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Going through treatment and working

GizmoGizmo Member Posts: 7
edited April 2018 in Day to day
Hi Everyone,

I am 44 and was diagnosed in August 2017 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (3.3cm). My surgeon recommended lumpectomy which I did but we did find during surgery that it was positive in the lymph nodes so had to take a heap out for testing. Thank fully it had only got into the first node and had not progressed much further which was a relief. I am oestrogen & progesterone positive. My treatment plan is 4 cycles of AC Chemo and then go to Taxol for 12 weeks and then radiation after that.

I am currently on my 3 cycle of Chemo and except for my first 2 days after chemo I have managed to keep working. Work has been fantastic and I have been able to work from home and as I don't have kids (just Hubby and I) it keeps me busy. But I am looking to hear from people that are doing Taxol and if they were still able to work or did they find it to hard to continue?

I know everyone is different but would be interested to hear how people went with Taxol and trying to continue to work.

Thanks and Appreciate all advice.


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,571
    I did this some time ago now, but had A/C followed by Taxol and herceptin and then hormonal therapy (had a mastectomy, no radiation). I continued working throughout (office and other locations, I do events). Had no fatigue or nausea which was a big plus, irritating side effects with Taxol including neuropathy but not enough to stop working. Work was good for me, it was a distraction and I had a supportive boss and staff. The general view is that Taxol is easier than A/C but I found A/C relatively easy. Everything except the neuropathy with Taxol sorted itself out once treatment stopped. Good luck! 
  • GizmoGizmo Member Posts: 7
    Thanks heaps, I know everyone is different but it is good to hear that there are people that work through. I was starting to worry about it more than the chemo.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,571
    It really is variable but how you go on A/C is sometimes an indication. I took the day off for A/C but only the morning for taxol. Fatigue and nausea I reckon are the side effects that can throw all your planning out! 

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  • LucyELucyE Member Posts: 311
    edited December 2017
    Hi @Gizmo I worked 4 days a week through chemo - ACT. It was tiring, but I didn’t have to go through getting back into work afterwards and I needed work to take my mind off things. It’s a way to retain your professional self, your old self. I drove myself to and from chemo when I had Taxol and went shopping afterwards. It was easy at the time, but again I was tired. Taxol has impacted me the most because of neuropathy. Best of luck with the rest of your chemo. 
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  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2017
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  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,571
    I was lucky, my day oncology was close to work so I took the tram (dedicated non driver). I never felt ill so not a problem. I work for government, but was never ever pressured to not take leave. It was my decision, as it is to keep working at 72! I like my work, and I haven't got my retirement plan fully worked out yet - reducing part time (slowly!) is the best option for me at this time. Had I had a different reaction to chemo, would have been a very different story. I agree with LucyE though, if you can stay at work, it knocks out the going back/ catching up phase which is tricky for some.
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  • LucyELucyE Member Posts: 311
    edited December 2017
    @Joannie my oncologist told me not to drive. In retrospect it would have been more responsible to have someone drive me, but I was fine. Catching the tram was a good idea @Afraser.

    Great to hear that you took time for yourself during chemo @Joannie . I agree, it would depend on the type of work you do. I was teaching, but they were adults so it wasn’t that demanding. 
  • GizmoGizmo Member Posts: 7
    Thank you everyone for your feedback it has been greatly appreciated. At least I know it is doable just probably not at the pace that I am used to running at. Where as I used to multi task 5 or 6 things I am finding now that I can only focus one or two max. So that is a new experience for me. All the best to everyone :)
  • June1952June1952 Member Posts: 1,200
    I think that all of us who 'normally' run at a good pace find we have to slow down - and whilst it is hard to do we do it (AFTER ALL WE ARE WOMEN !!).
    Summer  :)
  • lgray3911lgray3911 Member Posts: 207
    I had the same treatment as you. I am a high school teacher and continued to work 2 days a week throughout treatment including 6weeks of radiation. I could have worked more but had oncologist appointments on Mondays and chemo Tuesday so just easier to do just the 2 
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,541
    HI @Gizmo,

    I had exactly the same treament plan as you.  AC and I did not like each other at all after round 2.  I found the taxol much easier to handle apart from a weird skin rash and being super sensitive to the sun.  I worked the whole way through with the taxol and radiation and managed to drive myself to and from treatments with no problems.  I could not have driven with the AC.  All the best.
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