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Mamabear41
47 Posts
I have a question in regards to chemotherapy and energy levels. I started my first cycle of capox on July 15 th and I’m struggling just to make it out of bed most days how are some cancer patients able to do chemotherapy and still go to work. Does it depend on the treatment or the shape the persons in when they start chemo because I hate how I’m feeling and have 4 more cycles to go plus radiation. Sorry if I sound like I’m complaining I’m not trying to I m just really frustrated as I’m a go go type gal and I just don’t have it anymore
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@Mamabear41 I was on medical leave when I first started chemo. I did 2 cycles of chemo then my medical leave was finished. I was a little concerned because I thought I wouldn't be able to work but my Doctor said do 2 cycles then you will know how your body will react to the meds. When I first went back to work, I would take 1 ½ weeks off then work 1 ½ weeks every 3 weeks, repeat. But I was finding that my Supervisor would schedule me too many hours during the ½ week and was finding it tough doing full days. So, I got my work schedule changed and would have 1 week off then work 2 weeks, this way the hours in the week were spread out over longer days. I did find that during the last couple of cycles my energy was low, I had to rest in-between flights of stairs. I ended up getting a blood transfusion once and my energy level increased. Once I was finished chemo and only on Herceptin things were even better.

I am not sure whether it's the way that chemo affects a person is the reason why some can work and some can't. Or it could be the combination of drugs or the person's age. I also believe that your mindset plays a big part in how you overcome things. I went to my first chemo treatment thinking of chemo as “medicine” not “poison”.

Not sure, it's a hmmm something to think about topic.

Brighty
7363 Posts
Mamabear41‍ I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. It seems to affect every one differently. My fiance was the same as you during chemo. Could barely get out of bed. Then I read posts on here that people work all through chemo and exercise and wondered 'how are they doing this?' I wonder too what it depends on....the type of cancer , the concoction of drugs...age....?I hope to hear from other members too on how they handle chemo. Does your health care team know how you are feeling? Perhaps a lower dosage of the drug concoction? Rest up if your body is telling you to...listen to your body.....and I hope this feeling goes away soon and you are able to have some energy back again soon! !
Boby1511
521 Posts

@Mamabear41

Hi there.

I did doxorubicin for 6 cycles. Once every 3 weeks, with a couple extensions. So 6 months. I had very little energy. I was up and about some days but a lot of time spent in bed. And I had help. I didn't do any household chores. Used my energy just to get up maybe play some cards. I can't even imagine how people do chemo and work and have family obligations. My heart goes out to you.

I got lucky with work. I've been off since Dec 2019 when I took ill and have not been back. Am not going back now. Cancer retired.

Sending you best wishes.

Mee
52 Posts

Hi @Mamabear41 ,

Welcome to the club that no one wants to belong to! Sorry to read that you're struggling with chemo.

I was diagnosed with IDC, ER-, PR-, HER2+ in April 2021, and I just completed 6 rounds of Herceptin, Docetaxel, and Carboplatin every 3 weeks; the Herceptin will continue for another 12 rounds after my surgery (total mastectomy) on August 16. It wasn't until after the 5th round that I “hit a wall” where I was virtually sleeping most of the time. Up until then, I was able to exercise and carry on almost normally (although I did end up retiring from my job) except for the first few days after the chemo.

It seems that each person responds differently to the chemo, and because there are all different types of cancer and different stages and different combinations of drugs in each chemo treatment, it's hard to say what one will experience.

My best advice, for whatever it's worth, is to go with the flow. If you're having a low energy day, relax and rest, because your body is working hard at fighting the cancer. If you're having a better energy day, do what you can, but don't overwork yourself. You will get through this!!! Hang in there!!!

Glory22
24 Posts
I am recovering from hysterectomy (about 6 weeks out) and (3 weeks out from port placement. I am 42. I have been working remote since last March (2020), so luckily that worked in my favor as I have proven myself tenfold that I am more productive at home. I work for a healthcare system and my manager is a nurse so that helps also...she can empathasize what I am going through. She was also my manager when I went through breast cancer about 2 years ago also. I just switched over to an intermittent leave which allows me to work with my manager to determine tasks/projects that don't require me to be online at set hours. I am very thankful for that. I found that I need to be off the first 5 workdays of a cycle, but after am able to take breaks and naps and work an abbreviated schedule (5 hours/day). I also have a 3 year old, but she is my motivation
Mamabear41
47 Posts
Thanks everyone for ur comments and feedback I go for my follow up on august 5th with the oncologist so will see what she has to say or if there’s something she can do or if this will be the norm for me
Whitelilies
1414 Posts

@Mamabear41 Hello…….thinking of you…..how are you doing? how are things moving along?

Wishing you the best !

Whitelilies

Whitelilies
1414 Posts

@Mamabear41 Hi….thank you for sharing the updates….it is wonderful to hear that the CT scan was clear ! celebrate this ! Dance ! Sing (in the shower !)…You know the timelines of the treatment…..Ok……onwards….we march…..together……

Warmly

Whitelilies

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