Working during Radiotherapy

Hi all, 

I was diagnosed with TNBC back in May 2022. I have had 6 rounds of Chemo followed by a lumpectomy in October. I decided to take time off work during treatment which I think was the right decision at the time. December came and my statutory sick pay ran out. I considered applying for ESA allowance until I finished my Radiotherapy but then made the decision to return to work. I work at the local supermarket and am currently doing my minimum contracted hours, so three 4hr shifts a week. I am due to start my Radiotherapy in the next few weeks and as I was advised to go for the longer option by my surgeon due to having a flap put in. This means I will have three weeks where they treat the entire breast and one booster week. I have some holidays accrued and my boss said I can use them during my treatment so I will at least get holiday pay. I just can’t help thinking that perhaps I was wrong to go back to work before the Radiotherapy as I worry that the fatigue will just be too much. What did you all do? Did any of you work through it and if so how did you cope? My husband who is the main breadwinner is really struggling with his job at present. He suffered a burnout and was signed off for 4 weeks. He started back this week and on the advice of his Dr is only doing two days a week for 4 weeks to ease himself back into things. The thing is he doesn’t think that things will change and he feels that he will be back to square one feeling terrible in 4 weeks time. I feel awful as I want to concentrate on my treatment and getting better but I worry about him. We have two children also a 12yr old boy and 8yr old girl so it’s not easy on them as they pick up on it all. Apologies for the rant but I needed to get it off my chest.

Hi I think it is possible to work through radiotherapy depending on what job you do and also how it impacts you - everyone is different . I think most people find fatigue hits them about halfway through the sessions so if you are able to take some time off then that would be helpful . 

Be honest with your boss about how unpredictable things can be and just take it day by day . Hope you are not too badly affected :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:


 I am currently having radiotherapy, have done seven of fifteen sessions and so far feel fine. I have just been to the gym and worked out for over an hour, a bit more gently than I used to but still probably could have done more didn’t want to go too mad after nearly four months away.

 I don’t work, took early retirement four years ago but I think I would have been able to work through radiotherapy if I was still working but maybe not full time. I used to work in a university library and my job was half desk based and half standing as a front of house supervisor.

 Everyone is different so it is difficult to advise what you should do. I may suddenly hit a wall later in the treatment or afterwards but so far I have found the worst part of it is having to go to the hospital every week day.

Just a thought, would you be entitled to claim sick pay again after being back at work for a few weeks? In my former job we were entitled to full sick pay again after being back at work continuously for four weeks, there were a couple of people I remember who really played that system.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do xx