@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.
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.
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!!!