Back to work dilemma

Back to work dilemma

Back to work dilemma Help!! I have had 6 of my 8 chemo cycles, 4Xepi, and 4xcmf. I have been much better on the cmf, and I am thinking of going back to work for my sanity…BUT…

I know I have lost a huge amount of confidence, and it will be hard to walk back into my manager role. The company and boss have been great and they have suggested part-time 10 till 2, I have to commute 45mins (off peak).

I know it’s only me that knows how I feel, but I just wondered how everyone else has got on going back to work while still on the treatment.

I am really worried I will not be able to cope. (This is not like me at all, I used to work 12hr stressful days before BC).

Ps hubby, friends and family thing I am mad, and should stay off until after the chemo (I don’t need Rad).


For Judith Hi Judith

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Hi Judith,
Glad to hear that the chemo is going okay and that you haven’t got too many treatments to go.
I am not at managerial level but have always enjoyed working and probably take my job too seriously at times. However, the BC has “helped” that and I now try and stick to manageable working hours. However, in answer to your question, I think it sounds a great idea to go back on a phased return. It can be very nerve-wracking returning to work and doing so on reduced hours sounds a great idea, it does to me anyway! I am aware that some people may find this strange and your husband, family and friends are rightly concerned about you and don’t want you to be subjected to lots of stress. That is perfectly understandable and if your employers are like mine were, they will understand and will want to keep you protected from stressful situations and long working hours until you have made a full recovery. My job involves a lot of phone work and because I had been away from work for a few months, for the first couple of weeks I didn’t answer the telephone and just quietly sat in the corner, working away and wondering why I had got myself so worried about returning to work! Finally, bear in mind that your immune system will be low so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find that you need to reduce your working hours further whilst you’re finishing chemo. I got a heavy cold after about 2 weeks and had to take a week off work as I felt so rough. I felt I was back to square one but it soon passed and now 16 months down the line, I feel great!

All the very best and apologies for such a long email! BethXX

back to work hi,
I would say that getting back to work is good for your psyche. It will enable you to feel a sense of normality, getting back to the pre BC you. I have what I would guess would be described as a high powered job carrying responsibly for other people. Going back to work for me marked a return to my real life as opposed to this new persona I had adopted during chemo. However I am now careful to put me first and the job second.

I honestly believe that the very best thing we can do for ourselves is to put this sh…y disease behind us and move on with our lives.

Good luck with your return to work , it will not be as daunting as you fear. Go for it.


Take it easy…but go for it! Hi Judith

I lost my previous job due to the bc, I had the same chemo regime as you and finished in April 06, 2 weeks later I was given the opportunity to attend a job interview and thought, ‘what the heck’. Like youself I was very unsure of my body, and really had to try to re-educate myself as to what I could do or couldn’t.

Anyway I got the job, and that in itself gave me a huge boost.

In effect I had been living in my own little world for 18 months and it really was nice to get back into the ‘land of the living’.

I went on whats called ‘permitted work’, where your money gets topped up with a benefit. You are allowed to work 15 hours a week, which to be honest was a ‘do-able’ amount. It gave me time to potter around at home, I wasnt too tired to come home and take the dogs out for a long walk, which helped to build up my strength.

I have just finished with the benefit and have gone onto 24 hours at work.

I think that the best advice is to go for it, but listen to your body, which is very hard. Being women we just usually work through it.

So…good luck witht he remained of the dreaded…and enjoy what ever you decide to do.

Love Debbie x

Judith I finished my treatment in April and have returned to work on reduced hours - slowly increasing each fortnight and it has worked out well. Initially I was tired but have built up my stamina and confidence and am looking forward to returning full time. Don’t rush back too soon - remember your immume system is low. My commute to work was on a packed train - my doctor was concerned that the journey would be exhausting - so I waited until all my treatment was finished. Just remember you can always reduce your hours to suit and don’t push yourself too much.

It is definitely great to get back into the ‘real’ world - but remember to enjoy it.