SpringerSpanielMommy wrote: I have been able to balance working and having my clients not know what is going on with my diagnosis or treatment as it would be destructive to my business. Any hints on what to do to power through the systemic chemo as strongly as possible will be appreciated. I will be taking oxaliplatin, 5 fu and leucovorin for 6 months.
Congrats on winding down with the radiation treatments, one hurdle about to be complete! Gotta celebrate these small victories when we can.
So I did 8 rounds of FOLFOX and I am a high school teacher (fortunately I have been part-time for past ten years so that was a big reason it was do-able to work through chemo as well). My students had no idea as did most of the other staff (only a small handful did I share with that I had cancer) that I was going through all of that. It will be based on your insurance, but when you go to have your chemo teaching session, inquire about the small tennis-ball shaped pump. It makes no noise and by the next day after the infusion starts it can easily be tucked in a pocket with the small tubing and truly, no one will have a clue. I also was clever with what I wore—scarves to hide my neck/chest area so no one would see the port/tape over it, tops that were flowing and long enough to cover over the pump in my pocket.
It is no cliche to say that we all respond differently—my experience was that I felt an overall sense of feeling crummy from infusion day (I always went in on Mondays), but by Saturday I started to come back around. I never once felt nauseous, got the meds for it just in case but never touched them. After the fourth round I could tell it was wearing me out more so for the last four rounds, I always took the day after my disconnect off from work and that made a world of difference. I would come back in on Friday and be able to get through that one day of work and have the weekend to rest up and enjoy my off week as much as one can during such a situation. I say all of this to let you know that there is such a wide range of experiences from these treatments. Some things you can generally count on like cold sensitivity and feeling cruddy, but the degree and range of side effects is unique to each individual. I went all 8 treatments with hardly any neuropathy to speak of in my feet, but my hands were definitely starting to feel it. Well, a month after my last treatment the neuropathy kicked in to high gear and now, two years later I still have the constant uncomfortable feeling in my feet, don’t see that I will ever casually walk barefoot again and am just trying to accept that this is my new normal. My hands however are fine, just once in a long while I notice them get an arthritic feeling, but then it goes away after I move them a bit. My experience with FOLFOX was that it was miserable, but tolerable. Be prepared to feel like crap, but also know that it may not be as bad for your body.
Thanks for coming back to let us know how it’s going. Always nice to hear when someone completes a stage of the process. Best of luck and know that we are here if you need us!