

      about 6 years ago
    • peachpoppy's Avatar

      I was 42 and being treated for breast cancer and had the flexibility to not work. I am so glad I was able to stay home and concentrate on myself, without the added pressure of work. The act of getting ready in the AM and driving in would have been difficult, not to mention keeping up with the pace of work. I also have young kids and needed energy to be there for them. I spent my time at home resting, stretching, eating well, and doing alot of soul searching. This disease is as much mental as it is physical, so for me I needed time to process what was going on and what the future holds.
      Now I'm back at work part-time and haven't really missed a beat. This is just my experience, you'll have to decide for yourself what is best. Just don't be afraid to do what you need to do.

      about 6 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar

      I am 60 years old and have HERS2 breast cancer and am on the TCH chemo therapy regime. Working is a decision you have to make yourself after consulting with your MD and employer. My doctor encouraged me to work as long as I felt well and my white blood cell count is OK. BUT she asked me if my job involved physical labor or standing for long periods of time. After my first chemo I decided I need to take the week after chemo off, I typically get chemo on Friday. After the steroids wear off I have chemo crash for several days and then bone pain from the Neulasta shot (this time I am going to try Clariton D to see if that helps). Again, that's just me in a sit down job where I don't have a ton of contact with the general public.

      about 6 years ago
    • Rustysmom's Avatar

      Three months ago,I finished 4 rounds of A/C then 4 of Taxol, administered two weeks apart. I took the treatments on Tuesdays, felt pretty good the day of the infusion, then rested through the weekend. Then I worked about 6-7 hours a day the following week and following Monday. I'm a business owner, and pretty much had to be available and connected throughout treatment. Even the days I was in treatment and at home I was able to stay in touch electronically and by phone. I am 60, and was in good health (other than cancer) and strong going into treatment, so my side effects were relatively minor and the course of treatment was manageable. I was able to resume a regular schedule, and worked normally through radiation. So, I think you will find every variation of how different people manage treatment depending on their individual circumstances. For me, I felt better staying involved in my life, and was fortunate enough to be able to do that. I think being well prepared, and taking the right meds and supplements to prevent and manage side effects was my saving grace. I wish you an easy course of treatment and many blessings.

      about 6 years ago
    • mapfirststeps' Avatar

      I was 52, ER+/PR+, stage 1 when I was diagnosed from a regular mammogram screening. After surgery, Chemo was every three weeks, four drugs. My personality is that keeping busy was more helpful than not. My workplace is a very supportive and tolerable place so I decided to work. I would have my chemo on Thurs and give myself the weekend to relax and recoup. I did find that I wasn't able to concentrate as much that was required for work and sometimes my energy level caused the day to drag on, but like others on this site, it would depend on your personality and type of work required of you. You can also consider modifying your work schedule if possible. I believe staying involved is important, so consider staying in touch with those that you feel are very supportive especially if you consider your coworkers family.

      about 6 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I worked full time during my chemo....I had Tx on Thursday and took Thursday and Friday off of work.....I needed the work to not feel like a victim.....My onc said he would write a letter if I didn't want to work but he had no problems with me working.... I had help with meals the week of chemo, and play dates for my youngest daughter who was in grade 2 at the time....DH helped with the house work....I did what I could and then relied on others for help....So I would say, it really depends on you...If people offer to help, consider taking it and be specific on what you need.... all the best to you as you go through chemo...it is one day at a time and it is doable!!!

      almost 6 years ago

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