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Stage 4 and working full time

Forums General Melanoma Community Stage 4 and working full time

  • Post
    Erinmay22
    Participant

      I know this question has come up a few times.  Just curious as to folks thoughts on this.  Folks always seem surprised that I'm still working full time.  Had met to small intestine last year.  That was removed surgically in October but they left a lymph node they couldn't easily remove surgically.  Last May- Sept I did Zelboraf and then Sept- Nov Yervoy.  Started anti-pd1 in Jan.  Lymph node continues to shrink but my last scan  I did have a tiny lung spot show up.  Guess that is what got me thinking more about working full time.

      I know this question has come up a few times.  Just curious as to folks thoughts on this.  Folks always seem surprised that I'm still working full time.  Had met to small intestine last year.  That was removed surgically in October but they left a lymph node they couldn't easily remove surgically.  Last May- Sept I did Zelboraf and then Sept- Nov Yervoy.  Started anti-pd1 in Jan.  Lymph node continues to shrink but my last scan  I did have a tiny lung spot show up.  Guess that is what got me thinking more about working full time.  I think maybe sometimes I try to do to much πŸ™‚  (i.e. working full time, playing volleyball a few nights a week, and yoga 2 x's per week).  I just had dose #5 of Merck's anti-PD1.  No major side effects although starting to feel the fatigue.  

      I know the work distraction is good – but also want to make sure I'm not pushing myself too much.  πŸ™‚

      Erin

    Viewing 35 reply threads
    • Replies
        Phil S
        Participant
          Only you can decide if you can handle treatment and work! My husband is Stage 4 and still works, keeps our life more normal. Cancer has robbed us enough, so he likes to work, help with the kids, cut the lawn, stack our wood, be as normal as possible. Phil has had one year interferon, lung surgery, brain surgery, WBR, six rounds of biochemo, and TIL, and he still works his job. His employment is not a traditionally 9-5 office job, so that helps! Individual decision for each individual situation, but working helps Phil maintain a sense of himself and right now he is doing well. All the best to you, I follow your blog, and hope Anti PD1 kicks your melanoma to the curb! Valerie (Phil’s wife)
          Phil S
          Participant
            Only you can decide if you can handle treatment and work! My husband is Stage 4 and still works, keeps our life more normal. Cancer has robbed us enough, so he likes to work, help with the kids, cut the lawn, stack our wood, be as normal as possible. Phil has had one year interferon, lung surgery, brain surgery, WBR, six rounds of biochemo, and TIL, and he still works his job. His employment is not a traditionally 9-5 office job, so that helps! Individual decision for each individual situation, but working helps Phil maintain a sense of himself and right now he is doing well. All the best to you, I follow your blog, and hope Anti PD1 kicks your melanoma to the curb! Valerie (Phil’s wife)
              Erinmay22
              Participant

                Hi Valerie –

                Yes I know it's an individual decision. Just was curious how many folks take some time off.  Everyone seems so surprised when I say I'm still working full time.  I do get the fatigue that hits me..  but I also think it's important to work out – so I hate giving up those activities just because I'm tired from work  All a balance πŸ™‚  And luckily my job is fairly flexible if I'm having tough days and need to work from home.  

                and thanks!  Sounds like Phil is doing well!

                Erin

                Erinmay22
                Participant

                  Hi Valerie –

                  Yes I know it's an individual decision. Just was curious how many folks take some time off.  Everyone seems so surprised when I say I'm still working full time.  I do get the fatigue that hits me..  but I also think it's important to work out – so I hate giving up those activities just because I'm tired from work  All a balance πŸ™‚  And luckily my job is fairly flexible if I'm having tough days and need to work from home.  

                  and thanks!  Sounds like Phil is doing well!

                  Erin

                  Erinmay22
                  Participant

                    Hi Valerie –

                    Yes I know it's an individual decision. Just was curious how many folks take some time off.  Everyone seems so surprised when I say I'm still working full time.  I do get the fatigue that hits me..  but I also think it's important to work out – so I hate giving up those activities just because I'm tired from work  All a balance πŸ™‚  And luckily my job is fairly flexible if I'm having tough days and need to work from home.  

                    and thanks!  Sounds like Phil is doing well!

