Learning About Breast Cancer
Hi! I finished treatment for Stage III breast cancer in 2006. I had a total of 8 treatments, 4 with AC and 4 with T. It was high dose intensive regimen every two weeks. I am an R.N. who works as an elementary school nurse with just under 800 students ages 3 – 12 years.
One of my major questions for my oncologist was about my ability to work during treatment. He said there was no problem with my working. So, work I did. My treatments were on Tuesday afternoons. I had no nausea, vomiting from the treatments. I felt fine with my usual energy until about 24 hours after chemo. Around the 24 hour mark after I finished AC chemo, “the curtain would come down”. I slept/rested for the next 3 days, until Saturday evening. About 72 hours after the “curtain came down”; it lifted as if it had never been there and I went about my business & life as usual for 11 days. Then, I had the next treatment and the cycle repeated itself for the next 3 sessions. My second 4 treatments were different. I did not have the curtain come down like the first 4 treatments. I felt like I was running at about 50 – 75% after T chemo. I rested when I needed to and moved about as I could. I think I took off the rest of the week, W – F, during all 8 treatments.
After about 1 month of my return to working M – F, I found I was getting really tired after 2 days at work, so I began to take Wednesdays off. I could tolerate 2 days at work, 1 day off and working another 2 before a 2 day weekend. I continued that for several months.
I had great family & friend support, a wonderful sub who worked almost every day I needed off and a Handicap tag for my car. Parking close to the building saved energy for the work there was to be done. When people offer help & support, say yes and thank you! Be gentle with and kind to yourself!