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Working and Interferon

Forums General Melanoma Community Working and Interferon

  • Post
    churchwelldana
    Participant

    So far I am stage 3a. I had my PET/CT scan today and will go back to the doctor tomorrow to discuss the results. Hopefully all will be clear and I will soon start Interferon. I hear that the side effects can be very bad. I know that everyone handles the treatments differently but I would like some advice about working while taking the treatments. I am a 4th grade teacher and I leave feeling tired every day even when I feel healthy! Other than my own ability to be able to push through I am concerned about the children in my class.

    So far I am stage 3a. I had my PET/CT scan today and will go back to the doctor tomorrow to discuss the results. Hopefully all will be clear and I will soon start Interferon. I hear that the side effects can be very bad. I know that everyone handles the treatments differently but I would like some advice about working while taking the treatments. I am a 4th grade teacher and I leave feeling tired every day even when I feel healthy! Other than my own ability to be able to push through I am concerned about the children in my class. I want them to have an effective teacher, not sure if that will be possible while on this drug. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Replies
      King
      Participant

      That's great that you will get your PET/CT scan results so quickly.  Wishing you the best.

      As you already know, everyone handles Interferon differently.  The very common side effects are fatigue and inability to focus/concentrate.  Some people find the need for an anti-depressant, have poor appetites, etc….the list goes on.  Take one day at a time.

      I'm a nurse and there is no way that I could have worked.  I couldn't trust my judgement nor did I have the energy.  Hopefully, Amy from Michigan will see your post and respond.  She's a teacher and did a year of Interferon.  I would highly recommend taking off the 4 weeks of high dose (would probably have to just for scheduling reasons if nothing else).  And, as far as the other 11 months, you might just have to wait and see.  

      I think I managed to get through the 12 months of Interferon because my only responsibility was me.  If I wanted to take a nap, I could.  Rest is very important for the body.

       

      Keep us posted.

      Stay Strong

      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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      King
      Participant

      That's great that you will get your PET/CT scan results so quickly.  Wishing you the best.

      As you already know, everyone handles Interferon differently.  The very common side effects are fatigue and inability to focus/concentrate.  Some people find the need for an anti-depressant, have poor appetites, etc….the list goes on.  Take one day at a time.

      I'm a nurse and there is no way that I could have worked.  I couldn't trust my judgement nor did I have the energy.  Hopefully, Amy from Michigan will see your post and respond.  She's a teacher and did a year of Interferon.  I would highly recommend taking off the 4 weeks of high dose (would probably have to just for scheduling reasons if nothing else).  And, as far as the other 11 months, you might just have to wait and see.  

      I think I managed to get through the 12 months of Interferon because my only responsibility was me.  If I wanted to take a nap, I could.  Rest is very important for the body.

       

      Keep us posted.

      Stay Strong

      King

      Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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      akls
      Participant

      Hi!  I did a year of interferon March 09/ to March/10.  I am a teacher (high school computers) and I took the first month of IV's off.  There was just no way I could have worked during that month.  I did go back a week after completing the IV's.  I will admit I had days that I was not 100%, but I had days that I was.  I ended up only missing 11 days while on the shot treatment and most of that time was due to infections I had contracted at school.  A couple days I took off because my fevers on the interferon weren't controllable by meds.  It's hard to get a sub in the area I teach.  I teach computer networking, web design and repair.  Even when I was home, I was grading all of my papers and I was in charge of  assigning their projects and assignments. 

      I talked to administration and laid it out for them.   I offered to take a disability for the year, or to work to the best of my ability when I could.  They were all in favor of my working as much as I could and taking off days when needed.  They were probably the biggest factor as far as my decision making.  I was very fortunate to have understanding administrators. 

      My students knew I was not at my best.  I was upfront with them from the start.  We even had a count down to the end of treatment and an ice cream social to celebrate.  I think including them in my adventure actually made things easier for them and for me.  I realize that 4th grade is different and maybe that wouldn't be appropriate at that age level.  Just my experience.

      You may find that interferon is easier for you then for others or it may be more difficult.  I told myself I would do it as long as I could and as long as I wasn't making everyone around me miserable.  I made it the year with lots of help and lots of medication for side effects.

      If you would like to email me feel free.  It isn't easy, but many have done it and been successful with it.

      Good luck to you and keep us posted on how you are doing.

