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Working while on xeloda

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Working while on xeloda

Postby Blessed » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:38 am

I have been on Xeloda for 2 months now, I am 7 days on 7 days off. I tried going back to my retail job, during the holidays I might add, only to find I could not handle it. I am starting a new office job on Monday and hoping that it will be tolerable as I cannot afford to be off work any longer. My side effects so far have been, body aches, joint pain, extreme fatigue and I am so irritable. Please send me any suggestions or comments that might help me.. Oh and happy holidays to all!! :)
Sigmoid colon surgery Oct 3 2011
stage 2 t3 No Mo moderate differentials / 49 yrs old
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Blessed » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:46 am

Also, If you are working and on Xeloda please let me know. It is very encouraging to hear others experience.
Sigmoid colon surgery Oct 3 2011
stage 2 t3 No Mo moderate differentials / 49 yrs old
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby juliej » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:14 am

Blessed wrote:Also, If you are working and on Xeloda please let me know. It is very encouraging to hear others experience.

I worked the entire 14 months I was on Xeloda. I have a technical job, so my work is usually done at a desk. It could be that working retail was just too much time on your feet. Hopefully, you'll feel much better at your new office job. I enjoy my job so that makes it easier. But I also like the distraction -- it provides a window of time where I can't dwell on the cancer and life feels, well, more "normal."

One other thing that helped me a lot with side effects was getting some exercise every day. Exercise (even as little as a short walk) stimulates endorphins in your body. Endorphins are the body’s ‘natural opiates’ because they trigger the same nerve cells as morphine and other drugs, giving them the ability to produce natural painkillers and induce a feeling of well-being. I often started a bike ride or a hike feeling tired, sluggish, and a little nauseous -- only to end it feeling hungry and recharged.

Hang in there! Xeloda is usually an easy drug for most people (not all, but most). The job change should help a lot -- although do think about taking a walk whenever you're feeling achy and irritable.

Sending good thoughts your way,
Julie
Stage IV, liver/lung mets 8/4/2010
Xelox+Avastin 8/18/10 to 10/21/11
LAR, liver resec, HAI pump 11/11
Double lung surgery + ileo reversal 2/12
Adjuvant Xeloda 3-9/12
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Blessed » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:23 am

Julie, thank you so very much!! That is exactly what I was looking to hear. I agree in that I am looking forward to feeling "normal" and not focusing on the cancer or treatment. Thanks for the encouragment. I got this!!!!!!
Sigmoid colon surgery Oct 3 2011
stage 2 t3 No Mo moderate differentials / 49 yrs old
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Ashlee H. » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:46 am

I've been on Xeloda for 5 months and have been working 40 hours a week. I find on my work days, I don't do anything else but work and rest. I do my errands and chores on my off days - and then I usually take a nap. I find I really need 8-9 hours a sleep, and Ambien helps with that. I'm on a pretty low dose (1000 mg x 2), and except for dryness, haven't had an issue with hands/feet. I also enjoy my job very much, and it is nice to have hours that I don't even think about the cancer. I'll be going back on FOLFIRI in January, and not sure how I'm going to work through that. Figure for six months I'll be doing nothing but work, doctors appointments and sleep. The chores will just have to be put on hold 'cause FOLFIRI really wipes me out. But, I have to work, so I will find a way to balance work and chemo.
Last edited by Ashlee H. on Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby BrownBagger » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:58 am

Same experience as Julie. Exercise really seems to help me. I'm also on the week-on/week-off Xeloda routine. My only noticeable side effect is that I get much more sleep. But that's OK--I like to sleep and I'm good at it. But yes, establish an exercise routine and stick with it and I bet you'll feel a whole lot better.
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 82
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Blessed » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:11 am

I am taking a rather high dose not sure why. I take 4 500mg twice a day thats 4000mg a day, this seems higher than what some of you have mentioned. Just curious what your dosage is.
Sigmoid colon surgery Oct 3 2011
stage 2 t3 No Mo moderate differentials / 49 yrs old
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby juliej » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:27 am

Blessed wrote:I am taking a rather high dose not sure why. I take 4 500mg twice a day thats 4000mg a day, this seems higher than what some of you have mentioned. Just curious what your dosage is.

I took three 500 mg tablets twice a day, adding up to 3000 mg a day. The dosage is usually calculated according to the body surface area -- although it can be reduced if the side effects are too bothersome.

