so lonely

I am feeling so lonely. Am trying to return to work, struggling with fatigue, battling with employers, communication is non-existant despite OH recommendations. want to work but walking thru the doors is so tough. Union involved, but so hard. Any suggestions welcomed .

Hi lexilou

Whilst you are waiting for the other uesrs to reply with their experiences you might find it helpful to talk things through with a member of staff on the BCC helpline.  Here you can share your thoughts and concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional support and practical information.  The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi, going back to work can be so difficult. Do you have a colleague at work that you like and trust who would meet you outside and walk in with you? I assume you will be on a phased return to ease you back in. Sending lots of positive thoughts. X Stella

Hi Stella & Seabreeze,

Thanks for your input here. Yes Seabreeze - we shared some comments elsewhere. I too feel now documentation & use of union rep is the only way to go. Just dreading walking in their tomorrow - I know some will feel I have been ungrateful. I choose to believe they are acting in ignorance - but that can only be an excuse for so long, at some point you have to acknowledge the rights & law. My return has been over last 10 weeks & am still far from my contractual hours. The OH recommends many more weeks building up my hours. Whilst I have great friends I dont want to burden my young peeps too much & have no *significant* other to cuddle up to at night. Sounds a right pity party - will pick up again soon

The team I work within is quite large - but we all have our own workloads - I feel to be critical of the management may well destabilise the team & this will bring more angst my way. I have tried to talk with the line manager & one above with spectacular failure.

Hi Lexilou,
Sometimes it helps to unravel things a bit…
OH sound like they are supporting a very gradual return and that is positive. I presume OH are commissioned by your company to provide advice?
If so your line manager and above should be adjusting workload so that it is reasonable for the hours advised by OH. Do you think managers aren’t doing this?
Is there a separate HR dept? If so it may be worth seeing if they can help your managers to follow through re OH advice.
Macmillan have an employment advice team re issues on return. May be worth calling them too.
Have you told team mates you are still recovering from side affects? It is hard when people see you and say you look really well when you are still recovering.
I’m sure your friends will understand if you speak to them about it.
Beaming some fight back vibes to you.

Hi seabreeze,
Your comments again are insightful. When i went to OH and the plan was made, OH said these were their recommendations. Work has adopted them but without any discussions with me, even though OH also recommended regular meetings to assess my ability to cope. I feel there is a wall of silence, i ask questions regarding next steps and had a curt email to attend work as rostered as was too short notice to change the shift pattern. That was not what i had asked for, i was looking for advice on how to move fowward and confirmation that they would accept the recommendations. I have lost faith in the team who are suposed to be managing me, i am not sure that they are aware of the legislation in place. HR is a one person unit, and in this instance has been copied on communications, but also remains silent.

I will speak with Macmillan, the stress this is bringing is immense. Thank you again for your thoughts x

My team mates know i am still recovering, some are very good at offering support, mental and practical.

I have been reading all your comments with much interest.
I was due to return to work the week commencing 2 February but my OH manager (who knows what I have been/am going through) wants to to see the works doctor (I work for a large organisation) as at our last phone conversation I mentioned I didn’t think I was coping well emotionally (I have also been independently referred for counselling). This doctor can’t visit for another week so my GP has given me a note for another 4 weeks. I can honestly say I could pack work in today as I haven’t missed it all the time I have been off, the friends and the gossip are different.
I will have to go back shortly as my full pay will stop and OH have said it will be quite a long phased return and my line manager knows I have various group sessions such as ‘Moving Forward’ etc so will ensure these don’t clash.
My consolation is that at 55 I can take my work pension if I want, either finishing work altogether or keep working but on reduced hours (I will be 55 in April), however in July there are changes to the pension altogether so I think I will take as long as possible from work, try to make the phased return to work as long as possible and then think about things then. As I have been reading elsewhere when you have been given a bc diagnosis and go through all treatments, then you seem to re-evaluate your life and things around you and realise what is important and not suffer fools gladly and whilst I do not have partner at present I hope to at some time in the future.
Love and best wishes to all xxx

Hello catweasel, I think you have this right. I do love my work, but hate confrontation and wonder if i tried to return to soon. Good luck with your plans. I found a blog One Woman Walks Wales… a dufferent cancer, but wow that lady is strong. I long to get my walking boots on for a serious saunter !!!
Will update as all pans out.
Much love to all who have responded here x x

Sorry for typos fat fingers, small phone pad !!

Hi catweasel,
Your mornings work sounds really positive, thanks for sharing. Motivates me more to find something similar in my local area. Yet the times i most think about it are during the *out of hours times* must get this head sorted.
Thanks for being there snd sharing your news x x