Being cautious when on Chemo - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Being cautious when on Chemo


I'm due to start Docetaxel in the second week of May. I'm aware my immune system will be compromised and I should be sensible and aware of protecting myself against colds, infection etc. I am still at work, a company of 800 and a team in open-plan office. Work have agreed I can work from home when I need to. What did other people do? Many thanks.

12 Replies

HI easytiger, my apologies for not having caught up with you earlier given our similar paths and diagnosis at age 43. After the robot assisted RP and a few months of ADT, I have six rounds of docetaxel starting in September ‘17. I found the warnings pretty accurate but fortunately didn’t get any of the severe side effects. The 3 week cycle for me was: have treatment, feel really crap for week one but still be able to function, hide from people and colds and society in general week two (very difficult when you have 3 young sons bringing home who knows what every day), start to recover and feel normal-ish again in week 3, then start it all again with another infusion. The side effects are cumulative and I found sessions 5 and 6 (birthday and Christmas time to make it even worse) the hardest). Some people cruise through able to work full time, fortunately I have my own business so I could avoid contact as much as required. I certainly couldn’t have done a normal days work as the treatments progressed.

Happy to share anything else I can to help and would be keen to keep in touch and share experiences.


I had 6 rounds of docetaxel in 2016. I had only slight side effects. I work as a quality-engineer in a bigger company. I was off for a couple of days and then I went to work. Only after one cycle I had neutropenia and was off for a longer time. When I will get chemo again in future maybe home-office will be an option. Regards

as Cam73 says....working "a normal day's work" would have seemed (at least) inappropriate for the way I felt. My build up was much like his...(I was 60 when I did it~~now 62, so not too far removed from both of your ages). The one thing I point my Cancer treatment Infusion staff... did NOT (right away)...remember Claritin. I did my first chemo...had the Leunasta OnPro installed on my tricep....and went home feeling pretty good. By the day after the Onpro had done it's thing (it's for keeping up your blood counts to help voice infections) ....I felt like every bone in my body was being shattered. I lay in a fetal position and tried to find my "plug" an attempt to pull it...(LOL, but just barely)...Then a couple hours into that...the chemo nurse called and asked how I was doing. I told her and she said..."you didn't do Claritin?" to which I declared I did NOT have a sinus issue or congestion...she then explained to me that they should have explained it before I left the office. It GREATLY helps with the Leunasta side effects. We ran to the drug store...bought it..I took it in the parking lot. Within an hour I was feeling 90% better. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CLARITIN AND START IT EARLY IF THEY USE THE LEUNASTA ONPRO. Because of this little couple of hours feeling what "bone pain" feels like...I have a new and abiding fear of the words "bone pain". have bones everywhere...from your toes to your cheeks to the top of your head. I would reiterate what Cam73 prepared (at least) to take a few days off. I kept doing all of my usual household things and walks...but skipped the gym a few days and even skipped walking with the dog a few times. The actual infusion though, at least for me...was a piece of cake. AND I got really good results from the chemo.

all the best,.....gJohn

Pleroma in reply to greatjohn

I had no side-effects from the Leunasta, so each body is different.

Taking Leunasta in my case was essential.

greatjohn in reply to Pleroma

Did they tell you about Claritin? Once I started it....the pain was minimal.

Pleroma in reply to greatjohn

No, they did not tell me about Claritin.

No pain for me. It is Neulasta we are talking about. (Not Leunasta).

and P.S. I had mine starting in (I think) October and ending in first week of February...the height of flu season. I wore a mask ONE time...and I felt like "the boy in the bubble"....and just tried (after that ) to not get too close to people and to wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap more often than usual. Made it through with NO infections. I also did not eat salads (except at home if I triple washed everything with vinegar in the wash) and didn't eat any meat under "well" done....and NO sushi....

I'm back now (probably not supposed to be...LOL) to eating sushi and raw oysters...and salad bars in restaurants...and meats cooked Medium Rare...the way I like it)


The first week was the worst for me (especially Day 3 to 6). Week 2 and 3 were doable in terms of working a normal job. I wore a mask the first week when going public. Otherwise I stayed at home that first week.

Taking a Leunasta shot exactly 27 hours after chemo improves your white blood cell count dramatically (to help your immune system). Most M.O.'s will advise you to take this shot.

Essential in my case. If you don't take it, be sure to have your blood count done after a week. It will tell for sure if you need the boost.

greatjohn is spot on with Claritin. No brainer at all, just take it every day. I was on taxotere for lung cancer and told at the outset to immediately start taking Claritin daily, period. All Best Wishes, judg69

I have had 2, 6 cycle rounds of chemo, (for a total of 12 infusions) of a Docetaxel/Carboplatin chemo combo.

Begin day before chemo with oral Dexamethasone, and continue day of and day after chemo. Begin day before chemo with oral Claritin and continue for 6 days.

On day of chemo, have an injection of Aloxi to prevent nausea, and it works.

After infusion of Docetaxel and Carboplatin, leave with On Body Injector of Neulasta to boost white blood cells.

Fatigue is cumulative so it will take longer to recover from cycles 5 and 6. My most recent chemo was always on a Thursday and no fatigue on day of chemo and day after chemo due to the steroid Dexamethasone being taken. Began to crash by afternoon of Day 3 and would stay in Pjs on Day 4. Time to recover to new normal again depended on number of cycle.

Used Biotene products for mouth care, as your mouth may become sore.

If you have hair, around Day 17, you may be able to pull it out. I had brother-in-law cut mine short to avoid drain clogs!

Best wishes. Never Give In.

Mark, Atlanta

I was fortunate in that for six months: full day on Monday, infusion on Tuesday, rested on Wednesday, and two hours to a half day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Zero yard work....... stayed out of the sun. If they haven’t told you yet, sun is bad during chemotherapy.


husband just completed 6 rounds of chemo. he did have 3 days of steroids and took both Claritin and Zyrtec few days before chemo and for week after. really reduced bone pain. he also was on vitamins -D, Bcomplex, multi vit, per MO. try to exercise daily even if you don't feel up to it.

be sure to sanitize work area daily and wash hands frequently. (former hospital worker)

take advantage of offer to work at home as needed. good luck!

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