back to work

Hello everyone

I was diagnosed in october and had my second operation a partial mastectomy last week. I should start radiotherapy in a few weeks time and have been told to expect it to last six weeks.Have those of you who work beeen able to continue,or is it a case of time off until it is all over.My company are brilliant and have told me to take off as much time as needed. Part of me thinks I should just take the time off and get better but will I just end up bored. Before BC the prospect of a few weeks off work would have been wonderful!
Best wishes

Hi Hilary

I was diagnosed on 4th April and had 8 sessions of chemo first. Although my company were absolutely brilliant and didn’t expect me to, I worked in between chemo sessions when I felt well enough. Luckily I only work part time in an admin role, so didn’t find it too exhausting. I then had my mastectomy on 3rd October, and haven’t worked since. I saw my GP last week who has signed me off for another six weeks (taking into consideration that my rads starts on 26th November, and he doesnt want me to go back until at least two weeks after that). I’ve already got all of christmas booked off as holiday anyway, so it looks like I won’t be returning to work until January.

I was gutted initially, but I have to say I think I’ll have more than enough to keep me occupied over the coming weeks, what with christmas coming up, and things happening at school etc. It also means I can be well organised this xmas for a change !

I would take the time off and get better - come over to Peterborough and have a coffee with me if you get bored !

much love

Julie xx

Hi All

I know exactly how you feel, I to pre bc would have thought a couple of weeks of was brill. Now I have been signed of till Jan and then I have to go back to gp who said he would review the situation then. I have had a masectomy and am awaiting to start rads at the beginning of dec.

Am bored, have done jigsaws, and some tapestry and now might try knitting can’t think of anything else to do as I am still having trouble with arm movement.

Take care


Hi Julie

I’m in Peterborough as well. Not sure whether we know each other? Do you go to the support group here - if not and if you’re interested have a look at our website for contact details if you want to come along and one of us will meet you in the foyer of the Holiday Inn West, Thorpe Wood.

Not sure how old you are but we’ve also got a younger women’s support group that’s just been formed and they meet on a Tuesday at the Macmillan Centre, ECH the first Tuesday of each month between 1-3 p.m.


Hi Hilary,

My treatment ran a different course to yours but my experience may help.

Jan 06I had lumpectomy and returned to work six weeks later. When chemo started I had one week off in three. When radiotherapy started I had no time off work as the sessions were at 4.40, the end of the working day and I had no ill effects.
I had a mastectomy 7 weeks ago this Thursday and will be returning to work part time next Monday.

I have to add I am a workaholic and did get tired quite quickly so thats why I am going back part time to start with. Let your body do the talking, your employers will understand.

Take care

hello everyone

Thank you so much for your comments and advice. This all seems like so much to take in in such a short time. I have done the kniting tapestry jigsaw thing and am now on crossword puzzles. i am determined not to get hooked on daytime TV!!

Thanks again

I had my lumpectomy August this year and have just finished my radiotherapy which I didn’t re-act to very well. My company nurse would not allow me back until now and I have appointment to see her next week with regards to re-hab programme which I think means going back part time.
I would take as much time as you need. Radiotherapy can be very tiring and in my case 1-2 hour trip each way.
My doctor told me he had a patient who went to work during her Rads and lasted 4 days.
My company have been good to me and after 13 years with hardly a sick day I am not going to feel guilty.

Am not hooked on daytime T.V. but do like the property programmes. I seem to do washing every day now whereas before it was on Saturdays- so don’t know how that works out! Yes and I do have little ‘sleepy’ time in the afternoon.

Hi Hilary, I had a lumpectomy in March 06, followed rapidly by 8 courses of chemo. I was on the Tact2 trail so the chemo was accelerated. I wanted to get back to work after around 10 weeks, but it took my company another 4 weeks or so to let me come back part-time. I went back part-time through the last chemo sessions, which were pills and through rads and back full-time at the end of rads, but had to get hysterectomy in November because of fibroids causing problems with Tamoxifen, so another 6 weeks off after that. Been back full-time since January and travel a lot with work. It does still get a bit tiring, as I have some joint pain with Arimidex but to be honest, the benefits of work outweigh all of the down sides. It makes you feel normal and gives you the extra company and stimulation you’re already missing. I think like everyone else is saying, make your own decisions and do what is right for you. I found rads a dawdle and went at 4.30 after work, but not everyone has the same reaction.

There is more and more research about work being good for you and doctors don’t always take that into account. My oncologist told me to work as soon as I could and for me this was good advice.

Good luck and follow your own path


Hi Hilary,

I have worked all the way through treatment. I had a mastectomy in March and had two weeks off for that. Then eight lots of chemo - each time I had the chemo day off, plus two or three others when I was feeling bad. Now I am doing rads - I work part time, so leave work around 3pm and go straight to the hospital for treatment.

I don’t understand this signing off business - I have not seen my GP since the initial appointment when I had found the lump, and the staff at the hospital have never taken any interest in whether I am at work or not. That has been purely my decision. I work in a very small office where it would be difficult for my colleagues to cover for me indefinitely, and it has been better for my mental health to have something to take my mind off cancer rather than sit at home dwelling on it. I also found that going out to work and acting like I was OK often made me OK.

Well I think one conclusion that I am coming to with all your help and advice is that it seems best to do what suits me.Until I was diagnosed I thoiught breast cancer was just one disease and did not for one second realise how differently it affected each person. I am so full of admiration for Roadrunner and wish I had your strength. I had my second op last week and the hospital issued me with a 2 week sick note which I grabbed. I think I will have to decide as things go along
Thanks again

just see how rads go for you. I did 5 weeks and was working all through chemo etc, but rads made me SOOO tired. Depends on how much concentration your job needs. Good luck with it!

Thanks Susie
I work with the elderly and it is quite physically tiring and also can be really emotional at times. Have so far managed not to burst into tears when they ask how I am !! How are you doing now
Best wishes