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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Working During Cancer Treatments?

I hear about people working and continuing with their lives all the time and it's crazy to me because I was totally bedridden. I couldn't breathe if I moved. I would go into crazy coughing fits and feel like knives were stabbing me in my left shoulder. After several chemos I was feeling a ton better though still very tired and weak. I had a hard time standing for long, much less cleaning the house. I was pregnant as well, so I wonder how much of it was the combination of the two. I did have a specialist tell me without treatment I wouldn't last 3 weeks though. So I was obviously pretty bad. I hate that I never had a specific determination of staging. I could not have a CT or a PET scan. I was pregnant. I had an MRI initially and they saw the tumor but they had to biopsy it to confirm it. The MRI was only of my upper body so I was always left with this nagging curiosity about what stage I was? I read the papers my doc sent with me to the specialist. He referred to it as a large bulky tumor. I know it was up in the lower part of my neck and in my chest. He once referred to it as a volleyball...which if you know me, you know there isn't a lot of room in my chest for a volleyball.

I go to school with a woman who has been battling cancer yet she perseveres and I have so much respect for her. When people see her and think wow, good for her. I think wow, oh my God, isn't she tired? Are her legs burning from standing so long? Is she out of breath? Does she feel faint? How is her pain? I know how I felt and I know I could not have worked. I couldn't stand in front of the stove to cook. I was about 28 weeks pregnant when I went to a wedding and even then I watched in envy while others danced at the reception because I could not do it. I didn't have the energy and it made me hate everyone who did. Luckily that is all behind me now. I just can't imagine having cancer and working or going through school. I know how hard it is. I couldn't have pushed myself. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't stand. I couldn't move....until after several treatments. If others were too sick to work, or if you were able to work leave a comment. I'm curious how many others were in the same position as myself without the ability of getting around like that.

1 comment:

Anne said...

I know I had trouble powering through when I was pregnant alone so adding cancer on top of that would be totally debilitating. Everyone is different and has a different situation so don't compare your response to anyone else's.