opinions sought re., work

opinions sought re., work

opinions sought re., work I was dx in jan 2004, grade 3 11mm tumour, lumpectomy, no node involvement, chemo, rads, tamoxifen.
I returned to work in NOV., 04…rather a forced decision as they decided i was no longer entitled to ICB as in their words ''its only the cancer that bothers me ‘’!!
i work in a childrens day nursery with 0-2’s, i was deputy, but didn’t want that position on returning, also returned to 3 days a week and have now dropped to 2 1/2 days.
Thing is i still don’t have enough time to spend with my grandchildren, family and friends, i always seem to be rushing around.
even though i’m only working 2 1/2 days i feel i’m still relied on too much at work, there are also other issues there with the new manager.
i suppose what i want opinions on is, do i give up work [which would mean tightening our belts financially] now and enjoy my grandchildren etc.,…or carry on indefeinetly…??

any opinions would be gratefully appreciated.

Hi there Karen Just reading your post and it seems to me that there are a number of issues which an outsider cannot give an opinion on. However, I wonder if you have been able to explore what options are available to you as opposed to the all or nothing approach ie work/not work. For example, is it possible to reduce your hours further, or work in another nursery where there isn’t the same history? Is it possible to sort out the issues with the new manager? Or perhaps do something totally different workwise? If finances aren’t an issue, it might be helpful to visualise what your life would actually be like without having work around which to centre your family/friends activities.

The one thing I am sure about is that since I have had breast cancer I will no longer put up with situations that don’t work for me if it is at all possible to change them.

Good luck with your decision. Listen to your heart/instinct.

best wishes


Hi Karen The effects of breast cancer treatment can last for years and there is no reason why you can’t consider putting in a new claim to Incapacity Benefit. If you have a good GP who is willing to give you a sick line the DWP has to accept it. I’m a benefits adviser and the only potential problem I can see is that you may not have paid enough National Insurance Contributions in the last two tax years to qualify. But you won’t know until you try.

It is definitely worth considering. I’d just tell your doc you have tried cutting down your hours but still feel too tired to work. (Don’t mention the grandkids - it’s got to be work-related.)

As far as the quality of life issue, I can relate. My daughter is only 16 months old and I work 3 days a week. I feel guilty sometimes but we cannot pay the mortgage without my income. I’m off on full pay at the moment which is great but I still don’t get to devote as much time to her as I’d like as I’m wiped out with the chemo.

It’s a very personal choice.

Good luck.


Its not easy I returned to work after treatment about 2 years ago. Within 2 weeks I was asked to move to a new team that was being set up which might have brought more work to our site and my old team was being downsized although that wasn’t mentioned at the time. I agreed ,after all my company had paid me 8 months sick pay and I was grateful for that. Anyway 2 years down the line I have been on 3 different teams, learning 3 totally different sorts of work and I can’t help thinking that if I had not had 8 months off sick then I would still be on my old team, pre diagnosis.

I would love to be able to give up work or go part time but my husband who is a young 50 has heart disease and 2 blocked arteries were discovered a month ago and he has had 2 stents put in to add to the one he had put in 10 years ago and we really do not want the worry of relying on his salary alone. Its not easy and we really would like my husband to take early retirement at 55 so we are saving as much as we can to make sure that happens.

Its a difficult decision but if you can do it then I would go for it.

what I did I was working as a University lecturer when I was diagnosed and worked off and on through 10 months of treatment. A few months after treatment finished I decided what I kindof knew already…that I didn’t want to work full-time any more.

I was 54 at diagnosis and got early retirement on health grounds (‘lucky’ in the sense that i had 30 years in pension fund and also that I had ‘bad’ enough prognosis to get support from oncoloigst.)

3 years now past diagnosis and I love being ‘retired’…I do have an easy one day a week job on a telephone advice line. Otherwise I just do as I please, laze around, read, lunch with friends, do day time cinema, walks, exhibitions, retail therapy. Probably doing an OU course in February. Also have moved since retirement.

For me this is absolutely the right decision. I’m finanicially cushioned by a reasonable pension and a partner who works. I don’t know when cancer might come back into my life and kill me off but I wanted a taste of a different kind of life just in case it does. So far I’m well which is a bonus!

Everyone is different but if you feel its the right decision for you go for it. Work was very important in my life but I simply don’t miss it.


I agree with most of the points already made. The sad fact of this desease is it can financially cripple some woman. I would say if you can afford it, and can visualise your life without work and like what you see, go for it.

In my case I am 3 mths in and still on full pay. I have 3 more mths of that then go onto half pay for another 6 mths. This all being if I need it. Am awaiting chemo and don’t know detail yet so don’t know how long this will go on for. I teach but am an artist making stained glass and so I want to put my efforts into that and maybe return part-time. This may be possible but my husband is’nt working at present so a lot depends on him and his plans too. We are in this together and we both need to review our futures just ‘in case’

Good luck with your decissions