Chemo and Working

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I am awaiting my results following surgery but it is likely that I will need chemo.

I currently only work weekends. Am I likely to be able to do this whilst undergoing chemo treatment? I know there are likely to be side effects but I was wondering how long these last after each treatment? 

I was wondering if I might not feel well enough to work the week of my chemo treatment, but I might be well enough to work in the weeks before my next cycle?

I guess it depends on each individual but I'm just looking to see what the "normal" is really and if it's even likely to be a possibility.


  • I was retired by the time I had to have chemotherapy for my type of blood cancer.

    There is a real risk of infection when going through and between cycles of chemo so care needs to be taken to control infection contacts.

    Generally it takes about 2-3 days for the body to break down and/or get rid of most chemo drugs. But the effects of the chemo on growth areas and your general immune system will last for weeks so it us important to remember that you may well be more open to infections at about days 7-14 as this tends to be the window when our immune system is at its lowest……. then the body recovers in time for your next cycle….. but the more chemo you have the longer the recovery can take so by the end of treatment it could take a few months this to recover completely.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • I guess it will depend on the type of chemotherapy that you have and how your body reacts. I had weekly chemotherapy and was able to work, but when I had a 3 weekly cycle I was too poorly to work for a week after each of the 4 sessions. . 

  • I’m on a 3 weekly cycle and I’m completely wiped out for a week after each session. I’m usually off for that week.

  • It's very individual how you will react and does.depend on your chemo regime. I had three weekly cycle 4 ec and 3 docetaxel. I was fortunately well enough to work throughout for the majority on reduced hours and only from home. My oncologist encouraged me to work but only from home due to infection risk.