      Take Care,

      Amy S. in Michigan

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      akls
      Participant

      Hi!  I did a year of interferon March 09/ to March/10.  I am a teacher (high school computers) and I took the first month of IV's off.  There was just no way I could have worked during that month.  I did go back a week after completing the IV's.  I will admit I had days that I was not 100%, but I had days that I was.  I ended up only missing 11 days while on the shot treatment and most of that time was due to infections I had contracted at school.  A couple days I took off because my fevers on the interferon weren't controllable by meds.  It's hard to get a sub in the area I teach.  I teach computer networking, web design and repair.  Even when I was home, I was grading all of my papers and I was in charge of  assigning their projects and assignments. 

      I talked to administration and laid it out for them.   I offered to take a disability for the year, or to work to the best of my ability when I could.  They were all in favor of my working as much as I could and taking off days when needed.  They were probably the biggest factor as far as my decision making.  I was very fortunate to have understanding administrators. 

      My students knew I was not at my best.  I was upfront with them from the start.  We even had a count down to the end of treatment and an ice cream social to celebrate.  I think including them in my adventure actually made things easier for them and for me.  I realize that 4th grade is different and maybe that wouldn't be appropriate at that age level.  Just my experience.

      You may find that interferon is easier for you then for others or it may be more difficult.  I told myself I would do it as long as I could and as long as I wasn't making everyone around me miserable.  I made it the year with lots of help and lots of medication for side effects.

      If you would like to email me feel free.  It isn't easy, but many have done it and been successful with it.

      Good luck to you and keep us posted on how you are doing.

      Take Care,

      Amy S. in Michigan

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      Fen
      Participant

      Interferon hit me really hard and heavy and there was no way I could have worked – I teach also.  the first month was awful – chills, vomiting marathons, abysmal depression and fatigue.  Things didn't get much better for the 6 months of self-injections.  I was in a wheelchair toward the simply due to fatigue.  Most days I was too tired to shower.  My husband used to kid me about putting me in the back of the truck so he could go hose me off.  I was no spring chicken at the time (56-7) but in good health prior to diagnosis.  I quit the day I blew up at an old friend who had come over to help.

      I hope – frankly I'm pretty sure – your experience won't be that bad, but it does do a number on some.

      Let us know how it goes. Here's hoping you sail through!

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      Fen
      Participant

      Interferon hit me really hard and heavy and there was no way I could have worked – I teach also.  the first month was awful – chills, vomiting marathons, abysmal depression and fatigue.  Things didn't get much better for the 6 months of self-injections.  I was in a wheelchair toward the simply due to fatigue.  Most days I was too tired to shower.  My husband used to kid me about putting me in the back of the truck so he could go hose me off.  I was no spring chicken at the time (56-7) but in good health prior to diagnosis.  I quit the day I blew up at an old friend who had come over to help.

      I hope – frankly I'm pretty sure – your experience won't be that bad, but it does do a number on some.

      Let us know how it goes. Here's hoping you sail through!

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      Great news on the PET scan!  Yahoo! 

      I too am a teacher or at least I was before moving to Switzerland in Aug. 2009.  I opted for doing only the high dose interferon for one month.  I definitely took the 5 weeks off before returning to work.  The benedryl that I was given before the IV as well as the interferon made me sleepy and feverish for all 5 days a week.  Work would have been impossible.  I can't speak for the low dose.  I did not take that option.  As a teacher, depending on the willingness of the school board and availability of subs, maybe you could work half days.  I know the feeling of leaving a  class of students but you DO have to do what is best for you. 

      Good luck and know that there is lots of prayer action going here. 

      Take care.

      Peace and light,

      Shelly in Switzerland

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      Great news on the PET scan!  Yahoo! 

      I too am a teacher or at least I was before moving to Switzerland in Aug. 2009.  I opted for doing only the high dose interferon for one month.  I definitely took the 5 weeks off before returning to work.  The benedryl that I was given before the IV as well as the interferon made me sleepy and feverish for all 5 days a week.  Work would have been impossible.  I can't speak for the low dose.  I did not take that option.  As a teacher, depending on the willingness of the school board and availability of subs, maybe you could work half days.  I know the feeling of leaving a  class of students but you DO have to do what is best for you. 

      Good luck and know that there is lots of prayer action going here. 

      Take care.

      Peace and light,

      Shelly in Switzerland

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