                    Erin

                  Phil S
                  Participant
                    Only you can decide if you can handle treatment and work! My husband is Stage 4 and still works, keeps our life more normal. Cancer has robbed us enough, so he likes to work, help with the kids, cut the lawn, stack our wood, be as normal as possible. Phil has had one year interferon, lung surgery, brain surgery, WBR, six rounds of biochemo, and TIL, and he still works his job. His employment is not a traditionally 9-5 office job, so that helps! Individual decision for each individual situation, but working helps Phil maintain a sense of himself and right now he is doing well. All the best to you, I follow your blog, and hope Anti PD1 kicks your melanoma to the curb! Valerie (Phil’s wife)
                    Rebecca and Bob
                    Participant

                      Hi Erin,

                      I wanted my husband to quit or try to get Soc security, they wouldn't approve it. He had IL-2 3 rounds to surgeries lung and intestine. He was in and out of the hospital and working for 2 years.  I felt he was under to much stress but he was worried staying home would make him think about it too much. He has been 3 1/3 years NED but even today when he says he's stressed I bring up that he needs to take a break, maybe the summer off and get another job, but he doesn't seem to listen. Only you know what's best for you, if you can work less spend more time doing what you want then do it. If it were me I would work less and spend time on things I always wanted to do. Maybe a less stressful life so I could focus on just getting better.

                       

                      Good luck Erin, I hope the anti-PD1 takes care of the rest.

                      Rebecca

                      Rebecca and Bob
                      Participant

                        Hi Erin,

                        I wanted my husband to quit or try to get Soc security, they wouldn't approve it. He had IL-2 3 rounds to surgeries lung and intestine. He was in and out of the hospital and working for 2 years.  I felt he was under to much stress but he was worried staying home would make him think about it too much. He has been 3 1/3 years NED but even today when he says he's stressed I bring up that he needs to take a break, maybe the summer off and get another job, but he doesn't seem to listen. Only you know what's best for you, if you can work less spend more time doing what you want then do it. If it were me I would work less and spend time on things I always wanted to do. Maybe a less stressful life so I could focus on just getting better.

                         

                        Good luck Erin, I hope the anti-PD1 takes care of the rest.

                        Rebecca

                        Rebecca and Bob
                        Participant

                          Hi Erin,

                          I wanted my husband to quit or try to get Soc security, they wouldn't approve it. He had IL-2 3 rounds to surgeries lung and intestine. He was in and out of the hospital and working for 2 years.  I felt he was under to much stress but he was worried staying home would make him think about it too much. He has been 3 1/3 years NED but even today when he says he's stressed I bring up that he needs to take a break, maybe the summer off and get another job, but he doesn't seem to listen. Only you know what's best for you, if you can work less spend more time doing what you want then do it. If it were me I would work less and spend time on things I always wanted to do. Maybe a less stressful life so I could focus on just getting better.

                           

                          Good luck Erin, I hope the anti-PD1 takes care of the rest.

                          Rebecca

                          Kim K
                          Participant

                            This was a biggie to wrestle with for me.

                            I could stay on SSDI indefinately for myself and my 2 girls or not.  I was torn between creating memories for my girls and getting things in order in the likely chance I wasn't going to make it until Christmas, or working because it is what I loved to do.

                            In the end I went back to work.  Both girls were in preschool or day care and I would devote my time to them when they weren't there.  I worked because I loved my job and worked hard as hell to get to where I was, and I made a difference and was of value.  I decided not to let cancer dictate my life and give up my job because I may make it into the 3% club and have a durable remission from IL-2.

                            It is difficult to live your life two ways simutaneously.  On the one hand I didn't have to worry about retirement savings, and everything I earned would go for my girls future, I had that second beer and helping of dessert, but on the other I kept hope I would be in the minority and survive this thing.  Working provided me that out.  I didn't suffer in Dr. Kho's organic chemistry class, or Dr. Scott's Molecular Biology for nothing.  I became a vet and I really really love what I do.  It is part of what makes me, me.  I wasn't going to let cancer steal that part of me.

