• Work During Chemo?

    Asked by Chrisg51 on Saturday, July 26, 2014

    Work During Chemo?

    Do most people Not work during Chemo Treatment? I Do have the option to use STD, but I don't know what to expect or plan for, thank you

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • Noureen's Avatar

      Hi chrisg51! I worked full time through out the whole process. I am super stubborn and insisted on maintaining my "normal" life pre cancer diagnoses. I had my treatment on Thursday and went back on Monday. My employer is very flexible with if I needed to leave at any time.
      I would suggest doing what you can handle!! Best of luck!

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I work out of my home and on flex time (I'm also a caregiver). Chemo has slowed me down a little, but I've been able to manage the load. I informed my clients when I was diagnosed, in case they have to go to a Plan B. So far, so good.

      over 6 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      My boss wants me to come back and work even part time but my oncologist doesn't want me to go back to work EVER. My initial two rounds of chemo were weekly does dense treatments and couldn't have worked through it. My current maintenance treatments are every three weeks and I could work a flex schedule. But my job for a major tech company is super stressful - or can be at times - and for now, I'm going to wait and see how I feel once chemo is completed.

      I used up all my STD and am now on LTD and grateful I opted to purchase that but honestly, my state disability is nearly as much as I made working. :-)

      over 6 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I work partly at home and have some travel. For instance, in a normal world, I would have been in Las Vegas for the Black Hat conference this week. I do love hackers.

      over 6 years ago
    • mssoup67's Avatar

      I am planning to go back to work at the beginning of the school year. I'll have three chemo treatments in September and October. I've handled everything really well so far, so my doctor and nurse feel I should be okay. My treatments will be on a Tuesday, I have the steroids on Wednesday and Thursday, which should keep me going. We're a little concerned about Friday because the third day is when I get so tired, so we are discussing whether or not I should take the steroid for three days. The fatigue usually lasts 2-3 days for me, which may mean I am still feeling it on Monday. Mondays are hard enough without feeling tired. It will depend on my reaction to the Carbo-taxol that I get August 12th. The first two treatments were Cisplatin, so I may react differently to the new drugs.

      over 6 years ago
    • Fredcat's Avatar

      Like Noureen, I am lucky enough to have an employer who has been very flexible. I am also fortunate that I can do some of my work from home. This week will be number 7 out of 8 treatments. They have been every other week. The first four were AC. The second set of four are Taxol. I also had my treatment on Thursday, Neulasta shot on Friday, back to the office Monday. For me, work has been my salvation. It keeps my mind busy and it has been harder to give in to the negative thoughts. Cancer sometimes makes it difficult to feel normal but work has allowed me to do just that. Best of luck to you.

      over 6 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I worked part-time through the first half of chemo and then was out for the summer; I am a teacher. My chemo was on Wednesday - by Monday I was tired but fine. I did crash on the weekend. I liked being able to continue to work.

      over 6 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      I worked during chemo. My chemo was on Thursday, went in on Friday and left only to go get my Neulasta shot. I was lucky and had few side effects. Drink lots of water the day before chemo, the day of and the day after. The only side effect I really remember is fatigue that is cumulative with each treatment. This was in 2012 and I had just turned 65, two years later I am still working and enjoying every minute of it. I think my co-workers positive attitude is part of what kept me going. Sorry you are having to fight this battle! Hugs and prayers coming your way!

      over 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Through my first two dx's I had radiation and chemo, I worked when I could. That was part of the first week after treatment and the entire second week, then repeat.

      My last dx I received only radiation and two serious surgeries. When I recovered from the surgery I worked most of the time, but towards the end of radiation I got fatigued very easy and worked until about 3 each day and then went home to take a nap. It usually depends on how you handle the treatment. We all take it different, some easier than others. I say just do what you can.

      over 6 years ago
    • marycamp's Avatar

      I worked through chemo. I work in a factory but wanted to stay on a normal daily routine. Some days I was too tired to go but usually only missed 2 days the week of chemo. take it one day at a time. Good luck

      over 6 years ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I worked during my chemo treatments but I had a very understanding employer. I was able to leave early and if I didn't feel good enough to go in, I didn't. I think the answer to your question might be "it depends." It depends on how you personally react to your chemo treatments, how understanding your employer is, what kind of work you do, etc. Can you wait to make the decision until after you have begun treatment?

      over 6 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar

      I worked all the way thru. It sounds like lots of us figured put the same thing...you are tiredest on days 2/3. I had the infusion on Thursdays, worked on Fridays, was tired and achy on the weekends, then returned to work on Mondays. I won't say it was easy, but it was certainly doable. The tricky thing is to stay away from germs those first couple of days.

      over 6 years ago
    • MLT's Avatar

      I planned to work after my first treatment if everything went well. I ended up in the hospital with low white blood cells. So the Onc and I decided it would be best if I didn't return to teaching until chemo was over. I taught second semester, half days while doing radiation. You have to do whatever YOU can handle. Wishing you the best.

