Returning to work

I’m just wondering how long people tend to leave it before returning to work.
I was dx Jan,Grade 3 IDC,clear lymph nodes,4xEC, 4xTax,WLE and just had 13 of 19 rads.I’m age 44.
I know everyone is different & of course it depends on what sort of job you do,but I’d like to hear others experiences.Were you given any advice from the hospital?

Little H xx

Hi Little H,

I was diagnosed 14th Oct 08, WLE Chemo, rad, tam. I went back to work 3rd August 09 and am being reintergrated over 3 months so up to 3 days a week now. It’s very strange being back after almost 10 months.

My onc gave no guidelines other than it’s up to the individual and their employer.


Hi I was diagnosed last sept I worked through chemo 6xtch crawled in some days and took days off ill. I ended up in hosp twice v ill, school looked after me they cut my duties and made sure I had plenty of breaks they even altered my timetable so I worked with a few students,I work in a secondary.went off end mar to have mastectomy, radiotherapy, I have returned last week on full time basis but keep in touch with occ health,very tired today,but I needed to keep some normality, I still go in for herceptin and other hosp appoints.I am also doing 2 courses one I started 1 month after diagnosis.My husband worries I am doing too much but I need to fight this the only way I know how and that is not to let it completely destroy everything.


I was dx May 08, surgery June 08, started chemo July 08 and returned to work Sept 08. I was working in a secondary school and had been for the past 28 years. Everyone is different but for me I needed the ‘time out from BC’. It worked. I was in and out until I finished chemo in December but, it was the right thing for me. I was climbing the walls at home and in a vey dark place. Work gave me something else to think about.

I also realised that I didn’t want to carry on working (stressful) and took early retirement this summer. Work served its purpose but now it’s time to enjoy!

Use work as it suits you. If you feel the need to return - fine, if not - also fine.

Mal x

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your comments.My last rads is Sept 16th & I intend to spend October trying to get abit fitter & generally looking after myself.I’ve got November in mind for a return to work but I’ll see how I feel.

I work as a stewardess so it’s hard to get proper breaks or a set routine.I’ve been wondering if I should maybe work on the ground at first.It’s something I’ll have to discuss with my manager.

There does seem to be a lot of teachers on this forum.

Little H xx

Hi Everyone,

I was diagnosed in Feb 09 and am due to finish radiotherapy on 25th Sept. I am a single mum and a self employed mobile Hairdresser. Tax credits allow you 28 weeks off before stopping payments, so I really need to be back at work on 19th Oct. I recieve ESA which is rubbish and if I lost working tax that would be really bad, I’d be living on next to nothing… The pressure is really on to get back to work. I am hoping radiotherapy goes smoothly and my skin holds up. I want to go back to work and I know I can tailor it to suit my needs but I am worried about not being 100%. Christmas is just round the corner too which doesn’t help. I’ll need money for that and it’s also My “busy” time of year!! I don’t want to turn clients away as they have all been great and understanding. Sorry… starting to rant a bit!! nothing is ever easy is it…?

Best wishes
Fiona xxx

Hi Helen!!

there are a lot of teachers and we all seem to have a guilt problem about taking time off work!!!

your plan sounds good though!! still laugh to myself when i think of yr story about doing life jacket demo and wig!!

yr rads seem to have gone really quickly, nearly there now!

I’m waiting for SE effects of 5th to kick in, fingers crossed its better this time!

love debs xxx

Hi Debs,
You’re right about the rads going really quickly,number 15 today,start with boosters tomorrow.Compared to chemo this is a doddle!! Been lucky with my skin so far,fingers crossed it continues.I do get tired,but I’ve been tired since starting chemo!

Hope you get away with SEs this time,I’m sure you must have read all those mags in your loo by now :slight_smile:

On Tuesday,when it was really hot I wore my bakerboy hat up to the hospital,but on way home I went naked! It felt soooo liberating,but I did chicken out when I got back to my station and put the hat back on (not quite ready for inquistive neighbours). Hair’s growing but still very short.

I’m having a massage at the Marsden this morning before my rads,looking forward to it.

Only one more chemo to go Debs,you can do it! Look forward to seeing you soon,

Love Helen xx

I got a couple of baker boy caps too! one blew off in the middle of chichester whilst we were away!! OH moved very fast to save people from my shiney scalp!!!
Comfy though!!

Debs xxx

I wore baker boy caps when I had no hair. I have quite a small head so wore a quilted skull cap, then a bandana, then the baker boy cap on top with the ends of the bandana tucked under. Then voila, I could whip my hat off and not worry.