                            Once I came to the conclusion that it wasn't selfish to keep on working, and was providing some sense of stability for my girls, and not having the opressive sense of my immenent mortiality, it made sense.

                            Fortunately I now regret the second Krispy Creme and beer.  I have to go on a diet and start saving again for my retirement.

                            I am in the 3% club.  NED since July 2010.

                            I hope that helped some.  Do what is in your gut and your heart.  There is no one right thing to do, it is as individual as everyone's journey down this road.

                            Kim K
                            Participant

                              This was a biggie to wrestle with for me.

                              I could stay on SSDI indefinately for myself and my 2 girls or not.  I was torn between creating memories for my girls and getting things in order in the likely chance I wasn't going to make it until Christmas, or working because it is what I loved to do.

                              In the end I went back to work.  Both girls were in preschool or day care and I would devote my time to them when they weren't there.  I worked because I loved my job and worked hard as hell to get to where I was, and I made a difference and was of value.  I decided not to let cancer dictate my life and give up my job because I may make it into the 3% club and have a durable remission from IL-2.

                              It is difficult to live your life two ways simutaneously.  On the one hand I didn't have to worry about retirement savings, and everything I earned would go for my girls future, I had that second beer and helping of dessert, but on the other I kept hope I would be in the minority and survive this thing.  Working provided me that out.  I didn't suffer in Dr. Kho's organic chemistry class, or Dr. Scott's Molecular Biology for nothing.  I became a vet and I really really love what I do.  It is part of what makes me, me.  I wasn't going to let cancer steal that part of me.

                              Once I came to the conclusion that it wasn't selfish to keep on working, and was providing some sense of stability for my girls, and not having the opressive sense of my immenent mortiality, it made sense.

                              Fortunately I now regret the second Krispy Creme and beer.  I have to go on a diet and start saving again for my retirement.

                              I am in the 3% club.  NED since July 2010.

                              I hope that helped some.  Do what is in your gut and your heart.  There is no one right thing to do, it is as individual as everyone's journey down this road.

                              Kim K
                              Participant

                                This was a biggie to wrestle with for me.

                                I could stay on SSDI indefinately for myself and my 2 girls or not.  I was torn between creating memories for my girls and getting things in order in the likely chance I wasn't going to make it until Christmas, or working because it is what I loved to do.

                                In the end I went back to work.  Both girls were in preschool or day care and I would devote my time to them when they weren't there.  I worked because I loved my job and worked hard as hell to get to where I was, and I made a difference and was of value.  I decided not to let cancer dictate my life and give up my job because I may make it into the 3% club and have a durable remission from IL-2.

                                It is difficult to live your life two ways simutaneously.  On the one hand I didn't have to worry about retirement savings, and everything I earned would go for my girls future, I had that second beer and helping of dessert, but on the other I kept hope I would be in the minority and survive this thing.  Working provided me that out.  I didn't suffer in Dr. Kho's organic chemistry class, or Dr. Scott's Molecular Biology for nothing.  I became a vet and I really really love what I do.  It is part of what makes me, me.  I wasn't going to let cancer steal that part of me.

                                Once I came to the conclusion that it wasn't selfish to keep on working, and was providing some sense of stability for my girls, and not having the opressive sense of my immenent mortiality, it made sense.

                                Fortunately I now regret the second Krispy Creme and beer.  I have to go on a diet and start saving again for my retirement.

                                I am in the 3% club.  NED since July 2010.

                                I hope that helped some.  Do what is in your gut and your heart.  There is no one right thing to do, it is as individual as everyone's journey down this road.

