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Need your feedback on Chemotherapy

hn Member Posts: 31

Hello, I was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 cancer in my right breast. I had a surgery (removed the lump, no lymph nodes involved) and waiting for Oncotype Test results. No genetic mutations.

I think I will be told whether/when I need to have chemotherapy in my next appointment.
I wanted feedback on can I continue working while having chemotherapy? I work on computer from home.

Thank you in advance!


  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884

    Hi hn, and welcome to our Community!

    We're so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but we're really glad you've found us. You're sure to find our amazing Community full of helpful members always willing to offer advice, information, encouragement, and support -- we're all here for you!

    While you wait for others to weigh in, you may want to check out the main site's page on Working During Treatment.

    Keep in mind that if you do end up having chemo, while some side effects can be hard on you, there are usually ways to help manage the side effects to keep things tolerable. Some members find it possible to keep working.

    However, some also want to focus on their treatment and recovery and find that Taking Time Off Work for Treatment is the right option for them.

    You may also want to check out the Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues forum for some more insight from others here.

    We hope this helps and that you get some good advice soon! Let us know if there's anything else we can do to help!

    --The Mods

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,167

    A lot of women here are able to work through chemo. I was retired anyway, but had chemo on Thursdays, had the weekend to lay low. And was ok by Monday.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,905

    I taught middle school during chemo. I did dose dense (2 weeks in between) and had Neulasta shots to keep my blood counts up. I'd have chemo on Fridays & was back to school on Monday. I didn't feel great, but it was doable & kept my mind off thinking about 'cancer' 24/7. I don't think you should have any problem if you are working from home.

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 209

    I worked through 4 AC treatments and 12 Taxol treatments. My 4 AC were spaced and I would have them on Tuesdays. I took Thursdays off because I felt like rubbish, then worked Friday and had the weekend to recover. When I did my taxol treatments, I worked straight through them. I did have a couple of sick days at the end. I went to bed a lot earlier than ever before.

    I work at a college and I was able to work from home on the days I just could not go in. They were extremely flexible with me going through treatment. Like ruthbru, it kept me from constantly thinking about "cancer."

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875

    It was quite some time ago that I had adjuvant treatment at 39 but I also worked right through. I was a project manager for an international development project so primarily desk work and found I was fine despite being on pretty heavy duty chemo (CEF which completely wiped out my immune system). I remember the one issue I had was the day I decided to go back to the office after an early infusion. 🙄 Uh, no…lol

    I can say that by the end of treatment (six cycles I felt like I was slogging through mud and I would nod off in front of the TV. But as others have said, I figured I could feel crappy at home staring at four walls or crappy at work but at least there I had something to take my mind off of things. Having said that, everyone is different so, most importantly, treat yourself with kindness, listen to your body and don’t try to be superwoman. 😊 Sometimes you might need to rest and that’s okay too! Hugs.

  • denny10
    denny10 Member Posts: 421

    I was a primary school teacher when I first had chemo. I was advised not to work because of the risk of infection [ little ones do get up close and personal]. I got impetigo when I returned to work !! I do not think anyone can decide ahead of time whether they can cope with work or not. I think I could have worked 2 out of 3 weeks in the beginning, by the end of the 8th infusion I would not have had the energy or enthusiasm required to teach. I think honesty is the best policy and suggest you let your line manager know you are going to have chemo and that you may need time off eventually, so they know you are not malingering if you slow down. Good luck, if you do need chemo.

  • brinkofeternity
    brinkofeternity Member Posts: 181

    I agree with others that it’s better to work through chemo, to have a regular schedule and things to do. I had ACT and just felt like I had a mild case of stomach flu 24/7. Never sick enough to be bedridden or anything, just not myself. I did take time off during AC since I heard it was strong (and I had disability leave benefits), but actually I would have been ok to work through it too.

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31

    Thank you very much all for your responses! Appreciate it.
    I wish you all good health and happiness. :-)

  • Blinx
    Blinx Member Posts: 82

    I'm finishing up a year of chemo, and like others I worked through it. With AC, I did need a day off 2 days after treatment. Had 12 weekly Taxols and the rest of the year immunotherapy infusions every 3 weeks. At first I took the whole day off for 8 AM infusions but was able to reschedule to afternoons so that I could work 4 hours in the morning. It really helped when I started getting Benadryl with my treatments since I would just go home and sleep. In between days it's nice work from home. Many times I took a nap at lunch time. Good luck to you in your journey.

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31


    Wondering if everyone loses hair during chemo?

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,905

    There should be some threads about cold capping if you want to check them out.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,167

    Depends on the type of chemo. Lost mine during a/c, came back during taxotere. Cold capping wasn't a thing back then for me. I lost EVERY hair on my body. Legs, nose, lady parts. If you do, your insurance will cover a wig.

  • brinkofeternity
    brinkofeternity Member Posts: 181

    I was told I might not lose hair during Taxol but I certainly did. I was in denial and didn’t shave my head for the longest time, but Taxol alone made me lose ~90% of my hair.

    For me wig was itchy and uncomfortable so I opted for a baseball cap with hair attached, which looked perfectly fine to everyone around me. People who didn’t know did not suspect anything.

    Just remember that the hair doescome back afterwards! And mine has this nice chemo curl now.

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31

    Thanks all!