How long before going back to work?

How long before going back to work?

How long before going back to work? I was to start a new job when I got diagnosed with BC. Its been a year of chemo surgery and then radiotherapy. Finished rads in September. I’m still a bit tired but would like to start work in January as a teacher. Has anyone been in same postion and how did you manage?

re work hello
i had my rads last jan into feb then went back to work about 3 weeks after my rads finished ,i teach in a primary school in a foundation class
but only part time so it was not to bad , but i did get tired when i went back but i think its up to how you yourself feel everyone is different ,i am now back full time and its fine ,as well as running my own shop at weekends must be mad lol

hi, i finished rads at the end of june. felt as if i had regained my energy by september so saw occ health and went back to work.
i am a teaching assistant mainly year 2 and also a cleaner in charge.
started out … 2 mornings a week for 2 weeks
3 mornings a week for 2 weeks

1 hour a night for 2 weeks
2 hours a night for 2 weeks

then i got throat infection and felt so very tired. of course working with children, you are bound to pick up bugs.
they reduced my hours to the beginning and after half term i think they will go up again.
i had my op in nov 2005, so in effect i went back after 9 months and 1 week, perhaps a bit to soon, but how do you know till you try?
good luck.
sharon. x

re work Many thanks for that. I’m looking for a parttime post to start with ,then I’ll build it up.

It is 8 years since I went back to work after treatment. I had a radical mastectomy and 6 months chemo. Was off work for 7 months, had to go back to work then as I was on half pay and couldn’t afford to be off any longer.

I worked in an office and there was never any discussion about going back part time to begin with. I was back full time and was totally Kn…rd every night for about a month. I went home and had my tea and in bed by 9 p.m.

These days I think employers have become more sympathetic with this illness and most will allow you to go back part time to begin with.

Where I worked at the time they piled on the work so I couldn’t cope and was in tears because of it. They pushed me out of a job, but I made sure I got paid off, but I had to see a solicitor to sign something saying I wouldn’t take them to court over it. Maybe I should have done in hind sight.

Take your time if you can - you don’t get any thanks for going back too soon, think of No.1.

Hope this helps.

Chris x

This has really helped. I intend to go back parttime in January. Right now I’m so tired all the time. I thought I had got my energy back after treatment. But I am now learning that it is a gradual process. I’ll just see how things go.

For blessedone I thought you might like to know that this site has more information on recovery at

Kind regards Bcc Host

I have had my incapacity stopped, which I am really angry about as they didnt use any of my doctors notes to base the desicion on. This may mean I will be forced back to work sooner than I feel ready to do so. I do not even have a job to go to so thats another worry. I just do not feel that my body is capable of working ( My line is Catering which can be really hard graft and there is no room for the work shy or people who cant do the job properly) I could work parttime Im sure but cannot garuntee which hours I would be fit for. I have quite akot of stiffness in my bones and feel tired and menopausal due to herceptin and arimidex.

lmlauder have you appealed?
go to the CAB
how long were you on it.
my friend was on it for at least a year taking her to 18 months of work.
another is still on it after 2 years and is allowed to do permitted work along side it.
if neccessary and the month has lapsed for appeal see if you can apply again.
oooohhhh this makes me so cross, as if we haven’t had enought to go through.
sharon. x

Hi Hi Imlauder

This is the second time very recently that I have heard of someone losing Incapacity Benefit. It makes me so angry.

I was dx Jan 2005, WLE, ANC and rads - no chemo. I am on tamoxifen which makes me feel absolutely lousy. I went for an IB medical in May 2006 and was “signed off” until May 2007. I am beginning to think now that I was lucky. There is no way I could work (aside from having also lost my job because of BC) because of the problems I have being on tamoxifen. However I live in fear of being “signed back on” again when I don’t feel ready.

I am seeing my MP on November 17th (see other thread in Current issues/hot topics) regarding financial problems experienced by cancer patients. I have written at length to him regarding problems of expenses getting to endless hospital appointments, difficulty in claiming benefits etc. I intend to raise the issue with him that cancer patients are being turned down for benefits.

At the moment my partner is working as a temp with social services. He said that a vast amount of the Care Managers time is simply spent appealing for benefits. They generally win. Don’t give up. Please appeal. My experience of trying to claim benefit is that they make it as difficult as they can in the hope that you will give up.


bjj xx

How long before going back to work? Hi there.

I was in exactly the same position as you when I was diagnosed. I was offered a fantastic job which after a lot of thought decided to turn down so that I could concentrate on the treatment I was about to receive.

After a year of treatment I too finished radio in September this year. By this time, I was climbing the walls and wanting some normality back in my life. I started work again three weeks later - full time - and although I was tired for the first week, I have soon got back into the swing of things and am thoroughly enjoying myself.

If you feel you are ready, go for it …


return to work I am now 4 years from treatment apart from Tamoxifen. I returned to teaching a year 3 class on a phased return organised by the education authority occupational health doctor 3 months afters finishing radio. I had built up to full time within 6 weeks and have taught full time ever since. My advise is don’t rush your return, teaching isn’t the kind of job you can have an easy day of if you are tired, it’s full on or nothing. When I was going through my year I was desperate to talk to others who had returned to teaching, I hadn’t found this website then and couldn’t find anyone.
I am 51 and still enjoying teaching. I have lymphoedema but find I can cope with all aspects of the job.
At your stage you probably feel your energy will never return. It does gradually. My Colleagues and I recently completed a 15 mile moon walk in aid of brest cancer, something I would have thought impossible just after finishing
Good luck and stay positive. Pinklinda

return to wrok Thank you Pinklinda. Your advise is well taken. I hope to find a part time post initially so I can start my NQT year. I’ll apply and see how things go. I suppose I also have to tell prospective employers what happened in the last year.
Its nice to know that the energy does return eventually.
Many thanks

be careful Hi bleddedone
Just be careful - I had was diagnosed aug 05 had lumpectomy, mastectomy chemo and now on herceptin for 1 year cos HER+ - I went back to work in March only 3 weeks after finishing chemo - BIG MISTAKE - physically I was ok - went back few hours a week at first but by July I was MENTALLY a wreck - think everything hit me at once - had been so ‘brave n strong’ all through the physical side of treatment - don’t know what happened except I then needed to take further time off to learn to cope with the negative thoughts I was getting on a daily basis - my advice is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY - even if you go back part time you may stll need to take time off - REMEMBER YOU ARE THE IMPORTANT ONE - nothing else matters.

THankfully I’m ok again now - still get very tired - only working 24 hrs per week and thats enough!!!

Hope this helps
Clemy XX