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Does anyone work while on chemo? I'll be on cyclophosphamide with adriamycin for 4 doses every two weeks, then taxol for 4 doses. My work is one hour commute. My 12 week FML will be up in May.

Bonnie Irwin Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer over 6 years
 
  • Wendy DeLong Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I just finished my 4th and last A/C. I have continued to work. Each treatment I have has hit me harder with cumulative effects. I have missed 10 to 12 hours a week. I do treatments on Thursday so I have the weekend to recoup. I work but it's hard. I'm tired and weak. I just do nothing when I get home. I'm blessed I'm not sick/vomiting! I start 12 weeks of taxol on April 12. These are weekly. I plan to work as many hours as I can for the duration of treatments. Good luck!
    over 6 years Flag
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Congrads on completing A/C Wendy!! I totally understand how tough the fatigue can be. I was a little nauseous with A/C but not too bad at all. Taxol was much easier for me. I was given the choice between 12 weekly lighter doses or 4 heavier dose...

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      Congrads on completing A/C Wendy!! I totally understand how tough the fatigue can be. I was a little nauseous with A/C but not too bad at all. Taxol was much easier for me. I was given the choice between 12 weekly lighter doses or 4 heavier dose dense treatments. I chose 4 dose dense. I hope Taxol is easier on you as well. :) Best wishes Wendy.

      over 6 years Flag
  • Diana Foster Payne Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 4 Patient
    Hi Bonnie. I began chemo in May of last year. I was on the exact same chemo meds as you my first go 'round. Four A/C then four dose dense Taxol. Every woman is different in their side effects etc. My job is very physically demanding & requires me to stand on my feet all day. At first I would work the first 3 days of the week then take off for chemo and rest until the following Monday. I did this from my first treatment on May 30th to July 1st. I used FMLA in the beginning as well. I used the sick days I had accumulated during that time period (which weren't very many). I wanted to work as long as possible but I just became too tired and needed to take off for my own well being. Fortunately I had a long term disability plan through my employer that allowed me to take up to a year off on medical leave & I receive about half of my salary while I'm off. I feel so blessed to have it because my treatments have been longer than I thought in the beginning. I just finished my last radiation treatment on Tuesday and I hope to return to work next month. I would check with your human resource dept if you haven't done so already & see what all your options are. Also if you decide to take off for awhile...The American Cancer Society is an awesome source of all kinds of info and resources that can help you if needed. Hugs, Diana
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • Erin Timlin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I just finished chemo on 3/9 and i worked throughout. I had 8 treatments - 4 AC and then 4 taxol/ herceptin - and I had them on Fridays and would usually take Mon off. I teach high school and have 2 small children who I would take to day care by 6:45 am...i really didn't miss that much work (considering) and I really feel like my job provided me with a good distraction, a purpose and a focus other than cancer! When I was home for my sick days I wallowed in my misery and truly felt worse...going to school made me appreciate feeling good!! Good luck!
    over 6 years Flag
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Congratulations on finishing chemo Erin!! It's a big accomplishment indeed! Hope you're doing well. :)

      over 6 years Flag
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You have a point, work would be a good distraction!

      over 6 years Flag
  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I've only had 1 of my 8 treatments and I have been able to work so far. I too will have them every two weeks. I hope others reply, because I would also like to know if working the entire time is possible.
    over 6 years Flag
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I start this Monday. Do you have the same chemo drugs I do? Is your work physical or desk type work? I admire you for working thus far!

      over 6 years Flag
    • Denise Stinecipher Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My treatments are also 4 A/C followed by 4 Taxol. I process payroll, so my job is not physical. I'm sure that will play a big part in my ability to continue to work. I also have a one hour commute, on a good day. I am very fortunate that I have...

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      My treatments are also 4 A/C followed by 4 Taxol. I process payroll, so my job is not physical. I'm sure that will play a big part in my ability to continue to work. I also have a one hour commute, on a good day. I am very fortunate that I have the ability to do some work from home. My boss and other upper management, are really trying to accommodate me. One project I have been offered is to document all of our processes. My illness shows a great need for that and they are happy to let me do that from home. I wish everyone's employer was able to be so helpful when their employees need them. I hope your employer is able to offer you more assistance.

      over 6 years Flag
  • Marianne R. Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I had 6 chemo treatments taxatere/cytoxan. I teach high school. I had treatment on Thursday and was back at school on tuesday. Treatment 5 was the last day of school. Treatment 6 was aft
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • Marianne R. Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    Was after school was out. I was still in radiation after school started. I did nothing when I got home. I was completely exhausted. I missed a lot of days due to tests and scans
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I've only had 1 of my 8 treatments and I have been able to work so far. I too will have them every two weeks. I hope others reply, because I would also like to know if working the entire time is possible.
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • maria stuccio Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I made it through my 4 chemo treatments and worked. I have over an hr commute. My boss has been wonderful and I can work from home on days I need too. Talk to your boss and see what other options you have. Good Luck!
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • maria stuccio Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I made it through my 4 chemo treatments and worked. I have over an hr commute. My boss has been wonderful%2
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • Bonnie Irwin Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I can't work from home. I work at a hospital lab. I think I can drop down to 20 hours a week. But don't know which days would be my good days.
    over 6 years Flag
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Everybody is so different the way they react to chemotherapy. It almost doesn't matter what the drugs are, it is just how your body, individually, handles these. I think you do the best you can but it is a very few who truly skate through these...

