advice please

well was dx yesterday so still taking it all in at the moment. My questions are really practical ones. My BC nurse stated that I would be off work for all of the chemo and radiotherapy - is everyone off or are you able to work??
I don’t love my job that much but really don’t want bc to take over my life.

Also how do you really feel with these treatments - are you stuck at hospital all day or is a quick session. I am just hungry for knowledge.


Nice name by the way!

Everyone is different as far as how treatment affects you. The chemo is certainly more difficult to cope with then the radio, in my opinion anyway. I was off work throughout chemo but went back to work whilst having radio…but as I said, everyone is different. You will have to wait and see how you get on when you actually start treatment.

When I had chemo, it was usually a pretty long job…but again, hospitals may vary. I used to arrive around 9am and the earliest I was home was 12pm, the latest 4pm…all the other treatments somewhere in between. There isn’t a lot you can do about this because it’s the nature of the beast so to speak. When you go into clinic, you have a blood test to check if you are well enough to receive your chemo…if you are, then your individual chemo is made up. This is why there can be a delay…each person’s chemotherapy is different and has to be made up specifically to the oncologist’s instructions. You can’t rush it…having the chemo itself usually took about an hour.

Radiotherapy treatment itself is very quick but you can have delays if the machines break down or other hold ups but I was generally very lucky and in and out in no time.

Hope that helps…good luck,

Sheana x

Hi snottraggs

I also found the chemo worse than the radio like sheana. It can be a long day so if you can take someone with you that would help. Radio is over in minutes and I found much easier to cope with.

I was running a pub during both and a couple of days whilst on chemo I was out of it, but on the whole not too bad. If you have a good employer they should understand and if there are days you dont feel up to it you just dont go.
I was lucky with rads, had them at the QE Birmingham and they have a unit you are allowed to stay on, like a little hotel, to save you having to commute every day. It was the best decision I ever made.

Obviously each individual is different during treatment and its not a rule of thumb as regards side effects. Each day will be different and you just need to go with the flow.

Hope this helps a bit, all the best and keep us posted.

Love Elaine xx


So sorry you’re here and it does take a bit to get your head round things.

I was dx in May and was also told that I’d be off work whilst having chemo and rads but like you didn’t want BC to take over my life and returned to work part-time instead of full-time. I’ve had 6 out of 8 chemos now and manage about 5 hours a day but it depends on many factors. Everyone reacts differently to chemo and its side effects, and some chemos hit harder than others. It also depends on your job and your employers. There are a lot of ladies on here who have worked throughout their treatment and others who haven’t worked since dx. I was climbing the walls at home and needed to focus on something else other than BC and for me it was the right decision. Take it one step at a time and see how you are.

Again the length of time spent at the hospital depends on the chemo, whether you have the bloods checked on the same day or the day before etc etc. My first 4 chemos were Epi and I had to have bloods checked on the same day but was still only there 3 - 4 hours. Different chemos can take longer and you can be there most of the day.

There are many chemo threads on here which you could read for more info.

Hope all goes well. Let us know how you get on.


Hi snottraggs

I am sorry to read of your diagnosis. As well as the support and advice you are receiving from the other users of this site you may find BCC’s resource pack helpful. It has been designed for those newly diagnosed and has a lot of helpful information. The pack is free of charge as are all our publications and if you would like a copy just follow the link below:

I hope you find this helpful.

Kind regards

BCC Facilitator

Hi Snottrags,I didn’t find chemo too bad and could more or less carry on as usual - but must say radio was a breeze compared to it! We all react differently but I was surprised how well I felt after all the horror stories I’d heard! I kept on working throughout.Carrying on as normal really helped to take my mind of things and also helped time to fly by!! I had a really bad night after my first chemo, felt as if I had the mother of all hangovers and could hardly get out of bed to use the toilet,but was much better the following morning- and thankfully never felt like that again. Also got progressively tired towards the end.I had 4xFEC and 4xTaxol and after my last one all I felt like doing was curling up under the duvet for a few days! Hope everything goes well for you.x

I worked through radiotherapy and a colleague of mine worked through chemo as did a friend. they both had desk based jobs though so I think much would depend upon the type of work. I found working was better than spending all day thinking about it although I wasn’t much good to anyone and I did reduced hours 9.30 to 3.30 ish until a while after I finished radiotherapy.

Sorry you are here!

