RETURN TO WORK Hi Well I made it!!! Went back to work today after 10 long hard months enjoyed it only did 3 hours and had to come home and go to bed! but I think it is something to build on being shop work you are on your feet all the day so think I will have to find my level for the time being untill this weakness leaves me. How did everyone else find going back to work it was a bit scary for me felt like a new girl.
Thanks JanetS

Hi Janet

I went back to work today, i also did just three hours, i work in a school. This afternoon I,m Knackered! felt really strange to be back, dont know if I want to be there or not! Hope I can keep my energy up for the rest of the week!! we will have to see how we go wont we?

Love Gracie

Hi Janet

I was lucky enough to be able to go back to work on a phased return and like you, I did 3 hours the first morning, at the end of which I felt both physically and emotionally drained. I also felt like the new girl. and had to virtually learn my job all over again. I gradually built up to my full hours (21 a week) over a period of about 5 weeks. I was off for about 8 months and, yes, it did seem very strange going back - I think the old self-confidence takes a battering once you have been diagnosed with BC! I’ve now been back at work for over a year, although I have reduced my hours to 15 a week and life has finally taken on a much more “normal” perspective.

So, you will get there eventually but don’t be too hard on yourself and try not to do too much too soon.

Best wishes, Jo

Back To Work Hi Gracie hope you find this message just wondering how you went on at work again today I am not going back untill Thursday needed 2 days to recover!
Love JanetS

me too Im going back next Tuesday , after 9 months off. Bit worried about coping with travelling 40 miles each way & then a busy job, but Im doing a phased return to . I can just see that I’ll do nothing else all week tho’, apart from work & sleep! Looking forward to a bit of normaility again though, after a long slog of treatment !

Hi Hello KatherynR
Nice to hear from you good luck with your return to work reply to this on Tue when you get home (if you can stay awake)
Good Luck and dont do to much!

Done two weeks now Hi Janet

Well ive done two weeks now, just go in for 3.5 hours each morning. Found last week ok but it was a short week with the bank holiday. Today Monday i am shattered again. Not feeling like i fit in at work yet and everyone keeps asking me if Im alright!!! Im going to give it a term at school,as am finding it very tiring Ill see how i go but if it means my health coming first it has to. Just dont want to give another thing up for BC. But think I need A change How are you doing are you finding it tiring. I must say it is a relief when you hear from others thst it is normal. I hate cotinually feeling as though I cant keep up with life.

Return to Work Hi! Everyone.

I was diagnosed in Sept. 2003. Had mastectomy Oct. 2003; chemo Nov. 2003 - March 2004; radiotherapy April & May 2004. Phew! did all that really happen to me? I knew also that I’d be going back in at some point for a TRAM flap recon. My lovely GP signed me off until the end of August 2004, so I had a good long time (almost 1 year) to recover my stamina. I am a teacher in a “challenging” comprehensive and when I returned in Sept 2004, it was like I had never been away! I decided against asking for a phased return, in my job it would have made things difficult for exam classes - me being there 1 lesson and not the next etc. In the event, I found I coped very well with only the usual levels of tiredness I had experienced pre-diagnosis.

I worked for all of that term and a couple of weeks after Xmas (into 2005 now!). I went in for my recon in Jan 2005 and took 5 months off afterwards. Again as much to regain my stamina as anything else. I returned for the final 3 weeks of the summer term in July - again full-time. By Sept. 2005 it was as if the previous 18 months - 2 years was a distant blur.

I was lucky, the attitude of my head teacher and colleagues (and my GP) was really supportive. All along I was told, don’t rush back, take as much time as you need. MY attitude all along has been, let’s get this thing out of the way and get back to normal. And that’s what I do now - work full time, go to the gym, pilates etc.etc. I decided not to let it affect my life in any way. I enjoy the odd glass of wine or 3 or 4 … and haven’t changed my diet. I’m afraid I couldn’t become a tree-hugging, tee-total, vegan!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in denial about it all - far from it. I see the results in the mirror every day. My recon was a total success and I love the new shape it has given me. I just thank God every day that I have the chance to live the life I want.



Message from Chelsea Getting on with life Dear members

I have moved this post from a new user to this thread as it seem to be relevant to this discussion

posted on 9.05.06 12:38 pm

Hi i have recently gone back to work, and to my surprise am finding it a bit much. Is anyone going through the samething.

it takes time Hi

I went back to work for a couple of hours on and off whilst having radiotherapy in April 2005. Work is an 85 mile round trip and it’s shifts on top of that.