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      Everybody is so different the way they react to chemotherapy. It almost doesn't matter what the drugs are, it is just how your body, individually, handles these. I think you do the best you can but it is a very few who truly skate through these treatments without the common side effects of feeling weak and tired. I just went in for my 6 month check with my oncologist yesterday. We were discussing how chemotherapy isn't what it used to be. There are drugs to keep you from being nauseated, and many other side effects. I know I felt like I had the flue the first 3 days after my AC treatments. After that, I felt really pretty good. I truly wish you the very best. These don't go on forever and you will get through them. All you can do.... is what you can do. I hope your employer, being it IS A HOSPITAL, can understand what you are going through right now. Hang in there..... lots of us out here know what you are dealing with right now. You hang in there. Blessings, Sharon

      over 6 years Flag
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sharon, yes, you would think that a HOSPITAL would be more understanding, but you would be surprised! My boss is doing a home visit with me on Tuesday and I have hears

      over 6 years Flag
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Heard that he wants to go over options that could be for me to step down and give my job to someone else who graduates in July. I work at a rural hospital where techs are hard to come by.

      over 6 years Flag
    • Ana-Li Dillon Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Beautiful horse picture!

      over 5 years Flag
  • Nikol Vega Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    My oncologist shortened my work schedule and I had the same regimen on chemo as you are having now. I would take off the day of treatment which was Wednesday for me and the two following days, throw in the weekend and by Monday I was feeling strong enough to work a full week of my modified schedule. I have a 45 minute commute
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • sharon buell Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Hi! I finished treatment for Stage III breast cancer in 2006. I had a total of 8 treatments, 4 with AC and 4 with T. It was high dose intensive regimen every two weeks. I am an R.N. who works as an elementary school nurse with just under 800 students ages 3 – 12 years. One of my major questions for my oncologist was about my ability to work during treatment. He said there was no problem with my working. So, work I did. My treatments were on Tuesday afternoons. I had no nausea, vomiting from the treatments. I felt fine with my usual energy until about 24 hours after chemo. Around the 24 hour mark after I finished AC chemo, “the curtain would come down”. I slept/rested for the next 3 days, until Saturday evening. About 72 hours after the “curtain came down”; it lifted as if it had never been there and I went about my business & life as usual for 11 days. Then, I had the next treatment and the cycle repeated itself for the next 3 sessions. My second 4 treatments were different. I did not have the curtain come down like the first 4 treatments. I felt like I was running at about 50 – 75% after T chemo. I rested when I needed to and moved about as I could. I think I took off the rest of the week, W – F, during all 8 treatments. After about 1 month of my return to working M – F, I found I was getting really tired after 2 days at work, so I began to take Wednesdays off. I could tolerate 2 days at work, 1 day off and working another 2 before a 2 day weekend. I continued that for several months. I had great family & friend support, a wonderful sub who worked almost every day I needed off and a Handicap tag for my car. Parking close to the building saved energy for the work there was to be done. When people offer help & support, say yes and thank you! Be gentle with and kind to yourself! Sharon
    over 1 year Comment Flag
  • Ali S Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I worked the last two o taxol after 4 AC and and 4 taxol total. Only because I'm a teacher and was diagnosed at the end of school year so most of my chemo was on my break. I jumped right back in to teaching and coaching until 5:30 but I often went in late on mornings I didn't have a class or napped between classes in the nurses office. It was really hard and I was tired, but I did the best I could. If I had chemo during the school year I may have have to take medical leave or ony
    over 6 years Flag
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Didn't meant to send...I was trying to say I may not have been able to work full days if all of chemo was during school year but it was a great distraction. My school and boss were great and supportive. This year, I missed less work than some...

      more

      Didn't meant to send...I was trying to say I may not have been able to work full days if all of chemo was during school year but it was a great distraction. My school and boss were great and supportive. This year, I missed less work than some teachers who've called in sick. I don't like to miss it! But I was definitely tired and needed to rest at about 12 or 1. Sometimes had to sit while teaching.

      over 6 years Flag
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Didn't meant to send...I was trying to say I may not have been able to work full days if all of chemo was during school year but it was a great distraction. My school and boss were great and supportive. This year, I missed less work than some...

      more

      Didn't meant to send...I was trying to say I may not have been able to work full days if all of chemo was during school year but it was a great distraction. My school and boss were great and supportive. This year, I missed less work than some teachers who've called in sick. I don't like to miss it! But I was definitely tired and needed to rest at about 12 or 1. Sometimes had to sit while teaching.

      over 6 years Flag
  • Dawn Dickinson Profile
    anonymous
    Patient
    Hi Bonnie! I started my chemo on 3/8. 4 A/C treatments and 4 Taxol treatments every other week. Like you, I have a physically demanding job. My oncologist and nurse practitioner recommended that I don't go back to work until after my last A/C treatment, which is this Wednesday. I work in retail management and have a 45 minute commute. I plan on working part-time during my taxol treatments, just to get my stanima back. As far as your 12 weeks of FMLA being up, check with your HR to see how many weeks you legally have available to you. I believe it is more than 12 weeks. You an also check on the US Laborious Website and it should also give you info on FMLA. Good luck on your treatments and going back to work!
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • Marianne R. Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I had 6 chemo treatments taxatere/cytoxan. I teach high school. I had treatment on Thursday and was back at school on tuesday. Treatment 5 was the last day of school. Treatment 6 was aft
    over 6 years Comment Flag

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