I had WLE at the end of July - and just had paracetamol post op. Results were 10 days later then refered to Christies for radiotherapy as my nodes were clear. They let you chose your treatment time within reason, so if you are local you could work and have either 8.30 or 4.00 appoint,ents. They are very nice there. I am in a trial for radiotherapy as my tumout was small - 4mm!

good luck

thanks ladies,

My hubby is worried of me over doing it with 2 kids and a degree I am doing with open uni. so to add work into the mix he is not happy. I really like my job and its the one place I am “me” - not wife or mother but Vicky a real person not a job title. However my job is very involved and I can’t dip in and out it would not be fair to the other staff as we all have our own case load. I just wanted to keep something of my life in tact.

I am frurstated and really angry at the moment - I hate losing control of my life and this awful thing has done this to me. I have gone through 2 years of my son being ill and constant runs to hospital and operations for him and we had just got over that - he was well for a long period of time and now me!!! I Hate it!!! rant over - I know I will accept it but not ready yet.

Hi Snottrags,Nobody knew I was on chemo except my closest family.I carried on as normal and doggedly wouldn’t let it interfere with my life.Thankfully I didn’t fare too bad as I was helping my partner who was an electrician and we had quite a few houses to wire at the time.I must say nobody ever noticed that it was a wig under my hat - and I only missed a day or two every three weeks while on FEC!!..I did slow down a bit on Taxol especially towards the end when my energy started to go but carrying on as normal was my way of getting through! My very best wishes to you in whatever you do.

Hi Vicky this is certainly the place you can come to have a good old rant,it does you good to get it out of your system giving you the chance to be a bit normal with the ones you love.My personal outlook on this damned disease is that alot of the people who are here have gone through alot of stress,Yours seem to be coping with a poorly child which is one of the worst kinds of stress that someone has to go through,mine was a sick husband,I will be sending you a really big hug for tomorrow,take care flowerxxxxxx

well op went well - although I didn’t come out of it great - I felt awake but couldn’t open my eyes or talk till very late last night. the staff were fantastic and took really good care of me.

I read my file and the report from the core biopsy - it stated it was grade 3 invasive so will wait till get full lump checked and then speak to BCN about what that all means. My lovely doc did one large incision to remove lump and do the blue node thing - I looked blue apparently as so pale!!! and now just have a blue nipple and blue wee - which my daughter thinks makes me an alien!! HAHA - felt like one this morning!!!

I go back next tuesday for the results so wait and see - am sore but not really painful. paracetamol is covering it really. my arm is sore though so need to keep up the exercises!! anyway off to sit with my fantastic hubby who is dealing with this fantastically, he’s a bit of a worrier but I always know he cares.

hope all you ladies are fine.

Glad everything went well and you are home again!


Hi Vicky pleased everything went ok for you,drink plent of water to get rid of the blue dye.I’m also at Stepping hill next Tues 3.35 you never know we might be there together,you might not get the reslts then as they told me aweek but i had to go back 3dys later.they did check my scar though.wishing you well.Take each stage as it comes,its not an easy road but you will come out at the other end of look on it was worrying is not going to make it go away so i’m going to use my energy getting rid of the dammed thing.Its only going to take as much of my life as I will let it and no more.Take care flower.xxxxxx

has the blue dye made you constipated as well…i’m told this is one of the possible side effects, so i want to be armed with something to ‘ease’ my blue dye experience !!

It Is usually the pain killers that constipate you Co codamol ,i only took them for the first 24hrs then had paracetamol as i found the worst part of it was the constipation,wasn’t in much pain anyway,just knew something had been done if you know what i mean so the painkillers were only at night.

Hi narnia - I only needed paracetamol so no constipation! If you keep moving around, drinking plenty of water and, if prone to being bunged up, eat pleanty of roughage, you shold be ok!

well Walton we might meet at my appointment is 2pm!! I am sore today and feel sick when eating - but do get stress related IBS which started when my son got sick so think its my bodies reaction to extra stress. The blue dye was fine - blue wee not a problem and have not taken the co-codamol. my main problem is the sticky plaster is making me feel very itchy and its worse than the pain!!! have to wait till tuesday to remove it. if thats my worst problem I should not worry.

my BCN said my results might not be ready on tuesday but if they are they would have chance to of discussed them in the meeting on the monday. if not I can come back after a few days. lady of leisure now you know !!! HAHAHAHA.
I did read the biopsy report in my file and it said grade 3 invasive and in situ - can you have both??
I didn’t ask then as want to wait for the whole picture from the lumpectomy. I don’t feel stressed waiting for the result now I know its hopefully all out of me.

I had both in situ and invasive cancer so you can have both. if you are allergic to the plaster maybe they can take it off and put something different on