76.1K members
1.2M posts
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Breast cancer and working as a nurse


Re: Breast cancer and working as a nurse

i had a WLE, SNb and 4 nodes removed in 2006 when i had only just qualified as a midwife but started working very part time (6 hours) in a sexual health clinic 2 eves per week which was fine when i was undergoing rads.

i also got a full time job as well but occy health said i had to wait a month after rads were complete before starting.

most patients were independant but it was a urology unit so we had a number of ms and stroke patients who needed transferred with hoists etc but the staff i worked with were great when i needed help. it also involved clinical skills like catheteristing and i had difficulty opening packs and sterile water bottle due to lack of strength and on going issues with cording which resolved of its own accord over a number of months.

my bc was right sided and i was right handed so was a bit of a pain... i got thrombophlebitis from pricking my finger on a staple and ended up in hosp with iv antibiotics... that was before i went back to work though... however i did end up with cellulitis through a cut in my finger i think it was made worse from wearing gloves and getting hot even with a plaster on.

i also broke the same hand 2 years ago and this caused lots of swelling but settled back down.

the average time to get lymphodeama is about 3 years from surgery and last year i injured both arms when i fell ice skating (yes i am clumsy oaf LOL) and since then i have had intermittent lymphoedema in my hand especially when doing strenuous or repetitive tasks.

but its a very individual thing and some people will never get it and some people get very severe LO soon after surgery.

generally i would say is try not to over do it and if you feel LO developing speak to OH.

my current job involves a 90 minute drive in each direction to a clinic and my arm got very sore from that.

since then i developed an new BC in the other side and they gave chemo in the right arm which set off the lymphoedema again combined with phlebitis from the chemo.

it still concerns me a bit about how it will affect my job in the future as i work in sexual health and do smears, swabs, implanon insertions and removals which are quite intricate procedures which involve using both hands but i will just need to see how it is in time.

good luck

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Breast cancer and working as a nurse

Hi ,same dx for me, WLE and SNB in Feb,started tamoxifen April,finished 15 rads May.It's only now that am starting to feel as if I'm getting back to normal with regards to what I was up to before. However,have developed lymphodema,without even trying,had a hell of a job getting a referal to specialist nurse. Like what has already been said listen to your body and do what is right for you,we have all been through a hell of a lot both physically and emotionally and the effect of it all differs for each of us. Good luck.

Sandra x

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Breast cancer and working as a nurse

Dear Gocat,
I have had almost identical dx as you. Finished rads in March and am back working albeit part time as a therapist which is 4 months later.I think you need to give yourself plenty of time to get over the rads and the whole psychological trauma that we go through having a cancer dx.
Everyone is different though and some people on here go back to work much sooner and some later. I would encourage you to listen to your body and not be pressurized into going back as it must be a tough job that you do, physically and emotionally
Best Wishes

Breast cancer and working as a nurse

Wondering if anyone here has had WLE, rads and tamoxifen and then gone back to work nursing physically handicapped people either during of after treatment.
We have hoists etc at work but wondering what the risk is with lympeodema, fatigue etc during and after treatment finishes.

Had WLE 10th August with 4 lymp nodes removed under left arm too. Have just started tamoxifen and waiting to commence 15 sessions of rads. Am off work at the moment and manager wants to know when I will be back.