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Topic: Work during chemo?

Forum: HER2+ (Positive) Breast Cancer —

Testing, treatment, side effects, and more.

Posted on: Jun 30, 2015 11:49PM - edited Jun 30, 2015 11:59PM by Sher0402

Sher0402 wrote:

I will be starting tchp on 7/16. I have read posts where some ladies have had a really difficult time with it. Just wondering how many people were able to work while going through treatment. Btw, most of my time is sitting at a desk. Thanks.

Dx 6/16/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 7/29/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/29/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/29/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/14/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
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Jul 1, 2015 08:34PM Girlstrong wrote:

to each his own..chemo affects everyone differently. What I can tell you is that your docs will prescribe you lots of meds to mitigate side effects (ie nausea, headache/pain etc.) I can't tell you what to do just do what is right and tolerable for your body. Your health comes first. I managed to work full time. My job involved a lot of in state driving, desk work and presentations to groups. Some days were better than others...

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see..Hebrews 11:1 Subject in KATHRYN study. Dx 7/17/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 7/31/2013 AC Chemotherapy 10/30/2013 Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/31/2013 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/31/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 1/29/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/10/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/23/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant Surgery 5/14/2015 Reconstruction (left): Nipple tattoo; Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo Surgery
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Jul 1, 2015 08:36PM Girlstrong wrote:

one thing I forgot to mention, I had my chemo on Thursdays and that seemed to help because I used the weekend to recoup . Wishing you all the best on this journey

Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see..Hebrews 11:1 Subject in KATHRYN study. Dx 7/17/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 7/31/2013 AC Chemotherapy 10/30/2013 Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 10/31/2013 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/31/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 1/29/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/10/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/23/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant Surgery 5/14/2015 Reconstruction (left): Nipple tattoo; Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo Surgery
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Jul 1, 2015 08:57PM littletatas wrote:

Like Girlstrong, I take chemo on Thursday, then Neulasta shot. I rest Sat & Sun (lots of naps), then work the next Monday-Friday and the next Mon-Tues. (Wed is blood work/Dr visit and I have to go 100 miles for this so I don't work that day.)

I can't lie the first 2 days back at work were rough, especially Tuesday afternoon. I was extremely tired, dizzy, and my muscles ached. The nurse told me today that's about the time the steroids are gone. I am fortunate to have a mostly desk job. I work in Human Resources. I have to walk across a large plant (500 yards long) only occasionally and I plan my slow trip and take breaks along the walk. I need to drink more water this time, I think it will help with the fatigue and headaches. They are my biggest complaints about side effects. They switched me from Zofran to Phenergan due to the bad headache I get from Z. My mother also gave me Ginger Root capsules which seem to help with nausea.

Good luck Sher0402, you will do great!

Age 43 at Dx Dx 3/26/2015, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 4/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 6/18/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/25/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jul 1, 2015 09:39PM littleblueflowers wrote:

What kind of chemo are you having? I did ACT and have managed to work through my last AC and on through Taxol. I am doing dose dense, and usually plan to feel rough the first week..I get dosed on Fridays. Aside from the odd day or hours off, though, for me it was doable. I also have a desk job and an understanding boss...Good Luck!

If it stops the nightmares, it probably won't kill me Dx 3/9/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/9/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 1, 2015 09:46PM josalive wrote:

I made it through the 4th cycle working full time and then took a leave of absence to finish up cycle 5 and 6 as my energy really started to decline at the end. I have to say that it was so nice to not have the work stress through those last two cycles. I think working does keep the mind preoccupied so cancer isn't the only thing to think about and made the time pass quickly. My work was flexible and worked with me depending on how I was feeling and supported me when I decided to take some time off. I hope you have similar support. Good luck!!!

Diagnosed a day after my 35th birthday. Three children under 5 and a wonderful husband. Lots to fight for! Dx 3/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 3/9/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin) Targeted Therapy 3/11/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/11/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/11/2015 Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 8/27/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 2, 2015 01:37AM Sunny_Girl wrote:

Ola - I had 6 rounds of TCH three years ago next August. I had the infusions on Fridays, enjoyed the premedications over the weekend (steroids) & usually felt crappy Monday & Tuesday. I perked up towards the end of the week and would go back to work for two weeks (til my next round).

I was very fortunate. I work at home & didn't have to deal with any "going into work" issues.

Take care of yourself, have about 6 different types of bottled water after your first round of chemo. My tastebuds went south really fast and the tap water at home turned into swamp water. My family kept looking at me when I'd ask, are you sure you don't taste anything funny? You will find a water that works for you during this time -

Patty

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Jul 2, 2015 05:50AM ruthbru wrote:

I did infusions on Friday & was back to work Monday. I didn't feel great the first couple days, but the steroids they give for the first couple days made me so hyper that I would have been climbing the walls if I would have stayed home anyway. I think if you have a desk job, you should do fine.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2015 06:06AM readytorock wrote:


I did chemo on Tuesdays and then went back to work the following Monday.  In reality, I could have went to work if I had too.  I wasn't really "sick" in anyway, but staying home wrapped in a blanket was where I wanted to be.

Dx 8/11/2014, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2014 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/20/2015 Surgery Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Jul 2, 2015 06:34AM BlownOffCourse wrote:

I worked full time during TCHP, my job, while not strenuous is very busy.  I got my infusion on Tuesday so that my "crappy" days would be on the weekend. It was a little tougher toward the end, so maybe schedule some time off then if you can. My biggest problem was a pretty bad muscle fatigue which didn't really hit me until right around the 6th cycle. 