                                Hstevens0072
                                Participant
                                  I’m stage four and still working full time. It helps keep things normal. People ask why I don’t stay home, I want to ask them why they think it is their business!
                                  Hstevens0072
                                  Participant
                                    I’m stage four and still working full time. It helps keep things normal. People ask why I don’t stay home, I want to ask them why they think it is their business!
                                      Kelly7
                                      Participant

                                        My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                         

                                        I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                        Kelly7
                                        Participant

                                          My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                           

                                          I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                          Kelly7
                                          Participant

                                            My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                             

                                            I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                            Kelly7
                                            Participant

                                              My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                               

                                              I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                              Kelly7
                                              Participant

                                                My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                                 

                                                I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                                Kelly7
                                                Participant

                                                  My brother has stage 4 and works full time. Unfortunately, the bills keep coming even when you are sick:( I wish I had lots of money so he didnt have to work and could just enjoy life. I know working keeps him focused, but it would be nice if money was never a concern! He had to miss a couple months, but was able to use his sick time and not take an unpaid leave.

                                                   

                                                  I wish you luck, I think its great that you play volleyball and do yoga, I think that will keep your mind and body happy:)

                                                Hstevens0072
                                                Participant
                                                  I’m stage four and still working full time. It helps keep things normal. People ask why I don’t stay home, I want to ask them why they think it is their business!
                                                  thrashter
                                                  Participant

                                                    im stage iv and working full time also. 3 rounds of bio chemo and going for 4th round in May. Good to do something to take mind off of thinking about situation. Hang in tthere and do what feels right by you.

                                                    thrashter
                                                    Participant

                                                      im stage iv and working full time also. 3 rounds of bio chemo and going for 4th round in May. Good to do something to take mind off of thinking about situation. Hang in tthere and do what feels right by you.

                                                      thrashter
                                                      Participant

                                                        im stage iv and working full time also. 3 rounds of bio chemo and going for 4th round in May. Good to do something to take mind off of thinking about situation. Hang in tthere and do what feels right by you.

                                                        Richard_K
                                                        Participant

                                                           

                                                          Hi Erin,

                                                          I had a little different situation than you as I retired some 16 months after my stage IV diagnosis.  Prior to retirement however, the only time I missed from work was for regular scheduled doctor appointments and the one month off when I had IL-2.

                                                          Dick

                                                          Richard_K
                                                          Participant

                                                             

                                                            Hi Erin,

                                                            I had a little different situation than you as I retired some 16 months after my stage IV diagnosis.  Prior to retirement however, the only time I missed from work was for regular scheduled doctor appointments and the one month off when I had IL-2.

                                                            Dick

                                                              NYKaren
                                                              Participant
                                                                I am Stage IIIC unresectable, so I’ve had many Stage IV treatments. The only time I missed work was when I was hospitalized with Ipi-induced colitis and when I had IL2 treatment. Looking back at how sick I was from the colitis and resultant adrenal insufficiency, I don’t have a clue how I did it!
                                                                But my husband’s already on disability, and we couldn’t survive without my income. I try to schedule all my apts early am, lunch-time, or at the end of the day.
                                                                Take care,
                                                                Karen
                                                                NYKaren
                                                                Participant
                                                                  I am Stage IIIC unresectable, so I’ve had many Stage IV treatments. The only time I missed work was when I was hospitalized with Ipi-induced colitis and when I had IL2 treatment. Looking back at how sick I was from the colitis and resultant adrenal insufficiency, I don’t have a clue how I did it!
                                                                  But my husband’s already on disability, and we couldn’t survive without my income. I try to schedule all my apts early am, lunch-time, or at the end of the day.
                                                                  Take care,
                                                                  Karen
                                                                  NYKaren
                                                                  Participant
                                                                    I am Stage IIIC unresectable, so I’ve had many Stage IV treatments. The only time I missed work was when I was hospitalized with Ipi-induced colitis and when I had IL2 treatment. Looking back at how sick I was from the colitis and resultant adrenal insufficiency, I don’t have a clue how I did it!
                                                                    But my husband’s already on disability, and we couldn’t survive without my income. I try to schedule all my apts early am, lunch-time, or at the end of the day.
                                                                    Take care,
                                                                    Karen
                                                                  Richard_K
                                                                  Participant

                                                                     

                                                                    Hi Erin,

                                                                    I had a little different situation than you as I retired some 16 months after my stage IV diagnosis.  Prior to retirement however, the only time I missed from work was for regular scheduled doctor appointments and the one month off when I had IL-2.