      over 6 years ago
    • luv's Avatar

      What ever you decide, find something healthy to relieve stress. A beautiful scene, picture, quiet time. you tube meditation music. The stress hormone cortisol is very damaging. So decide to be stress free and discover what makes you smile & do that a lot!

      over 6 years ago
    • schweetieangel's Avatar

      I haven't worked since i was diagnosed.. my employer who husband passed away last year of cancer is very understanding. She is the one who contacted and started the short term for me while i was in the hospital And i am now on long term. My oncologist and surgeon said they want me off for atleast a year to deal with everything. And i for one am glad that i have taken the time as there has been so many side effects and other complications one after another with me. I know i wouldn't have been able to work. Both physically and emotionally.

      over 6 years ago
    • SoccerLisaMom's Avatar

      I worked full time during my chemo and radiaition treatments as a secretary/receptionist. I had my treatments on Monday and went back to work on Tuesday and finished out the week. I would also do Zumba on Tuesday nights when I felt my bloodcount would be at it's highest. (My doctor's back me 100% doing this). Cancer had taken enough from me I wasn't going to let it change my routine any more than it had too. That was two years ago....looking back I shake my head and wonder how I did it....but you know what.....I would do the same thing all over again. Best of luck in what you decide to do. Everyone is different. When I decided to stay working I only knew of one other person that had done that. It kept me busy physicially and mentally and that is what "I" needed to do for me.

      over 6 years ago
    • glam's Avatar

      my husband did, I did not....the most important thing I guess is to listen to our body....priority is your healthy but if you believe you can handle working while on treatment it is ok....but when you realize it is draining your energy more than helping you so it is time to ask for a leave of absence.......wishing you all the best....God bless you and continue blessing all of us

      over 6 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      I had dose dense carboplatin and taxol on a weekly schedule for two rounds of nine weeks. For the first round, I was in so much pain from my tumor and the cancer that I could barely get out of bed. After a short break and surgery, I started my second round and might have been able to work a bit then but felt concentrating on my recovery was more important.

      The choice will depend on you - how you respond to the chemo, how much energy you have, your desire to keep working, the kind of work you do and how taxing it is and other factors we may not know at this time.

      Just know whatever choice you make, you can always change your mind and also please be gentle with yourself. You need to allow yourself time to heal and recuperate as your make this difficult journey.

      over 6 years ago
    • Joeyb's Avatar

      I worked while going through my first round of chemo; I would go for chemo in the morning and go to work in the afternoon. Had surgery in Oct. 2013 resulting in a very difficult and long recovery. Currently going through second round of chemo and just got the okay to return back to work and will be starting a part time position next week. Wishing you the best of luck! Praying!

      over 6 years ago
    • LindaAnnie's Avatar

      I'm self-employed and work at home. I worked thru 3 surgeries, but as chemo approached I realized I couldn't concentrate as needed (cancer brain fog) and everything was taking more than twice as long. I didn't need the stress - I needed to kick cancer, so I stopped working.

      over 6 years ago
    • LadyLion's Avatar

      Working full time right now, but due to radiation will more then likely stop for my last 2 weeks of treatment, only due to the radiation and where it is directed at, I only have 160 hours of protected job leave so I am trying to make it last. Chemo has been kind to me, down 3 treatments with 5 more to go.
      Wishing You the best and never give up.

      over 6 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      Here's what I did (adriamycin and cytoxan first - then taxotere).

      1. scheduled the infusion for a Friday
      2. cut my schedule to 6 hours 3 days a week, Wed, Thu, Fri
      3. when Taxotere caused difficult pain and I wound up I the hospital overnight, I took the whole week off.
      4. quit Taxotere 2 infusions early
      5. I'm still part-time, but 14 months later FINALLY could work full-time

      over 6 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      Sorry - I mean I worked on Tues, Wed, Thurs! Friday was infusion day.

      over 6 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I worked through chemo. My bad day was the 2nd day after treatment, so I tried to schedule my chemo on Thursday. I was good Friday, drugged to the gills on Saturday. Had to walk w/a cane Monday & Tuesday, but I did it. Throughout my treatment, other than actual chemo days & doctors appointments, I only missed 2 days of work -- one I had to schedule my chemo on Wed & was drugged to the gills on Friday; the other, I had a taxol leak, so my arm really hurt plus we had a really bad snow storm. Driving...in a snow storm...while my arm hurt like the dickens, uh, staying home, thanks. However, I also have an office job and sit on my rear end most of the day.

      over 6 years ago
    • punalei's Avatar

      I am on TC every 3 weeks. No way could I work. If I am out and about for even a few hours I barely can make it home and crawl into bed. Then I run a low fever until I have slept for several hours. I tried raking leaves for only half an hour and I was shaking and weak. Had to sit down outside because I couldn't walk up the steps.

      over 6 years ago

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