TCH+P x 6, UMX - No Recon - 33 Rads, all in 2014, now on Femara Dx 1/28/2014, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 2, 2015 11:28AM vettegirl wrote:

I did 6 rounds of Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta-I had my infusions on Friday's.  I work 80% out of home office and worked full time through the whole thing.  I do drive a lot for my job too though, but was able to plan most of my longer days for the weeks I felt better.  First two rounds of chemo-I felt pretty good.  Starting on the third one-I took naps when I could.  I think working on chemo is doable if you dont have a real physical job.  My job was perfect for me while I was sick.

Dx 11/15/2013, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/20/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 12/20/2013 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/20/2013 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/22/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/28/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 12/5/2014 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 12/29/2014 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Surgery 4/29/2015 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Saline implant Surgery 12/28/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Nipple reconstruction, Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Jul 2, 2015 12:18PM MsPharoah wrote:

Hi, I had 6 cycles of chemo. Chemo on Tuesday, Neulasta shot on Wed. I have a desk job and am able to work from home as needed. I took off the 6 Tuesdays...not because I needed to, but because the infusion center was very busy and it took almost a whole day to see my Oncologist, get blood work, and do the infusion. My infusion center was fairly close to my workplace, so on Wednesday, I would hop over for the Neulasta shot on a break from work. I usually felt lousy on Thurs and Fri.....like having a bad case of flu, so I would schedule working from home on those days to save the energy of putting on makeup, driving, etc. I ended up having to "call off" work 2 additional days during chemo toward the end because I was just not able to function, even working from home. When it was not "chemo week", I felt pretty good. I was tired, for sure and went to bed early every night. I had a housekeeper before chemo so I did only light housekeeping and my husband took care of all the errands, shopping, food prep, etc. I found working was beneficial for me. It helped me focus on other things besides how I was feeling. But if you decide to work, make sure you garner as much help as possible so that you can rest. Chemo makes you very fatigued. Good Luck, MsP

Oncotype 24 Dx 12/4/2012, ILC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/18/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/9/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2013 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/4/2013 Breast
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Jul 2, 2015 03:09PM ruthbru wrote:

If people ask how they can help you, tell them specifically what you need. The most helpful thing to me was that my co-workers brought over meals a couple times a week. Say no to extra assignments & volunteer activities, hire a cleaning lady if you at all can afford one. Let the little things slide.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 7, 2015 07:24AM Sher0402 wrote:

thanks all for the advise and encouragement

Dx 6/16/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 7/29/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/29/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/29/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/14/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
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Feb 9, 2020 06:50PM ajminn3 wrote:

I know this is a very old thread, but wondering if any one more recently has input regarding working during TCHP? I’m a sped teacher...so my days can be busy, yet I’m sure I can find ways to make it a little less physically demanding, but I really want to work during treatment. Yes, you could argue I’m a little nuts, but I think I may go more nuts if I have to sot around anymore (I've been off 5 weeks for my BMX and immediate reconstruction). I know I’ll need to be mindful of germs, illness, and hand washing. Is it doable? My treatment team supports me, but acknowledges they can’t say for sure what side effects I’ll have and are of course concerned about germs and the school environment

Dx 12/2019, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 2 Dx 1/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Feb 9, 2020 09:52PM MinusTwo wrote:

ajmin - Weird to see all the old posters from 2015 - many that I remember.

I would say the same - If you're having Neulasta 24 hours after the TCHP - have the chemo on Thursday & Neulasta on Friday. You should be OK by Monday.

My TDCP took 6+ hours including saline & anti-nausea drips & allergu drips. Because I wouldn't let them rush any of the infusions, it took a bit longer. But the one time they tried Herceptin in 30 minutes, the resulting pains were not fun. It's better over an hour.

Still, maybe you could work Thursday morning & start the infusions in the afternoon. If they don't think you'll need Neulasta (or if I remember & the technology had improved and you get a 'take home' shot), you could have the infusions on Fridays.

Of course it depends on the demands of your special ed students. But I agree, it was much better to be up & doing.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Feb 9, 2020 10:17PM FNPMom wrote:

Hello, I worked during chemo - I'm a nurse practitioner working 5 days a week - just had to take some days off on chemo days - it was every 3 weeks - I had infusion Fridays from 8-2 (THCP) - they placed the neulasta using an auto injector so I didn't have to go back for the shot, I just removed the device after on Saturday. I was fine on Friday, starting to get tired Saturday, can't get up on Sunday and still tired Monday - back to work Tuesday - I felt slow the entire 1st week after but was back to normal the 2nd and 3rd week just in time for the next dose lol - my WBC dipped at some point and we waited a week for the next infusion - my work family though is awesome, they cut my patient load to about a half the week immediately after chemo and they didn't let me see sick folks throughout the entire process - I hope this helps

Dx 5/1/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 5/24/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 5/24/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/24/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 10/10/2019 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Targeted Therapy 11/8/2019 Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 12/6/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 10, 2020 09:07AM ajminn3 wrote:

Thanks so much MinusTwo and FNPmom. I really appreciate the feedback and tips! I guess I will see how round 1 goes this week to get a good idea of which day would be best for me to do treatments and what side effects I have. I work with an amazing team at school so I know they’ll make any adjustments I need if/when I return.

Dx 12/2019, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 2 Dx 1/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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