                                                                    Dick

                                                                    aldakota22
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      Continue to live and work Erin. I am stage IV and worked full time for the last 2 years until Feb.1 of this year when I retired from the USPS.That was only because there was an incentive to retire early.Do slow down when you must just to recharge .Remember even when we were cancer free we all can tire occassionally.All the best.Beat the Beast.  Al

                                                                      aldakota22
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Continue to live and work Erin. I am stage IV and worked full time for the last 2 years until Feb.1 of this year when I retired from the USPS.That was only because there was an incentive to retire early.Do slow down when you must just to recharge .Remember even when we were cancer free we all can tire occassionally.All the best.Beat the Beast.  Al

                                                                        aldakota22
                                                                        Participant

                                                                          Continue to live and work Erin. I am stage IV and worked full time for the last 2 years until Feb.1 of this year when I retired from the USPS.That was only because there was an incentive to retire early.Do slow down when you must just to recharge .Remember even when we were cancer free we all can tire occassionally.All the best.Beat the Beast.  Al

                                                                          Linny
                                                                          Participant

                                                                            If you are able to, and want to, why not work? When I see that those at Stage IV are working and going about their daily lives, it gives me hope and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees it as such. For you as the patient, it has to feel good mentally and emotionally to be able to go about your normal business. It's a good way to say, "Screw you, melanoma!"

                                                                            Linny
                                                                            Participant

                                                                              If you are able to, and want to, why not work? When I see that those at Stage IV are working and going about their daily lives, it gives me hope and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees it as such. For you as the patient, it has to feel good mentally and emotionally to be able to go about your normal business. It's a good way to say, "Screw you, melanoma!"

                                                                              Linny
                                                                              Participant

                                                                                If you are able to, and want to, why not work? When I see that those at Stage IV are working and going about their daily lives, it gives me hope and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees it as such. For you as the patient, it has to feel good mentally and emotionally to be able to go about your normal business. It's a good way to say, "Screw you, melanoma!"

                                                                                  Erinmay22
                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                    Thanks Everyone!  Was just curious of how folks were handling things.  I like being able to work (and do the other things I do).  Plus I am no where near retirement age…  Just found it interesting that people always sound surprised that I'm still doing so much.  I guess they probably get this image in their minds about what a cancer patient should look like and be? 

                                                                                    I do try and slow down when I start to get tired! 

                                                                                    Erinmay22
                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                      Thanks Everyone!  Was just curious of how folks were handling things.  I like being able to work (and do the other things I do).  Plus I am no where near retirement age…  Just found it interesting that people always sound surprised that I'm still doing so much.  I guess they probably get this image in their minds about what a cancer patient should look like and be? 

                                                                                      I do try and slow down when I start to get tired! 

                                                                                      Erinmay22
                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                        Thanks Everyone!  Was just curious of how folks were handling things.  I like being able to work (and do the other things I do).  Plus I am no where near retirement age…  Just found it interesting that people always sound surprised that I'm still doing so much.  I guess they probably get this image in their minds about what a cancer patient should look like and be? 

                                                                                        I do try and slow down when I start to get tired! 

                                                                                      JC
                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                        I think that's true, but I also think when people see someone who looks "fine" it's hard for them to believe how serious it really is

                                                                                        JC
                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                          I think that's true, but I also think when people see someone who looks "fine" it's hard for them to believe how serious it really is

                                                                                          JC
                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                            I think that's true, but I also think when people see someone who looks "fine" it's hard for them to believe how serious it really is

                                                                                            gabsound
                                                                                            Participant
                                                                                              Hi Erin,

                                                                                              I’m stage 4 about 2 years now. I worked part time while I did the one month high dose interferon. Had 3 surgeries the 1st year and just took time off needed to recover.I also took time off to do biochemo treatments and worked in between. Full time for me was 3 1/2 days a week. I was self employed doing diagnostic ultrasound on pregnant women. I love my job.

