Going into work while having chemo

Hi all
will be having my first chemo tomorrow. I have been of work for 10 weeks. It was mentioned to me today at work they have found out if I am up to it I could go into work on hours that will suit me probably the second week on a part time bacis and it would not go against my sickness record on file. has anyone else coped with chemo and gone to work and woutd I need the oncologist to authorise this.

Hi Stocko123,
I was offered the option to work few hours a day on 2nd/3rd week of chemo cycle if I felt up to it. I waited until 2nd cycle to try this and have in the last week worked 2-5 hours a couple of days a week from home.
My medical note from GP makes no mention of working while off but I like the option to do something and get my brain in gear again a bit. My work is being very flexible so I can decide how much I work and when, for instance I was supposed to work y’day 4 hrs but ducked out after 2.5 hrs as I was falling asleep.
I’m just keeping a record of dates/hrs I’ve worked and will give that to Occupational Health/HR at work and they will sort out my pay.
I’d say see how you get on before you make any fast decisions and if possible try working from home first before committing to any long commutes, especially on public transport with compromised immune system. Be wary as you will be tired and also that you might react differently to each cycle (my first one was ok while 2nd one was really rough in the 1st week) x

Afternoon Stocko


I had Chemo before surgery so was in a slightly different situation but i worked through my Chemo.  Was allowed the Chemo day (Thursday) as a medical appt. and worked from home Friday / Monday and then back in work Tuesday.  On  a few of the Chemo’s i had a few days (days 10/14 generally) where i had temperature didn’t feel brilliant so adjusted my hours etc.  None of this went on sickness record and Manager was great.  I guess it very much depends where you work and who for.  I am a Community Psychiatric Nurse and Occupational Health stipulated that i couldn’t see patients while having chemo (infection risk) but i was office based and did the Duty Role (we have a Senior Qualfied staff member each day to cover leave / training / emergencies etc) and this worked well.  I am glad i did this as we get 6 months full pay 6 months half pay (i have never been off before so didn’t know how it wored) and following the Chemo i had durgery x 3 then rads so this took a while.


I work in a great team, the Manager was lovely and i appreciate, particularly reading some of the forum stories, how fortunate i was.


Hope you are able to be careful with infection and just rest when you need to.


Take Care   Gilly x      

Hello stocko123,

I only work part time (normally two days one week three the next), and I managed to work all the way through my chemo. I worked all day Monday & Tuesday then Wednesday morning. Had my chemo on wed afternoon, then was off till the following Wednesday, working all that day plus all Thursday and Friday morning. I followed this routine for my 6 cycles of chemo. This worked really well for me and my colleagues were fantastic with me. If I felt really tired, I went home early and I did have to do this quite regularly. I was very lucky that my side effects from the chemo were minimal and that I had such support from work. It did keep my life as ordinary as possible during a very extraordinary time. The main thing is to listen to your own body. It will tell you when you’ve had enough and above all else, be kind to yourself. I wish you minimal side effects and all the best for your forthcoming treatment. Ann x x

I had chemo 1st time round (22 years ago, apologies for anyone fed up of hearing me say that) which was a dose every 3 weeks.

Administered Tuesday.

I worked Monday. Was off Tuesday - Monday then back at work Tuesday through to Monday before the next dose.


I can’t remember my daily symptoms in detail other than I felt sick… felt perfectly ok.!! … felt tired/spaced out… felt like I had been run over by a bus, all achey and sore on the Monday… felt as right as rain Tuesday again.


Back at work, and repeat x 9


Looking back I wonder why on earth I went into work 2 weeks / 3 but if I had not I would have been bored stupid.

Work was bank branch staff. I can’t remember needing any special allowances but then it was a long time ago.


Basically don’t expect to perform miracles but also don’t fear not being able to function at all. Give yourself time and space to see how you react.

All the best.

Hi all

Thank you all for your help. I will have six months full pay then another 6 months hafe pay. My job involves dealing with drivers about between 80 to 100 on a daily basis in close contact. I did mention before that I would like to go back to work after the operation but was told it would go against me on my sickness file. Was also in a redudency situation after my operation and when I mentioned to them in my one to one that I was covered under the disability act they was surprised about this . Cutting a long story short I am not being made redundant and would love to go back to work but my friends have said just to be carefull and not go back till I am ready. I will see how I feel after the first or second chemo