In April, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. Fortunately, the node was clean and the surgeon got good, clean margins. My BRCA testing was negative (Again, something for which to be thankful!) so I am not currently facing more surgery. My oncotype score was 19, so I have chosen chemotherapy. http://www.genomichealth.com/oncotype/
I will follow that with radiation and hormonal therapy. I am scared of the chemo but am feeling VERY fortunate that things have gone this well.
My question here is: Do any of you fine folks out there have any words of advise about how to continue working while I go throught his process? (Being out of work is NOT an option. My wonderful husband was recently diagnosed with ALS. Our insurance is through my job and finances do not permit COBRA. I have used 2 weeks of FMLA when having my surgery. I feel the need to protect every other second of FMLA as I don't know how/when hubby will need me.) I will be taking Taxotere and Cytoxan treatments every 3 weeks x 4 doses. That will be followed by 36 radiation treatments.
I work in a high risk OB/GYN clinic. My chemo nurse said that I am NO risk to my patients, but they will be a risk to me. I will be taking Neupogen injections to keep my white count up. I can avoid most patients by doing telephone triage. (I will need a mental health referral, though, if I have to stay in there for 12 weeks! ;-) )
Any words of advise and your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! And if you are overdue for your mammogram, PLEASE get it done!
Regards to all,
Jun 23, '07
Hi. I will try to answer your concerns. I went through all of this three years ago. I was diagnosed with breast cancer lobular carcinoma - and had metastasis to one node out out 15. I was taking my last three courses for my BSN when I was diagnosed and thought my world, school and career was over. My physicians told me I would not be allowed to work in the hospital during during chemo, so I was home through this. I finished my Clinical Practicum by showing a presentation in our lobby and evaluated the project by how much literature was picked up by the public. Nightly my husband and I would drive up to the hospital and I would wait in the car. Anyways, when Christmas rolled around I was determined to shop for the kids, so I thought I felt good enough to go out. I became extremely ill with pneumonia and could have died. I was admitted to the hospital and came home on Christmas day (with O2). The bottom line, chemo weakens you so. I took Adriamycin/Cytoxin for four doses every three weeks then Taxol for four doses every three weeks. All of this was followed by radiation for 32 days - 60 miles away. You will be very, very immunocomprimised. I know of a very young man who became gravely ill and died by attending his child's kindergarten play. My suggestion is to see if the hospital will relocate you to another area for the time you are out. But, the better thing is to stay home, heal and take care of your self. It is the one time in your life that you will come to appreciate all of what really matters - your family and friends. Everything has a way of working out, it truly does. And PS - my hair has grown back, I finished by BSN, just received by CDE, and I think I heading back for my MSN this fall - all at the age of 53. Good luck to you
Last edit by Nursekass on Jun 23, '07