                                                                                              My last treatment was anti PD 1 which showed pretty dramatic progression at the 12 week scan. I also started to experience significant fatigue- just really dragging trying to get thru the day. My next treatment is chemo with Avastin, Abraxane and carboplatin. I decided at that point I would stop work. I applied for SS disability and was approved. No check for 6 months and you are not allowed to work at all during that time.

                                                                                              I’ve been off about a month now. I’ve had 3 chemo treatments. The first one really wore me out. Easily fatigued and out of breath. I couldn’t work like that. The good news is that 2 of my palpable tumors- one was completely gone in a week and another one has significantly decreased in size. My LDH also dropped about 500 points. So, it looks like it’s working.

                                                                                              This is a tough transition. I miss my job and the people I work with, but I can now rest when I need to. My weight dropped to 105 lbs, so I consider eating to be part of my job. I try to do some exercise every day even when I’m tired and have sought out a great place that offers classes for cancer pts. I’ve started doing some yoga and meditation. I’m spending more time with my husband and daughter as well as my other sisters.

                                                                                              Obviously, I still hope I recover to the point where I could return to work, but for now this is how I’m living my life. And, I’m glad to be here and doing it!!!!!!!

                                                                                              Thought I would give you a different perspective.

                                                                                              Julie

                                                                                              gabsound
                                                                                              Participant
                                                                                                Hi Erin,

                                                                                                I’m stage 4 about 2 years now. I worked part time while I did the one month high dose interferon. Had 3 surgeries the 1st year and just took time off needed to recover.I also took time off to do biochemo treatments and worked in between. Full time for me was 3 1/2 days a week. I was self employed doing diagnostic ultrasound on pregnant women. I love my job.

                                                                                                My last treatment was anti PD 1 which showed pretty dramatic progression at the 12 week scan. I also started to experience significant fatigue- just really dragging trying to get thru the day. My next treatment is chemo with Avastin, Abraxane and carboplatin. I decided at that point I would stop work. I applied for SS disability and was approved. No check for 6 months and you are not allowed to work at all during that time.

                                                                                                I’ve been off about a month now. I’ve had 3 chemo treatments. The first one really wore me out. Easily fatigued and out of breath. I couldn’t work like that. The good news is that 2 of my palpable tumors- one was completely gone in a week and another one has significantly decreased in size. My LDH also dropped about 500 points. So, it looks like it’s working.

                                                                                                This is a tough transition. I miss my job and the people I work with, but I can now rest when I need to. My weight dropped to 105 lbs, so I consider eating to be part of my job. I try to do some exercise every day even when I’m tired and have sought out a great place that offers classes for cancer pts. I’ve started doing some yoga and meditation. I’m spending more time with my husband and daughter as well as my other sisters.

                                                                                                Obviously, I still hope I recover to the point where I could return to work, but for now this is how I’m living my life. And, I’m glad to be here and doing it!!!!!!!

                                                                                                Thought I would give you a different perspective.

                                                                                                Julie

                                                                                                gabsound
                                                                                                Participant
                                                                                                  Hi Erin,

                                                                                                  I’m stage 4 about 2 years now. I worked part time while I did the one month high dose interferon. Had 3 surgeries the 1st year and just took time off needed to recover.I also took time off to do biochemo treatments and worked in between. Full time for me was 3 1/2 days a week. I was self employed doing diagnostic ultrasound on pregnant women. I love my job.

                                                                                                  My last treatment was anti PD 1 which showed pretty dramatic progression at the 12 week scan. I also started to experience significant fatigue- just really dragging trying to get thru the day. My next treatment is chemo with Avastin, Abraxane and carboplatin. I decided at that point I would stop work. I applied for SS disability and was approved. No check for 6 months and you are not allowed to work at all during that time.

                                                                                                  I’ve been off about a month now. I’ve had 3 chemo treatments. The first one really wore me out. Easily fatigued and out of breath. I couldn’t work like that. The good news is that 2 of my palpable tumors- one was completely gone in a week and another one has significantly decreased in size. My LDH also dropped about 500 points. So, it looks like it’s working.

