I don't know how to put things right

Hi everyone, I am in a right state with myself. I went back to work after 11 months, following lumpectomy, chemo, mastectomy and radiotherapy and I feel wretched. I have ended up going off work again. My best friend in my office who has been wonderful all the way through my treatment has been snappy and unhelpful and I have felt so unwelcome. I have sobbed everyday I have been at work. My manager who has also been wonderful whilst I have been off has more or less said I am imagining the bad atmosphere and how I should be grateful for the wonderful support I received. Which I am but I don’t feel supported now. And I know this is ridiculous they have deleted me from facebook which sounds pathetic but it just made me feel even more rejected. I told my manager that my friend/colleague had been unsupportive and should be ashamed of how she has treat me since my return which I probably should have kept to myself. I feel so disloyal to people who were there for me but they don’t feel there for me now. I don’t know how to put things right. Jules

Aww jules. This horrible disease takes its toll on us for many months, perhaps even years after treatment ends. I think that while you’re going through treatment, you’re so focussed on beating the disease, that you forget you’re actually living through a life threatening scary time. When it comes to an end, some people expect us to bounce straight back to the “old” you. Sadly, for many of us, that person has long gone. It’s only then we realise exactly what we’ve had to endure, and it can become overwhelming. All sorts of emotions are released, some positive, some negative. Please don’t blame yourself for this situation. It sounds as if your workmates expected the old you to turn up with no “cancer baggage” and that’s just not possible for most of us. I know a couple of ladies who have approached their GPs and have been offered councelling either through the NHS, via a local cancer charity or macmillan. Could that possible be an option for you? Perhaps talking the situation over with a third party may help you feel a little better. And please don’t feel your being disloyal. It sounds as if your colleagues are reacting in a very childish manner by deleting you from Facebook, so perhaps they’re not the caring people you thought they were. Sending big hugs. Ann x x x

Hi Jules,

Really feel for you and sympathise for all you are going thru. I have been back in a limited capacity in my workplace for 4 months now.

From a distance i too felt well supported, but once back in work it has been different. So much so i sent a long email about my capacity to work, and ways this might be facilitated, to receive no answer whatsoever. I ended up talking to my union, crying down the phone to them, macmillan and breast cancer care as i tried to find ways to resolve this.

I have had an informal meeting with my union rep and managers, but still feel isolation from some.
Some of my colleagues have been, and remain amazing, others not so. Though on reflection, the Not So’s were not there when I was off either. I cant afford the energy for the NOT SO’s and have as little interaction with them as possible…(however - we have to communicate effectively, so have gone for being polite / communicating to the best of my abilities, but hardly any social interactions) They do gossip together, but then they always did that too pre-disgnosis.

Even before my diagnosis i had made a decision to remive all current colleagues from my facebook. I found some posts of others caused me conflict, and comments from others on my life intrusive. Social media and all we “share” is so new and brings its own stresses.

I have rambled on… i suppose i meant to say - be kind to yourself, your people at work dont seem to have the capacity to care for you in the way you would hope to care for them if you switched places.
I am soon going to be speaking with Someone Like Me arranged via Melissa at Breast Cancer Care re my fatigue and work issues. This may be an idea for you too ?

Sending you many warm hugs,

Lexilou x x

Hi Jules

I am sorry to read that you are having such a difficult time at the moment, our helpliners are on hand for you so please feel free to call for further support, lines are open 10-2 today and 9-5 during the week on 0808 800 6000

Here’s a link to the support service ‘Someone like me’ which Lexilou has kindly mentioned :


Take care
Lucy BCC

Thank you for all your support. It’s nice to know I am not the only one. I thought going back to work was the easy bit and I had had my battle. I sent my friend a really nice email apologising and explaining that I wasn’t very well and not coping well with work (not that I felt I particularly had an apology to make) in the hopes we could talk it through. I didn’t get a very nice reply. She just said how hurt and upset she was. I am beginning to think she has no compassion. If the situation was the other way round this wouldn’t have happened. I have asked to reduce my hours to hopefully give me a better work life balance and just try to move on. I have decided I don’t want people who make me sad in my life not that it is really very easy to detatch ones self.


Dear Jules


Why should it be up to you to ‘put things right’? Seems to me they are the ones who should be ‘putting things right’ and apologising to you for their insensitivity! Yes, it can make you feel sad when the ‘masks’ some people wear slip and you realise that perhaps they are not as nice as you thought - (read my Wheat and Chaff post). My ‘nemesis’ is now sad and lonely, entirely due to her own actions - still the local ‘stitch and **bleep**’ club might allow her to join if they are desperate - hee, hee!!!  Having a sense of humour helps I find!  Chin up honey - just read all of the kind supportive comments you are getting - put yourself first now for the sake of your health.  Remember all us lovely ladies are here for you, you are not alone xxxx 

Hi Jules1064 I hope you are feeling better now you have reduced your hours at work and are putting people who are not worth your worry behind you. I know how you feel I too have lost who I thought was a very good friend since my BC diagnosis, while I was post op and then going through treatment my friend who I used to spend time with most weekends did not really give me the time of day, I live far away from family and other friends and could have really needed her friendship during that time. Now I get so tired and have decided not to drink anymore she does not want to know, I learnt the hard way some so called friends are really just out for themselves and could not care about other people’s needs. Lots of love to you, keep well xx