Am I being unrealistic

Am I being unrealistic

Am I being unrealistic I am starting chemo in about three weeks time and in August I have signed up at the local college to do three courses which although not full time study will take a lot of time…

Will I be able to manage or am I deluding myself thinking that I will cope with being mummy and student and wife and housekeeper?

Difficult to say! Everyone is different. I worked throughout chemo but had the advantage of being home based, but I did have to contend with monthly deadlines being in publishing. Work was a distraction as was being wife and housekeeper. Not a mummy though, except to a cat!


I am getting bored now Hi Babyboo

Not sure on this one. I am getting really bored now, and could do with something to do, but energy levels are now very low at times. But when I feel well I just want to get up and do something … but not TOO much.

Hope this helps.

Diane x

Mmmm, I think it will be a case of wait and see…maybe try it and see how it goes…and not be too disappointed if I have to wait a year.

You really helped, thanks!

Dear Babyboo

Good for you for taking this on! Can I suggest that you discuss your planned treatment with the college? That will help them support you in the best way possible, and if things become difficult for you, they will be able to help you defer part of the year should you decide you need to do that. That way, if you have already got some credits under your belt, you can save these up and add to them when you feel better.

I am starting chemo myself soon (no date yet) and I am self-employed so I understand the uncertaintly you feel. My feeling is that if you prepare people around you beforehand, it will be easier to explain if you need time off to recover from your treatment.

My very best wishes for your treatment, and with your college course.


good for you Hi Babyboo

Good for you!

I have had 10 cycles of chemo and have worked megga full time hours in a high level demanding managerial position all the way through. Everyone is different and everyone reacts differently. Although I felt pretty rough at times for me the sense of reality was great and kept me going. I only had days off when I had to have my chemo. I’m sure that the college will be understanding of your circumstances and be flexible with you. It will be a great distraction for you.

Good luck.

I did not work during any of my treatment, partly because it was recommended that I did n’t due to the nature of my job and the associated risk of infection. I was VERY ill following my first cycle of chemo. The following cycles were n’t as bad but I was ill after each cycle. I got one good week out of the 3 between each cycle. 4 and 5 i was very unwell. When I was ill, I did n’t get out of bed for 2 days then only made it as far as the couch. i slept a lot and did n’t get pulled round or dressed until luch time. I’d get one good week then back to square one each time. I then had 15 sessions of rads and was very tired although not unwell. No way could I have coped with work (I’m a social worker). I went back to work in April and find that I have soem difficulty with my memory. This was worst during chemo (called chemo brain by a lot of people) however i still fidn that I have difficulty remembering the detail of events or situations. however I have spoken to some ladies who sailed throuhg chemo with no problems. It varies from person to person. I think you need to see how the first cycle goes although there’s no guarantee that each one will go exactly the same. It’s pretty heavy duty medication. Basically every 3 weeks you’re being poisoned so severe effects are n’t unusual and not being able to work/study, etc should n’t be something you feel bad about. It can be tough getting through chemo so I think anyone is perfectly justified in taking time out to look after themselves.


There are lots of different chemo treatments, and some are more taxing then others - I’ve had FEC for one lot of cancer and taxotere for another. With the taxotere I had to avoid ‘sources of infection’ ie. other people! Your general health & previous treatments will also affect your ability to withstand chemo.
If you phone your chemo department and speak to the nurses, they will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect from your particular treatment, and in my experience they are sympathetic, knowledgable, realistic and completely on your side.
Best of luck,

Talk to the college, as advance warning that you may be unwell may be useful.
Most colleges work a 2 semester system and the most topics only run for 1 semester. There may be topics that could be mostly worked on at home, whether they’re scheduled for semester 1 or 2.Perhaps they could “tailor” the course for you.
Other possible options are studying part time and taking 2 years for the course instead of 1; Distance learning; Online Learning.
Go and have a chat with the Course Leader - they will (usually!) do their best to try and accommodate you.
Good luck.

I couldn’t! Hi Babyboo,

looks like you’ve had some good responses to your post, and all of them different.Personally I haven’t worked since I was diagnosed in march and right now I honestly don’t think I could! I started chemo last month (E-CMF) and have so far had 3 epi’s. For the most part I am very tired and have the attention span of a gnat. I was keen to work during chemo to try to maintain a sense of ‘normality’ but I just can’t. I’m disappointed but determined not to beat myself up about it. I have been given some work to do form home but I haven’t even managed to engage my brain for long enough to do that yet!

I think whether you find you can manage or not will be a very individual thing. We are all on different types of chemo and some of us fare better than others. After about a week I generally start to feel ‘normal’ again and like to make the most of that time. Not through working but getting out and about and enjoying myself.

Take care and let us know how you get on,


Thank you Thank you all so much for replying… I have my first ‘chat’ appointment on the 2nd of July to see what this Chemo pain in the arm is all about. I shall ask them what is realistic. I shall also speak to the college and see what they say…

All very scary but I want to live as normal a life as I possible can…will let you know what is decided…ha ha ha!