                                                                                                  This is a tough transition. I miss my job and the people I work with, but I can now rest when I need to. My weight dropped to 105 lbs, so I consider eating to be part of my job. I try to do some exercise every day even when I’m tired and have sought out a great place that offers classes for cancer pts. I’ve started doing some yoga and meditation. I’m spending more time with my husband and daughter as well as my other sisters.

                                                                                                  Obviously, I still hope I recover to the point where I could return to work, but for now this is how I’m living my life. And, I’m glad to be here and doing it!!!!!!!

                                                                                                  Thought I would give you a different perspective.

                                                                                                  Julie

                                                                                                  LynnLuc
                                                                                                  Participant

                                                                                                    I worked full time for 10 months and then stopped. I needed time off. I did 30 months of anti pd 1. I am stage 4 and NED for 3 years now. I think its good to work as it does get your mind off of it all…a part or "normal" life is important…however most stage 4 are fighting for their lives and I doubt they can physical and or mentally in some cases, work full time. As stage 4 a person is fast tracked to get SSI/SSDI. I don't know that they approve stage 3 people and I know many of them doing interferon have a real difficult time.-Lynn

                                                                                                    LynnLuc
                                                                                                    Participant

                                                                                                      I worked full time for 10 months and then stopped. I needed time off. I did 30 months of anti pd 1. I am stage 4 and NED for 3 years now. I think its good to work as it does get your mind off of it all…a part or "normal" life is important…however most stage 4 are fighting for their lives and I doubt they can physical and or mentally in some cases, work full time. As stage 4 a person is fast tracked to get SSI/SSDI. I don't know that they approve stage 3 people and I know many of them doing interferon have a real difficult time.-Lynn

                                                                                                      LynnLuc
                                                                                                      Participant

                                                                                                        I worked full time for 10 months and then stopped. I needed time off. I did 30 months of anti pd 1. I am stage 4 and NED for 3 years now. I think its good to work as it does get your mind off of it all…a part or "normal" life is important…however most stage 4 are fighting for their lives and I doubt they can physical and or mentally in some cases, work full time. As stage 4 a person is fast tracked to get SSI/SSDI. I don't know that they approve stage 3 people and I know many of them doing interferon have a real difficult time.-Lynn

                                                                                                        dellriol
                                                                                                        Participant

                                                                                                          I am stage IV with mets to lungs and brain.  It was a very difficult decision for me to stop work, but I did.  I was working 10 hr days as a teacher in a men's prison, and didn't really feel secure in working there with some of the physical problems I had as a result of my 1st brain met. I also didn't feel that I could handle the long days. In addition, I was blessed to have insurance that covered most of my salary.  When I left my job it felt as though I was giving up and letting cancer win. I've realized though that this was probably the best choice I could make, and it allows me to stay strong in the fight. I still miss my job, but I meet with the others there often, and stay busy between family, exercise, and Drs.

                                                                                                          dellriol
                                                                                                          Participant

                                                                                                            I am stage IV with mets to lungs and brain.  It was a very difficult decision for me to stop work, but I did.  I was working 10 hr days as a teacher in a men's prison, and didn't really feel secure in working there with some of the physical problems I had as a result of my 1st brain met. I also didn't feel that I could handle the long days. In addition, I was blessed to have insurance that covered most of my salary.  When I left my job it felt as though I was giving up and letting cancer win. I've realized though that this was probably the best choice I could make, and it allows me to stay strong in the fight. I still miss my job, but I meet with the others there often, and stay busy between family, exercise, and Drs.

                                                                                                            dellriol
                                                                                                            Participant

                                                                                                              I am stage IV with mets to lungs and brain.  It was a very difficult decision for me to stop work, but I did.  I was working 10 hr days as a teacher in a men's prison, and didn't really feel secure in working there with some of the physical problems I had as a result of my 1st brain met. I also didn't feel that I could handle the long days. In addition, I was blessed to have insurance that covered most of my salary.  When I left my job it felt as though I was giving up and letting cancer win. I've realized though that this was probably the best choice I could make, and it allows me to stay strong in the fight. I still miss my job, but I meet with the others there often, and stay busy between family, exercise, and Drs.

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