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first week after Chemo

alibrienalibrien Member Posts: 6
edited August 2018 in General discussion
The side effects from my chemo have had a severe effect on my bowels and I need to be close to a toilet. Thus I am unable to work. I understand it is only one week, but I am not coping. I see all these people who are having/had the same chemo as me and continue to work. I find this frustrating. Why can't I be like those other women who continue to work. I feel too tired and worn out now, to go to work.


  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    Which chemo are you having Ali?

    I had my chemo on a Monday. I possibly could have worked the next day because of the steroids but I could not have worked for the rest of the week because of the fatigue. It knocked me out flat. The first two cycles I could have worked the next two weeks, with difficulty, but I could not have done that in the last two. I had TC.

    I had the runs terribly for my first chemo and then locked up solid for the rest of it!

    We're all different luv. Try not to compare yourself to others; it's a dead end. You'll get through, one way or another. If it's getting on top of you, give one of the BCNA nurses a call on the helpline, 1300 500 258. They're wise women who've heard it all and can be a great comfort and source of information. Hang in there, K xox
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,540
    Hi @alibrien,

    Kmakm is right.  No body knows how you are going to handle things. You shouldn't compare it will do you no good and it may get better as you go along.
      I had ACT.  Through the AC I carried a lot of those dissolvable immodium tablets in my bag.  They work very fast. It got better the next time around though.

     I also found that the "Hey, I need to pee" was only giving me about 30 seconds warning.  Not cool the first few times before I worked it out.  That did get better as well.
    I did go back to work but I only work part time and there were a couple of days I thought I was a bit tougher than I actually was and had to go home half an hour after getting there.  

    All the best lovely.


  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,938
    There's no way I could have worked during most of chemo - there would have been the odd day I could have managed but nothing that me or my workplace could have planned around. It doesn't mean I've been happy about it - I miss work terribly.

    As for your gut symptoms, ring your oncology centre and ask what you can take to make it more manageable.  Don't suffer in silence.
  • alibrienalibrien Member Posts: 6
    Thanks everyone for your input. I am having the Docetaxel/Cyclophosphamide with the Pegfilgrastin growth factor the next day. I appreciate what you say, but I am still jealous of those people who still work!
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    Your chemo is the same as mine, and is usually referred to as TC.

    Check out this thread for lots of hints and tips if you'd like to:


    Might be best to wait until you're feeling a little better though Ali! Yep, it all sucks.

    You'll start to feel a bit better soon. Hang in there. K xox
  • SarnicadSarnicad MelbourneMember Posts: 318
    We are the same re the bowel thing. Gastro stop and the white diet has been my friend the last three days. I said to my nurses I’ve not had one bad symptom I’ve had all of them to a degree!  And mainly together. I’m doubting my ability to work after the next round big time after this one
  • alibrienalibrien Member Posts: 6
    Thankyou everyone. Yes, I have already changed my diet and am using gastro-stop. I am also keeping a diary of my symptoms to compare and be a bit more prepared for after the next treatment 
  • Daina_BCNADaina_BCNA Member Posts: 892
    Hi @alibrien, I just wanted to see how you were going with chemo?
    I hope you're feeling a little better or at least found ways to manage your side effects as best as possible.
    I am working on a project at BCNA around work and breast cancer. If there is any support you need in the workplace please let me know and I might be able to offer some support. 
  • kitkatbkitkatb Member Posts: 442
    Hi @alibrien,  Like you I was on TC and there is no way I could have worked even if I had wanted too.  I also had the same with the bowels but only on the first chemo for some reason.  Be kind to yourself.  hugs  xox
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    @kitkatb Same here! Terrible runs during first TC cycle then locked up solid for the rest...
  • alibrienalibrien Member Posts: 6
    Just thought I would update everyone about my treatment. It is months since I contacted you all about my frustrations about not working. I completed my four Chemo sessions in late September. I completed my three weeks of radiotherapy nearly 3 weeks ago. I survived!!! There were days when I was sure I would never feel well again in my life. But Hey! I feel good now. My hair has started to grow back too. The secret I found is maintain the bland diet throughout the entire Chemo time. I also kept a diary of my symptoms. I had so many. I was able to anticipate the changes each week.  Fortunately my Oncologist did reduce my chemo dose for the last 2 sessions. I was very good. No alcohol; no eating out. Every time I tried to, my gut reacted big time, so I only ate food I had prepared myself. I survived on spaghetti on toast for breakfast. Cheese and vegemite sandwiches for lunch and roast vegetables and meat for dinner each night.  I completely eliminated cereals; all greens; tomatoes and all fruit from my diet for the 4 months. Next week I will return to work. I found stressing about whether or not I could or could not work, caused even more stress, so I decided to not work at all for the duration of treatment. I did not get very much exercise  and as a consequence I have put on weight. I am now starting to exercise again and lose a little weight. But, I feel good now!!!! I was able to do a bit of hand sewing during that time, when I was not sleeping! I now have a few cross stitch Christmas gifts for some of my relatives. To anyone, newly diagnosed, change your diet, keep a diary and hang in there. You will survive.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,198

    Good on you @alibrien It's a long haul but there is only one way through it. I've been through the BC wringer twice. The first chemo--AC-- was fine. Not pleasant but manageable. V2 was TC. Nup. Nup, nup, nup. What a nightmare. Like you I lived on the blandest of bland food (just starch and sugar, really) and suffered the additional indignity of blowing up like a life raft after someone had pulled the cord.

    Onwards from here! Mxx

  • alibrienalibrien Member Posts: 6
    It is good to hear you are on the mend.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    Yep, bland was good for me on TC. Mind you, by the third cycle I could barely taste a thing...

    Well done on getting through @alibrien! And on making the hard but sensible decision on removing stress from your life round the work issue. K xox
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,938
    It's an achievement!  Not one you wanted, but still...  It's good to get back to work but be aware that you are likely to get really tired...and I mean, really tired.  So, take it as easy as you can.
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