However, they have been really great with me and allowed me to go at my own pace. I’m now doing 8 hours where the full shift is either 9 or 10 depending on which day/shift it is.

Am still finding it tiring though - both mentally and physically - but the good thing is that I AM getting there. No one should expect to recover straight away (although I suspect that most of us do) - it DOES take time.

Mind you, being thrown into the menopause doesn’t help - added to which I was diagnosed with depression last november.

It’s amazing what we have to go through, isn’t it. But we can get there - just try not to rush too much.

Take care of yourselves

Dreams can come true! Hi

I hated being off sick and longed for the days of being stressed out at work and having a bad hair day! well my dream came true and long may it last! bring it on I say…

I begged to go back to work and caused mayhem as working for a huge Company they could only deal with being sick or well not anything in between but we got there in the end and to me being back at work and thinking about something other than bc for part of the day was the best ever treatment.

I am sure it depends on your job and the support you get on your return I consider myself really lucky.

What I do know that since it all started my ‘coping ability’ has drastically reduced it takes very little to tip me over the edge these days hopefully this will increase gradually and the fear everyday that yesterday was the last ‘normal’ day I will have will decrease, we shall see.

You never know, work might be just the step forward you were waiting for.


When did you return to work? Those of you who have posted mostly seem to have taken several months off, then gone back to work part time.

I’ve just had a mastectomy (last week, following a lumpectomy which didn’t get everything) and am facing chemotherapy, tamoxifen and (if I can get it!) herceptin. Don’t yet know for sure about radiotherapy. But my surgeon seemed to be talking in terms of getting back to work asap, and my doctor has only signed me off until the end of this month.

I have to admit I’m dreading it. I’m doing alright at home but am very worried about my emotional state when I go back. It feels like it’s taking all my energy to try to stay positive at the moment, plus I’m resting a lot during the day.

My generous employer is offering me a return on a 32 hour a week basis instead of my usual 40! Did anyone else go back to pretty much full time work this quickly? How did you find it?

It depends I was advised by my Breast cancer nurse not to go back to work until after treatment, which would have meant 3-4 months off work. I had WLE and lymph node removal, but no chemo, just radiotherapy. I have my last radiotherapy session today and was diagnosed in February.

In the bit after surgery and waiting for radiotherapy I felt great and went back to work but have been doing part time (1/2 time) during radiotherapy treatment, and do feel tired and couldn;t have coped full time.

32 hours does not sound very generous.

You must do what is right for you, depending on how you feel. Talk to your breast care nurse, who may be more understanding than the surgeon - my surgeon also seemed to think I should go back to work very quickly after surgery. Docs do have a habit of focusing on the physical and not the emotional side of all of this treatment, and I think they can under-estimate recovery times.

Hope you sort things out.
Mollie x

too soon Hi Myrrhanda
I can only echo what the others have said. I had a mastectomy and full axillary clearance in Nov 04 and went back to work after 11weeks. I worked through treatment when I could because it gave back a bit of normality to my life and I had a very supportive manager. I had to give up towards the end of rads because of tiredness but only for a few weeks. I worked for 8 weeks then I was off for a further 11weeks from Aug 8th 2005 following a tram flap recon.
I went back in the October on a part time basis and had 2weeks leave over Christmas going back to my normal hours afterwards. Well I didn’t last long, by Feb I was really struggling and had to reduce my hours again but the tiredness was getting worse and I became depressed and have currently been signed off for a month. With hindsight I think I may have done better to stay off through the treatment but everyone is different and you need to decide what will work for you. Surgeons have a very different idea about time off work so listen to you BCN, mine refers to my surgeons ideas about recovery times as “absolute nonsense” and I have to say he isn’t lacking in understanding or bedsiside manner. She recommended 3 months for me. You need time to recover emotionally and physically and you shouldn’t rush back if you don’t feel able. With regard to the sick note, doctors shouldn’t issue them willy nilly for months without checking on their patients. My surgery explained that they like to make sure things are ok and all through my treatment my GP has seen me for regular checkups even when I was working. I’m sure when your sicknote is about to run out you will be able to ring the surgery for another one and you may not need to see a doctor although it might help. Only you know how you feel and and you should listen to your body and your mind. I know there are financial considerations to be made regarding sick leave but try not to be too influenced by this if you can. You will start to feel bettr soon and on the days when you don’t come on to the website where you’ll get lots of support. You aren’t alone out there!!! Take Care and good luck

return to work A big well done Janet i really admire you it scares me to think of going back into the big bad world of work, i wish you every hapiness for the future.