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Return to work after Ovarian Cancer
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Return to work after Ovarian Cancer

I'm just wondering how much time people who completed chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer took off from work. I am wanting to return after finishing chemo at the end of February, but am still quite fatigued. My employer has informed me that I am to be returning to 12hr shifts. I know that I am unable to stand on my feet for 12hrs. They will do a gradual return to work, but the way I feel now, I am seriously wondering if I will ever have the energy to complete a 12 hr shift. Any thoughts ro suggestions would be appreciated. (I do recieve insurance and am on short term disability with no pressure from the insurance company to return at this point)
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8 Comments
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Are you in the U.S.?  You might want to do some online research on the Americans With Disabilities act.  You would definitely be covered by those laws if you still have fatigue from chemo.
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Hello, Tybear...dian here....my chemo was finished back in September of '05.....I am still more tired than I used to be...I require more sleep than ever before in my life.....I am not depressed so I know it is from the chemo...I am lucky to be an at-home-mom these days, and I was 55 yr at the time of chemo and I know age does make a difference.  Still, chemo smacks us pretty good right upside the head! I am certain it is different for each of us...many variables to consider. Please don't push any harder than you must....give yourself the break you deserve...you are a recovering veteran.....let someone else help carry the burden as long as possible.
Peace.
dian
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Avatar_f_tn
I can only speak from my own experience but I finished chemo the first part November and wasn't able to return to work until mid-January and that was only part time.  I was extremely fatigued and there was no way I would be able to be up on my feet for 12 hours.  I know that everyone reacts differently to treatment so you may bounce back sooner than I did.  But I have to say that it's been 6 months and I'm only now beginning to feel like my old self.

Hope things work out for you.  Wishing you the best.

Christa
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Avatar_n_tn
No way!  Ditto the comments regarding ADA legislation.  Who is your disability provider?  Do more research into the disability coverage and your rights to that coverage, and DO NOT let yourself be conned into returning to a 12 hour shift, much less a 12 hour shift that requires you to be on your feet.  

Even at this stage, your body is "fragile."  Normal daily functions that we take for granted, functions such as bone growth, injury repair, and immnunity have been "stunted" during the months of your treatment and must recover.  Most commonly, a cancer patient needs four months or more to recover sufficiently to work.  In fact, in my experience, doctors often request that the patient have a post-treatment follow-up visit at which time a return to work is discussed, and in some cases, the return to work is approved in writing. (Often this stage is dependent upon the nature of the work/medical coverage system, such as when a corporation has contractual health care coverage with an HMO.)  Ask.
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Avatar_n_tn
I read that it takes two years to fully feel like yourself after one round of six chemo's.  I'm just five weeks off my last and although I'm working as much as my usual schedule it didn't include a 12 on-the-feet schedule.  I'm feeling a general fatigue and lack of energy that isn't usual for me, so I give myself time to veg :)
I hear that the energy does come back!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have worked throughout my ordeal with OVCA. I was back to work 6 weeks after my surgery and have worked through first round of chemo and am now working through chemo for my first recurrance. I do have a job where I can sit all day. I think this helps a lot. I work for a very small company and have no disability insurance. I am a single mom of three and have no choice but to work. I have dragged myself to work on days that I felt like death. I sometimes wish that I could just stay home and sleep and recover. I do enjoy my work and feel that is is a distraction from the OVCA. What do you ladies do that puts you on your feet for a 12 hout shift? I know that I could NEVER do that! I am fortunate to have an office job. All of you awsome ladies are in my thoughts and peayers!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have not been able to work at all, ecept for babysitting or things like that. When diagnosed in 2003 I applied for my Social Security and upon receving it it gave me three years before I am to be evaluated again which will be this Aug. Since recently finishing chemo I do not think that I will be able to go back in Aug, at least not full time. This social security amount I get is $860 a month minus medical so I receive $717. a month. This did not even equal one of my paychecks so readjusting has been a difficult thing even three years later, Thank GoD for family and good friends. I had too wait a year and a half until you get Medicare and then they pay 80% of your medical bills. I do know gals that can work and I am amazed by their stamina and drive. Hopefully you will be in that category!!  Good luck and let me know how it goes... Kathy
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Avatar_n_tn
Like BevinMD I too had to drag myself into work the day after chemo.  I opened a flower shop in Oct'05 and was dignosed with Ovarian Cancer two months later.  My husband watch the shop the nine days I was in the hospital.  But within a week a was back and chemo started the following week.  I did the six rounds and each time the effects worsened.  But, I was only able to take the day of chemo off because there was noone to watch the shop.  It was very, very hard to come in and be the smiley flower lady when you feel like ****.  But I do attribute my being so busy helped the pschological process.  I am no a year and half from time of surgery and feel most of the time pretty to good.  Business is "blooming" there has been no time to be sick.  If you have short term disability and no one is bugging you to go back to work...stay home rest...but keep your mind busy.
kxmorga
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