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I'm about to start Adriamycin & Cyclophosphamide and was wondering with your immune system being so low is it safe to work with the general public? And if I were to get sick how would that affect my treatment?

Rita Siomos Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer over 7 years
 
  • Linda Burke Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 1 Patient
    My oncologist prefers me to not work, but says there are plenty of people who have to work during treatment. It is imperative you make sure no one is sick around you, and above all, washing your hands at every turn is a must.....for you and the people you come in contact with. It would be a good idea to carry a little bottle of hand sanitizer as well. Any kind of infection you get while on chemo can be a detriment to your already weakened immune system. I'm about to start chemo this next week, and I am lucky to not be working. I don't want to get sick from other people who may not mention they are not feeling well.
    over 7 years Flag
    • Rita Siomos Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thanks Linda I think after hearing what u had to say I've decided just to have some time off work and concentrate on my recovery thanks again : ) good luck with your treatment keep me posted on how u are going

      over 7 years Flag
  • Rita Siomos Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Thanks I think at this stage a little bit of me time won't hurt.... I deal with a lot of customers so I might be better off staying away during the winter months... Thanks again
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Tiffani Warila Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Your immune system is weaker, but I think working with people beforehand is beneficial. With me, I have worked in a kindergarten classroom for 6 years before I was diagnosed. I continued to work through my treatments and came down with 1 sore throat/ cough- that was it! I think that being around the " germs" of 5 year olds made me able to ward off more serious infections. Everyone is different though, so run it by your oncologist beforehand.just to get his/her opinion. Best of luck to you!
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    Rita, I think it is a personal decision. It sounds as if you would welcome some time off and I would certainly support it. I worked out of my house but I was very very careful not to be around sick people. My personal feeling is it would be better not to risk getting sick since my immune system was compromised. Best not to put more stress on my body by having an upper respiratory infection too. Again... hang in there and take care, Sharon
    over 7 years Flag
    • Rita Siomos Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thanks Sharon I think it might be a good time to put myself first for a change. My job will still be there once I am better,so for now spending time at home with my husband and kids will be the best medicine... Thanks again xo

      over 7 years Flag
  • Diana Foster Payne Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 4 Patient
    Hi Rita, the ladies are right..staying home is a very personal decision. I began chemo my first go 'round in May of last year & I worked until July. You just have to do what's right for you. This is certainly the time to be kind to your body. I went though chemo twice and I was just fortunate not to have gotten sick during this period. My counts dipped so low that I almost had to have a blood transfusion. There are things you can do to reduce the chance of getting sick. Try not to be around sick people if at all possible of course. I did a lot of hand washing & I kept a bottle of hand sanitizer at my work area, in my car, & at home. My boyfriend would also keep his hands clean along with me. My Oncologist told me when my counts were very low not to eat fresh vegetables (including salad), sushi, & fresh fruit. This is because of the bacteria involved. Having cancer treatment is like running a marathon. It's not easy but it's so much better than it used to be. There are so many drugs to help with the side effects now. About the only side effect that can't be controlled is the fatigue. It's normal & to be expected. Listen to your body & rest. Let others help you. You'll never feel so loved. And there is a light at the end. I finished my last radiation treatment on Tuesday. You're welcome to read my story. I'm also happy to say that my last PET scan was cancer-free!!! I hope you continue to post. We're all here to support one another. Hugs Rita
    over 7 years Flag
    • Rita Siomos Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Congratulations Diana on being cancer free it must be such a relief. I think I will have some me time I think that will be the best way to go, I have 2 young children who will keep me busy anyway so I will work on getting better everything else...

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      Congratulations Diana on being cancer free it must be such a relief. I think I will have some me time I think that will be the best way to go, I have 2 young children who will keep me busy anyway so I will work on getting better everything else can take a back seat for now. Thank u for inspiring me I think having really good support makes the journey easier xo

      over 7 years Flag
  • Dee Layng Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I have to agree. It is a personal decision and of course it all depends on how you feel after your.chemo as it affects everyone differently. I myself worked 1-2 days a week, and I only went in if I was feeling good, I also needed to for my own sanity as I could not be stuck in the house another day and really needed a break, this worked for me, I did however have the hand sanitizer with me at all times. :) take care and good luck.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • shen cruces Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 3A Patient
    My oncologist advises me not to work since I teach at a university and at an art center for adults with disability... Both hot beds for all kinds of germs. Plus after my mastectomy it would have been difficult to do some of my job. It all depends on how comfortable you are with what your exposure level will be.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Bonnie Irwin Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Maggie had good advice. I start my AC on Monday. My oncologist said I could work or not. I work at a hospital. I have been on FMLA since 2/16 for my mastectomy. My leave is up in May. I need the insurance for future so I will need to work at least 20 hrs. Keep hand sanitizer handy at all times. I actually have a cold now, so I am interested if I will get my first treatment.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Maggir Barnett Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Hi Rita, some women work all the way through their therapy and some don't work at all. My last day of work was 2/26 et received my pathology report on 3/6. Check with your employer to see if you quality for FMLA, it saves your job for up to 3 months et keeps your medical insurance going while you are off. If they give you any grief about this call US. Dept of Labor et they will help you. I am out on FMLA now but my insurance runs out 5/1, so then I have to pay $700 month for COBRA. You can use vacation et sick leave while off of work, friends also donated some of their vacation hours, that helped keep my benefits going. Good luck! Maggie
    over 7 years Flag
    • Rita Siomos Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Maggir, I live in Australia where we are able to take 12 months off work without pay due to illness and the boss keeps your job for u. I am currently filling out my income protection forms which if passed my super will pay 80% of my wages for...

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      Hi Maggir, I live in Australia where we are able to take 12 months off work without pay due to illness and the boss keeps your job for u. I am currently filling out my income protection forms which if passed my super will pay 80% of my wages for the duration of my cancer, all other expenses are all covered by the government which isn't so bad.

      over 7 years Flag

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