Back to Work/School post-treatment

OMG, I'm so tired. The real world is hard! Was it like this before cancer and I just didn't notice? Anyone else feel this way???

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  • 17 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • It is hard to readjust to there being other things to worry about besides taking care of yourself... and sometimes it's just hard to care!
  • I have been back to work for almost a year now and STILL am readjusting. I have to say that 2 of the many side effects are making it hard. The hotflashes and the chemo brain. hahaha my boss know if I am heading for the door that means that I need to cool off. he doesnt even have to ask anymore what I am doing. Best part is his mother is a breast cancer survivor so he knows sorta what im going through. :)

    i love my job....
  • as a firefighter, getting back to work after cancer was a huge uphill battle. not only had I lost 45 pounds during treatment, but the fatigue and general weakness were still very present when I came back. I pushed through and instantly got back into working out so I could gain some of the weight back and get some energy but it was a long time before I was back to full strength. even now, 18 months post treatment I still have days where I'm simply tired for no good reason. don't know if it's from the cancer treatments or not, but I feel obligated to blame it on that :)
  • It took me a while to get back into the swing of things, I started school back up wayy to early after my first treatments. Chemo brain was kicking my butt, and I did terrible my first semester back. After I finally finished treatment, it still took me awhile to feel back to 'normal'. I still feel tired, and I think that has to be a long-term effect, because I never had trouble sleeping before chemo. My brain does seem to work the way it did previously now, though, which is good.
  • Titanium Texan;1881 said:
    It took me a while to get back into the swing of things, I started school back up wayy to early after my first treatments. Chemo brain was kicking my butt, and I did terrible my first semester back. After I finally finished treatment, it still took me awhile to feel back to 'normal'. I still feel tired, and I think that has to be a long-term effect, because I never had trouble sleeping before chemo. My brain does seem to work the way it did previously now, though, which is good.
    And how far out exactly are you? When can I look forward to these changes?
  • I'm getting my ass kicked working full time and trying to keep up my apartment and do daily activities. Compound that with sleeping issues and going on week 3 of a cold/sinus infection and I haven't been able to do much outside of eating, working, and sleeping. I don't know if it'll ever get better but I hope it does because this sucks. I struggle with chemo brain every day and it's gotten a little better, but it's just so slow. I've been out of treatment for over a year, but am on lots of medications due to my bone marrow transplant and complications that arose from that. I know that isn't helping any.
  • amandabcs;1888 said:
    And how far out exactly are you? When can I look forward to these changes?

    My last chemo treatment was in December of 2006, and I still don't sleep the way I used to before treatment. I Don't know if that'll ever be the same. As far as the brain function goes, it took me a little over a year after my last treatment before I felt confident enough to pursue my career. I still find myself being more forgetful, but that is probably just me getting older. :p
  • Ugh the real world. I'm not so tired but that's probably because I sleep a lot! Schedule allowing, I will seriously sleep 12+ hours. I finished treatment during the summer and I jumped back into school in the fall. I was so excited to be back in the "real world" again. But having to take charge of my life and schedule again was difficult and I'm still looking for motivation, focus and my awesome memory.

    I'm 18+ months out of treatment and I'm just now finally seeing some light. For me, the catalyst was volunteering at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and starting the i2y chapter in San Diego. Doing work outside of myself is really making a difference. Hopefully, soon, all that will spill over into my persoanl endeavors.
  • Carey;1902 said:
    I'm getting my ass kicked working full time and trying to keep up my apartment and do daily activities. Compound that with sleeping issues and going on week 3 of a cold/sinus infection and I haven't been able to do much outside of eating, working, and sleeping. I don't know if it'll ever get better but I hope it does because this sucks. I struggle with chemo brain every day and it's gotten a little better, but it's just so slow. I've been out of treatment for over a year, but am on lots of medications due to my bone marrow transplant and complications that arose from that. I know that isn't helping any.
    I've started to monitor my blood levels of VIT D. It is connected to cognitive impairment or, function. Maybe you could check yours out? BIG LOVE!
  • I'm planning on returning to school full time in the fall. I'm pre-med, so I don't know how I'm going to get used to doing all that work in science classes again, especially organic chem uuuuuuuggh! I had done half a semester of orgo before I got sick and had to drop it. Not looking forward to having to take that again.
  • So it's half review?
  • Yup. I guess it should be easier since its half review. Theres a plus side :)
  • ambreen;2117 said:
    I'm planning on returning to school full time in the fall. I'm pre-med, so I don't know how I'm going to get used to doing all that work in science classes again, especially organic chem uuuuuuuggh! I had done half a semester of orgo before I got sick and had to drop it. Not looking forward to having to take that again.
    Ugh, I totally feel for you!! I took orgo last year, but I'm now reviewing it for the MCAT. Gross. Possibly the worst subject ever. I totally recommend buying some type of review book if you are having trouble. My textbook was good for practice questions but not explanations. I find the review books (either specifically orgo or something like an MCAT book) are more straightforward.
  • Ldr12Ldr12 Community Member
    It took forever for me to build enough confidence to go to school again. I tried to keep going to school during treatment (stupid move) back in 2000. 1st year of university, so promptly failed my classes lol. Treatment ended in 2002 and I didn't even try to go back to school until 2007. I started working part time, and worked my way up to full time after the first 6 months. Now I'm still trying to get back to work, I'm far too tired, and have far too much physio that drains me still to work yet. But, I've been reassigned (to a job I'll like more) for 6 months, so that might help too. Probably within the next month or 2 disability wants me back to work at least 3/4 time. I do hope to "jump" back into school sooner this time, I'm hoping I can do it. I know my memory has improved from where it was even a few weeks ago, so some day soon :-)
  • ambreenambreen Community Member
    Colleen;2124 said:
    Ugh, I totally feel for you!! I took orgo last year, but I'm now reviewing it for the MCAT. Gross. Possibly the worst subject ever. I totally recommend buying some type of review book if you are having trouble. My textbook was good for practice questions but not explanations. I find the review books (either specifically orgo or something like an MCAT book) are more straightforward.
    Thanks for the advice! I'll definetly do that. Good luck with the MCAT studying!
  • Carey;1902 said:
    I'm getting my ass kicked working full time and trying to keep up my apartment and do daily activities. Compound that with sleeping issues and going on week 3 of a cold/sinus infection and I haven't been able to do much outside of eating, working, and sleeping. I don't know if it'll ever get better but I hope it does because this sucks. I struggle with chemo brain every day and it's gotten a little better, but it's just so slow. I've been out of treatment for over a year, but am on lots of medications due to my bone marrow transplant and complications that arose from that. I know that isn't helping any.
    One thing that I think adds to my chemo-brain & memory problems is the Ambien I've been on for over a year. My Dr. insists I still need it. Anyone taking Ambien? Chronic ambien that is...?
  • CareyCarey Community Member
    I've been on Ambien for about 6 months. It's helped me sleep, but lately it's effectiveness has been diminished, I think because I've been taking it for so long. I try to sleep a few days a week without it, but those nights are the worst. Even on Ambien, I don't sleep very soundly. I haven't noticed any more memory loss since starting on it. Although, it would be hard to tell since my memory wasn't all that great when I started it. Come to think of it, I have been having trouble remembering little things lately, like how I got somewhere, or why I'm in a particular place, like the grocery store. I've just chalked it up to being so tired and worn out and lingering chemo brain.