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Starting Chemo, starting new job

Wu57Wu57 Member Posts: 8
edited July 2019 in Newly diagnosed
I am on a bit of a runaway train at the moment. :)
I saw my oncologist yesterday, I'm due to have my first chemo on 19 July and start a new job on 29 July.  Hopefully, I won't get too many side effects.


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,124
    You may not - but that’s an ambitious agenda. I worked through 6 months of chemo, overall I felt pretty good. I lost my hair on A/C but no fatigue, no nausea. On Taxol, I had a lot more inconveniences but nothing to stop me working. If you are well enough, work can be a positive thing and a great distraction. But for some, it is just impossible and there is no proven way of knowing till you start treatment. I had also decided to tell my work colleagues about my diagnosis and treatment (anyone at all really) but not everyone is happy doing that, for many and good reasons. Time off work was minimal, but there was some - my day oncology was very close to work, but travel may need to be factored in. Good luck with the plan to keep your work and life going forward, but Plan B just in case may be worth thinking about too. Best wishes.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,938
    It sure feels like a runaway train at the start @Wu57! Good analogy. It does feel more under control once treatment gets underway and you know how you react.

    Some barely miss a day, some work part time and others not at all. It is highly individual. Have a plan in place in case you are troubled by side effects.

    What chemo are you having? How long is each cycle? Members who've had the same may be able to offer some advice.

    Welcome to the forum. K xox
  • shs14shs14 Member Posts: 136
    edited July 2019
    I am about to have my last of four dose dense AC Chemo @Wu57 and while I have had side effects like runny nose, acid throat, fatigue, constipation, watery eyes, baldness :# I have also been pretty well. I credit a lot of this to walking every day, up to 30+k a week with my partner. We both find it is good for our mental and physical health. 
    Good luck with your chemo and your job. Its doable but be gentle with yourself. I work from home so I can adjust my schedule and have no travel time.
    I would make sure that you talk to them about adjusting things and maybe going part time to start with until you see how you cope with chemo. You are the main priority in all this and trying to keep up and cope with it all puts a lot of pressure on  you which you don't need.
    p.s. Coloxyl tablets are great for avoiding constipation but start early, I only found out later that the injection you get on the day after is a culprit. And I took claratyne that I'd read online about to avoid bone pain from injection.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,938
    Yes! Exercise has been proved to reduce side effects quite a bit. Do that!  :D
  • QueendonutQueendonut Member Posts: 20
    I managed to work through all of my chemo. Some days tougher than others. But in general not too many side effects I couldn’t cope with.  Good luck I send you hugs and strength. 
  • sallylovestosingsallylovestosing HobartMember Posts: 31
    Just found this post - good luck @Wu57! I agree with @shs14 and @kmakm, exercise is really helpful! I try to walk my dogs every day and do some yoga at home even if I can't get to class. I kept the yoga mat right next to the bed during treatment so I could just roll out of bed onto the mat (sometimes that's all you can manage!!) and at least do a few stretches am and pm. Swimming gently is also a good one, especially if your feet get too sore to walk or do other stuff (this is a thing for some people with Taxol and/or Xeloda). 
    I had 5 mths of chemo (dose dense A/C follwed by weekly Paclitaxel) followed by mastectomy, 5 weeks radiation and then 4 -5 mths Xeloda. I managed to keep working through my whole year of treatment - I'm a 55 yo Finance Manager. What also helped me was the following:
    -Work let me flex my hours at will - I worked more on good days, less on bad ones. I soon realised mornings were effortful for me, so just went slowly and rocked up at the desk when I got there - anywhere between 9.00am and 12.00pm! I worked later in the evening if I felt up to it and eeked out my sick leave so I still got paid even when I was forced to take a couple of weeks for the surgery.
    -My family were great - huband assumed all cooking/shopping duties and I closed my eyes to the mess! A wonderful girlfriend came and helped me do a bit of a spring clean a couple of times when I was feeling a bit better.
    - I kept up my favourite hobby - I sing in a fantastic choir and this was really important for my mental health. When you're concentrating really hard on singing (or doing anything you love that feeds you) it's hard to thing about the cancer rubbish, for a few hours at least. Also my singing family were so loving and supportive!
    - I treated myself to regular ralaxation massages (my private health fund helped with this, bless them) and I found real support and friendship from my massage therapists and yoga teachers.
    - I planned doable things to look forward to, being mindful of my treatment cycle - a movie or early dinner with a girlfriend. 
    - When I felt down I rang my amazing Breast Care nurse for a vent - this helped me not moan to my husband too much - I feel as though the year of treatment was just as hard for him as for me - I slept through a lot of it!
    - I used my compulsory chair time while having my chemo treatments to read and read about helpful stuff - diet and nutrition (I went plant-based and I'm sure that helped my body cope better) and everything I could get my hands on. Knowledge is power!
    Let us know how you do - wishing you strength :smiley:
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