When do/did you go back to work?

When do/did you go back to work?

When do/did you go back to work? Hi Ladies,
I know this is a question with no strict anwser, as we are all different and can feel very different after our treatments.

I just wanted to ask about your experiences and see how you all got on.

I am just a few months since I stopped treatment and feel very drained. Its been a tough year, but I know you all know .

I would love to go back to work but just don’t have the energy or the right frame of mind at the moment.

How do/did you cope and how long did you need before you went back to work, Did it make a difference to what work you were doing?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks and I hope you are all as well as you can be.
Kind Regards


I was diagnosed last June, had mastectomy in July and started chemo in August, am having radiotherapy at the moment which will end mid March. I am a nurse so was banned from working whilst having chemo so I have not worked since diagnosis. I am planning to go back 2nd April in a phased return over 6 weeks.Unfourtunately the ward I was working on is closing down ,and I will be going back to a different ward, and I am not looking forward to that part as I will be with staff who don’t know me. I do feel tired at times it varies. Sometimes I can feel I can take on the world and others I feel like a 100 year old woman what with the aches and pains I get now. But as you say everyone is different and have to do what is right for them. I think it does seem to depend on the job you do and how much you enjoy it. I don’t think I could go back if I didn’t love my job, as this disease does make you re-evaluate your life and decide what is important to you.
good luck

hi rosie,
i had my op in nov 2005, mastectomy, did not work from then till september 06
i could not work as i work with children and was told not to due to infections.

  1. teaching assistant, phased return… 1 day for 2 weeks, 2 days for 2 weeks ect, i do 4 days in all. 9-12 each time

  2. cleaner in charge, phased return… 1 hour an afternoon for 2 weeks, 2hours an afternoon for 2 weeks… stayed on those hours till after xmas as that was tiring with the cleaning. am now doing 3 hours every afternoon 3-6pm

  3. dinner lady… just started back have done 1 day a week for 1 hour…for 3 weeks then will do 2 days till easter.

after the 3rd week back in september i had to reduce my hours again as i felt soooo tired, even though before i went back i felt i could do it.
then i pushed them up again and i am managing ok.
i think their idea was that i would be back in around 6 weeks but that has not happened and i have been very lucky with my employers that they have listened to me and occ health as to my return.

sorry bit long winded.
sharon x


I waited until all treatment had been finished for 6-7 weeks before I returned back to work. I am doing phased return, instead of going back full-time I do two days 9.30am-1.30pm and to be honest, its hard. I never realised just how hard it was going to be. Work have been great though, we get a month of phased return and Occupation Health have arranged for me to use annual leave which I was carrying over in to the next financial year, to have shorter weeks when I am due back full-time. I hope to just work 3 days for a while, as I have a little boy of 4 and I still want to have the energy to be ‘mum’ too.

Hope this helps.

Good luck

Claire x

work Hi Rosiexx,

I was DX 29th Sept 05 and went on sick leave 2 days after 1st chemo,(x6) then i had my WLE in Feb 06,15 rads in July 06 and i didn`t go back to work untill begining of Nov 06.

I didn`t go back untill i felt ready,i work in a fast paced factory on a production line,i started back on 16 hrs aweek for 4 weeks then increased it graduly by 5 hrs after that up untill xmass,after which i returned full time (39 hrs).

Even now im shatterd by the end of the week and have to spend most of the weekend in bed to recover ready for Monday morning,my personal lady is good though,if i wanted to i could cut down my hours again or take days off in the week .

Don`t go back untill your ready,and increase your hours graduly.


return… I finished all my treatment on 11 Dec (lumpectomy + chemo + rads) and returned to work on 2 Jan. But it was a phased return.

Wk 1: 2 mornings
Wk 2: 4 mornings
Wk 3: 4 mornings and a whole day

I think the principle was build to full-time over 6 weeks. I was advised that, when I was home during this time - if I flaked out on the sofa and couldn’t find the energy to do anything - then I was doing too much - and should slow the phasing.

I was ok - not helped by the fact I work away from home normally - but work were very accommodating.

I did return to work in the wig - but 2 months later - I just warned everyone that I was going to have very short hair on the Monday (the people who mattered to me) - and it was fine.

3 years on - I suspect I did too much too quickly. And now would like to take some time out to assess my life - but I’m back on the wheel - and it’s difficult to step off. Can’t see myself doing what I do now for a nother 20 years. I will pluck up the courage soon though.

As you say - everyone is different - but listening to your body can be good!

Izzy x