Chemo and Work is it possible?

Hi I have just had my second op as the first one didn’t remove all the tumour. I am now waiting to see my Oncologist in 3 weeks and will be having Chemo followed by radiotherapy I am advised. Is it possible to carry on working during chemo or did you find this too much ? I work with animals and my GP advised not to as my immune system would be knocked out . Any thoughts ? I am self employed and am worried I will lose all my customers while I am off having treatment ! 

  • Hi Bonny

    Welcome to the forum and sorry that you have been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Everyone’s treatment journey is different.  Whether you continue to work depends on how you are feeling.  I found it easier not to work while I was undergoing my treatment as I work in the public service and COVID was at it’s height when I had breast cancer.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your treatment.

    Best wishes


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  • Hi Bonny

    I did work during Chemo but it was work for ten days, then chemo and off for ten days. I work from home so that was easier and it certainly helped me focus on the end of treatment. I finished Chemo and radiotherapy about 4 months ago and feel exhausted still!

    Hope you find a good balance x

  • It’s worth unpicking with your oncologist exactly how the chemo will affect your immunity. I had 4 cycles of EC (3-weekly) and am currently having 12 weeks of weekly Paclitaxel. On the former, I had bone marrow stimulating injections for 5 days starting on day 5 to boost my white blood cells, and was told that my highest risk period was days 10-14 of the cycle. On Paclitaxel there isn’t so much impact on white blood cells. Different chemo combinations will have different impacts and timings. I am not sure any medic is going to advise you to do something that might put you at risk, but if you are armed with as much knowledge as possible you might be able to decide how and when you can work and what mitigations to put in place (FFP3 masks and as much protection from skin cuts as possible, for example). 

    I am retired but am on various Boards and have been able to keep on top of desk work with some meetings thrown in.