• Using public transportation while undergoing chemo

    Asked by car092360 on Friday, September 30, 2011

    Using public transportation while undergoing chemo

    I was wondering if anyone going through treatment and working had been/was using public transportation to get to and from work? I haven't started treatment yet but currently I don't have a vehicle and I'm using the bus to get to and from work. I have to walk a mile to the bus, take two buses and then walk another half mile to work. And do the reverse coming home. Travel time to get 5 miles to work is approximately 2 hrs...round trip 4.5 hours. I don't have any other option because co-workers/family do not work/live where I need to go. Two concerns I have, because financially I need to work during treatment, is that I'm going to be exhausted during chemo and trying to work. Secondly, I am concerned with germs associated with being around so many people on the buses. Has anyone dealt with these issues and if so, how to cope?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • jamrck's Avatar

      I did not have to deal with this situation, but it's going to wear you out and expose you to more germs. Would suggest calling your local American Cancer Society. They have a program called Road to Recovery. They may be able to help.

      about 5 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      XXX NO!!!!
      germs r bad on buses u could wear gloves and a mask but you really need to find another way to get to and from work see about a carpool

      about 5 years ago
    • MamasLibrary's Avatar

      Hello! I took public transit during chemo, however the majority of my treatment was during summer. If it was winter I would have driven more often. Also, I'm not sure what chemo you are being treated with, however I was tired for about 5 days after chemo and then began to feel like me again. It would be great if Road to Recovery could even drive you two times a week, Imagine that nap! Best luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • car092360's Avatar

      I think I might have this figured out. Road to Recovery only provides transpo appts having to do with treatment (ANY appt having to do with treatment, and prescription runs). but our local transit service has paratransit services which is door-to-door (home-to-work and back). It takes about 21 days to apply so we will see.

      Thanks for the responses!

      about 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I think with appropriate precautions (hand washing, germ lotion stuff, etc...), public transportation is fine. The time of your bussing - WOW - that's a long ride tho.

      I ride my bike 5 miles to / from work each day. I do this at whatever pace my body feels is the right pace. EVEN AT A VERY SLOW PACE, you'll beat the bus to work. I don't know what it's like to bike there, but you've definitely got the climate there. When I'm tired, I ride really really slow.... and it's easier than walking, by a long shot. Ride super easy, and you won't have sweat issues etc....

      I can also say that being a little bit active is a HUGE PLUS - it helps me feel more energetic... helps me feel less nausea... and more. Helps me sleep... and more.

      PLUS - you might be able to bike to a better bus... Maybe a one or two mile bike ride might get you to a better bus - one that doesn't take so long?

      Just something to consider.

      about 5 years ago
    • Brooklynchele's Avatar

      I took public transit last fall while going through chemo. I have a 2 1/2-3 hour commute one way to work. I take a commuter train and then transfer to Metro then walk. I purchased face masks to wear (like surgical masks) while I was in transit. I was fortunate in that I did not have a problem with a drop in white blood count so while I had chemo side effects, I did not get sick. If you do decide to use mass transit, talk to your doc first to be sure you are cleared to do it and perhaps ask if there are any recommendations (like wearing a mask) to keep you healthy.

      almost 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      I also kept pocket-sized hand sanitizers in my purse and used them very frequently whenever on public transport. As recommended above, a mask might be useful.

      almost 5 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      You may also meet a chemo buddy that will be able to help you out? I have had many people offer me rides from the cancer center when our cars have broke down. Talk to people don't be shy maybe you will meet someone?
      Good Luck

      almost 5 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      I hope all is well. Your question reminded me of a piece of content on our blog that we recently posted about getting rides to and from cancer treatments. For any of you that need help with transportation, check it out here:


      Good luck to all!

      about 3 years ago

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