Jill's Cancer Blog

Work

I’ve been off work since diagnosis. I was told I couldn’t work the first week because of the size and location of the mass. Then I was sick with my original symptoms for the following week. How many of you have been working versus not working?  I’m a physical therapist, so my job is (haha) physical. I’m concerned about the close patient contact and being immune-compromised. I’m only 1 cycle of chemo in. Plus I still have a PICC line because I’m not port-able yet. So that makes life annoying. But I feel good the last few days, so I feel guilty I’m not working.  But I have to schedule patients and have consistency to work with them. Right now, I can’t offer that. Waiting for short-term disability to be approved for this month. Ive read that fatigue and nausea can mount with subsequent cycles of chemo. I feel undirected as to whether or not I should be working.  I had to cancel my work meeting since MD told me not to fly, so I feel that I shouldn’t be a work either.  Am I wrong?

Stephen, Gwenn sent you a hug.
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Hi Jill, welcome to our group of fighters and survivors. My oncologist said to try and work as long as I could to keep my mind off of things, so chemo was on Thursday, I would take Friday off and the weekend, and go into work Monday morning with 'chemo-brain'. I had an 'office job' so I didn't have to worry about being exposed to many people other than in church. It's really up to you and your doctor. If you have things to keep you busy, then take the time off. I also had the Nulasta injection the day after chemo, and that keep the white cells up to fight off infection and I didn't get sick from others, thank God. I would never fly - healthy people get sick doing that, so pass on that. I assume that you're having "R-CHOP" treatments every 3 weeks? The Rituxin is a great fighter. Funny you mention 12 days, as that is when I had so much hair on my pillow that a very short cut was in order, as well as my beard. Since it was summer having just my moustache and tiny furry head was just fine. I felt fairly decent the first 4 rounds before it started to 'accumulate' the effects, but even after 5 & 6, the Prednisone really perked me back up. I would ask your ONC if they use Rituxin or if you can get something like the Neulasta shot the day after. Hope you can get a port- it works wonders. Hope you have some helpers making things easier for you on chemo day. May God Bless You,
John
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My hair

I’m 12 days post-round 1 of chemo. I’m stupidly nervous/anxious about the possibility (fact) that I will be losing my hair. I picked out a couple slouchy beanies but haven’t hit the purchase button on my Amazon cart. My husband didn’t believe “slouchy beanie” was a term. Doctors told me I will DEFINITELY lose my hair 2-3 weeks after I start chemo. It is rapidly approaching. So far my hair is fine. I got it cut from shoulder blade length to a short A-bob a couple days ago to make the transition easier. I’ve cried a few times since diagnosis. Mostly on the phone to strangers as I had to cancel an upcoming flight and get late fees waived since I missed a couple bill payments while in the hospital. 

But my hair...the anticipation of the inevitable yet unknown makes me want to cry. My parents are coming in a few days from out of town. And my calculation is that they will be here for the great ghastly shave-down. I don’t want them here for that. I will have to send them away. I want to send myself away; I don’t want to be here for that. Funny thing is a never even liked my hair before. I hope that afte4 I lose it, it comes back thick and chemo-curly. 

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Gwenn sent you a prayer.
Sandy sent you a hug.
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Hi JILL, I can sympathise with you about loosing your hair. I had big shave on Sunday night. My hair pretty much this time started coming out in clumps exactly 14 days after the start of chemo. I too thought that I was getting close to the 14 days and all good and then it just started coming away. I also went and had my hair cut short. This is the 3rd time I have lost my hair from chemo and it still isn’t any easier. I too have non Hodgkin lymphoma and now have just relapsed after 13 years of it being under control. I was diagnosed in1999 at the age of 40 and I initially had 7 regimes of chemo and stem cell transplant. I also went onto harvest more stem cells for such as this time now BUT unfortunately they are too old and not in good condition. So I am have 2 rounds of RICE and then we are going to try and harvest stem cells. But the other day my oncologist is not too hopeful as I have had a lot of chemo in the past and the scientist that processed my last stem cells wasn’t too hopeful either. So just have to wait and see. With regards to your loosing your hair my suggestion is to get some soft tee shirt type caps to wear around home and to bed at night. I see you are in Denmark so you are going into summer so a little better for the cold. I live in Tasmania and we are heading into winter so I’m trying to find my winter beanies now. I have also ordered a couple of wigs online and they should come tomorrow. So hopefully they are good. One is natural hair and the other synthetic. I wish you all the courage in your journey through chemo. All the best. Diane Faulkner
Thank you for the advice. All the best to you as well. Stay strong!
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Vital Info

Posts

April 1, 2019

Denmark, Wisconsin 54208

February 12, 1980

Cancer Info

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Diffuse large B cell

March 16

over 6.1

The fact that it still exists and is more prevalent

To slow down and enjoy my time with family

Keep me laughing and know I’m loved

Prayers and visits

Aurora BayCare Medical Center

Keep moving!

Left ear pain and throat tightness x 1 month. Didn’t get better with 2 rounds of antibiotics. Also incessant reflux symptoms without the burning.

3/20/19 first cycle R-Chop

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