It really worked well on my cancer. Hopefully it will work great for you too! However, if the side effects get to be too much, do ask about a reduction in dosage. Also, if your insurance isn't covering the total cost of the pills, check out the Xeloda Co-Pay Card. It's provided by Genentech (the manufacturers of Xeloda) and covers 80% of your out-of-pocket expenses.

http://www.xeloda.com/financial/co-pay-program/
Stage IV, liver/lung mets 8/4/2010
Xelox+Avastin 8/18/10 to 10/21/11
LAR, liver resec, HAI pump 11/11
Double lung surgery + ileo reversal 2/12
Adjuvant Xeloda 3-9/12
VATS rt. lung 12/21/12 - benign granuloma!
NED 3/17/12 to 9/8/14, CEA<1
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby BrownBagger » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:12 pm

I take 3,600 mg a day. I've had as much as 4,000 mg in other treatment regimes.
Eric, 56
Dx: 3/09, Stage 4 RC
Recurrences: (3/lung)
Major Ops: 5
Chemo Rounds (career): 82
Bicycle miles post-dx 10,346
Motto: Live your life like it's going to be a long one, because it just might, and then you'll be glad you did.
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Bob_Weiss » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:37 pm

I had 10 rounds of Xeloda in the months after surgery (1 round= 1wk ON/1 wk OFF). It was 3,000mg daily and the side effects related to hand/foot only--quite bearable.
Diagnosis: Stage 3 R/C -1 node+ ( 7/09)
5 weeks radiation with 2 weeks chemo: 5FU (8-9/09)
Rectal surgery: total tumor removal (11/09)
10 rounds Xeloda: 3000mg daily- 1wk on/1 wk off (1/10-6/10)
NED Supplements: Aspirin, Calcium, Vitamin D3
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby KarMel » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:57 pm

I have been on Xeloda since late april. I initially was on 2500/day. In Augy, when my feet started peeling, my onc lowered the dose to 2000mg/day. Recently, they have started peeling again. I haven't seen him in 3 weeks, so he may lower the dose again,

I have many of the same symptoms you do, but I don't know what is from Xeloda, what is from arthritis, thyroid disorder (which is being checked into, currently), or just from getting chemo every 3 weeks and having cancer.. I am off Xeloda, this week, and yes, the fatigue is a bit better, but not much. I still want to go to bed around 8 or 9 pm. I usually get up at 6 a.m.

Yes, I work sorta full time. I work in a medical office, we have patients Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday is always day off. Friday mornings I either have chemo every 3rd Friday or I am at hospital working in the OR. Last Friday, we had to do 4 surgerys, and I was exhausted by the end of the day.

I think exercise would really help, but besides walking the dog daily, I don't always make time.

Best wishes and happy holidays.
Stage IV, April 2009.
Treatments...multiple .
Currently none
"It is well, with my soul"
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Guinevere » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:47 pm

I take 3000 mg a day for two weeks and then off all chemo for one week. I'm only able to work part-time.
Hrt atk - Feb 11
CRC4 DX - Apr 11
APR liver rsct, procto - Jul 11
Folfox/Avastin - Sep 11
Xeliri - Nov 11
Iritux - Jun 12
Break - Jan - Mar 13
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby horizon » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:57 pm

I take six pills a day for two week and then have a week off. The only side effect has been mild hand/foot. It hasn't prevented me from working and exercising, which I have been very thankful for.
I'm just a dude who still can't believe he had a resection and went through chemo (currently NED). Is this real life?
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby Jachut » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:27 pm

I had 5FU, but I was in the lucky position to not have to work during treatment. However, although having time to rest, recouperate and gear up for the next treatment sounds like luxury, I found it boring, depressing and anxiety provoking to not be productive and earning some money. I am a teacher and didnt have a job for 2011 because I didnt apply for one, on purpose. About halfway through chemo I decided I was going to go nuts, I needed to get out of my own head and join the land of the living, having lunch with my mum every day was nice, but not enough. I got myself a casual job teaching gymnastics at a primary school.

Boy! That was a physical job. I had to unload a trailer full of equipment, set it up, teach seven classes, take all the equipment down, and reload the trailer. I had to demonstrate forward rolls, handstands, cartwheels etc - I"m 44 and hadnt done any of those things for 20 years. I worked on a Friday, the day after my chemo, feeling nauseous, loaded up on Zofran and with chemo diarrhoea (and an ileostomy). It about killed me, seriously. But I couldnt have been happier. At least I was doing something worthwhile.

I think you've done completey the right thing, found a job you think you can handle, but money aside, dont underestimate how good for you working and being productive and distracted from yourself can be. It may seem like it would be easier just not to have to do it, but if you can manage it, its really good for your mental health. Hang in there!
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Re: Working while on xeloda

Postby jenny B.I.L. » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:29 pm

HI Blessed, my brotherinlaw has continued to work 6ohr week while on xeloda has been at least a year, he had to stop heavy manually work, but drives machinery mainly. He too finds himself getting irratable around people so gave up supervisor position. Says work is keeping him going. Wishing you all the best with new Job.
Graham dx June 2010 Colon resection July 2010
Numerous Liver Met Stage 1v. No colostomy bag
Usually chemo Tx Been only on xeloda june2011
Best Brother inlaw in world
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