Working During Cancer Treatment
No one likes going to work when they’re under the weather. Yet, cancer patients often have to face exactly that, and not just for a day or two of the sniffles. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery all take a major toll on your body and your mind, often for weeks at a time.
Whether you choose to continue working during treatment, or to take the entire time off, there are many questions new patients might face when it comes to their job. The Patient Story spoke to survivors who’ve been there themselves. Here’s how they responded.
Can I work during chemo or radiation?
There’s simply no one right answer. Many patients found that maintaining some semblance of a “normal” life while enduring treatment helped them keep going through the tough times. For others, it was simply out of the question. The type of work you do, how physically demanding your office environment is, and how accommodating or supportive your colleagues are all important factors.
If you do decide to keep working, prepare for the new challenges you’ll face
Some will decide it’s simply not possible to work during treatment
Can I return to work after cancer removal surgery?
If you’ve undergone surgery as part of your treatment, the decision will involve some additional factors, such as recovery time, pain medications, and your physical limitations.
What if I can't afford to take time off?
Unfortunately, the question of whether or not to work during treatment isn’t always much of a choice. For many patients, it’s simply a financial necessity.
Does working from home help during treatment?
If you have the option, working from home can be a great middle-ground between returning to work full-time, and taking time to rest and recover.
Who should I tell at work?
Whether you decide to keep working or take time off, you’ll likely need to tell at least a few colleagues about your diagnosis. If you’re lucky, they could even become important parts of your support network throughout treatment.