That's awful. I know from my appointment with Occ health whilst going through everything that i was 'protected' by the disability act. This I think meant that they had to give time off. Not sure what it all entailed exactly but i know they had to be careful not to breach it. This must be the same for everybody.
I hope it all goes well for you, you don't need the additional hassle on top of everything else, but as you say, having to go through all the treatments and facing the unknown does give you strength you may never have had before. I've always been a bit of a woose too!
Good luck & hope they get their comeuppance. x
Thanks gardengate for your words of support.. i have given my situation a great deal of thought over the last few days and i have decided to put in a grievance at work as they haven't been supportive and have invoked the absence procedure (i have taken 13 days in the last 12 months) no compassion either or reasonable adjustment... so stuff them if i resign i will give them what they want.. ultimately i need to leave in order to sort my mental and physical well being out.. but have decided i won't go without a fight..
All my life i have never stood up for myself and i need to start doing it now.. how scary!!! but if i can deal with cancer then standing up to my employer should be a piece of cake... mmmm rather have the cake though!!
I think you are brave having a reconstruction, i can't even contemplate that at the moment and probably will never have it done.. just the thought of the long op... good luck to you xxxx
Sorry hit the wrong button there. I think you're being brave putting yourself first and think you're right to do this. Are you able to take long term unpaid leave, this could give you the time you need to get yourself back in the 'right' place
I wish I had the courage to do what you are doing. I just keep hoping that redundancies would hit my team again and if they do my hand will be up there. At the moment I'm waiting for an oppointment for my reconstruction and whilst I'm desperate to have this done I'm eually desperate to have the weeks off recuperating. Think it's a bit sad I feel like this
Hi Fluffy Chick
How about giving our Helpline a call for some information and support. They are open 9-5 weekdays and 9-2 on Saturdays.
You can also get information about benefits and breast cancer from Macmillan Cancer Support website, including downloading the booklet Help with the cost of cancer. Alternatively you can call the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 00 00.
Very best wishes
well i couldn't stand my black cloud anymore - went to my gp today and he said i am depressed! Oh my he was just so nice to me we talked about antidepressents, counselling and leaving my job - he is appalled at the way work are hounding me about my absence days..so i am mulling over my options..
I think i know in my heart i will resign from my job.. i have given it my all over the last 12 months and because of this have no energy for anything else.. i want to get well mentally and physically and i don't think i can do this whilst continuing to work.. i have taken benefit advice and am eligible for the (think!) its the disability benefit.. it won't be a lot but better than nowt!
All of this feels really weird.. i am not a quitter and the thought of leaving a reasonably well paid job is scary... i know i will need to work again at some point, i am only 48 and am worried how i will cope with that... i suppose though at the end of the day i can only deal with the here and now..need to get over my frustrations about the way my life is going..and being totally honest i never really wanted to go back to work!
Does anyone out there have any advice or made a decision similar to me???
Thank you fluffy xxx
well i am glad that treatment will help you Naz...like you i enjoyed being at home I'm childless although my partners daughter lives with us..
One of the reasons i won't throw the towel in at work is because i want to have money to do things, when i have the energy of course!!!!
Take care xx
Sorry, Fluffy Chick-it certainly wasn't my intention to make you feel as if you were moaning! As it happens, I have dealt with the recurrence much better than I did the original diagnosis. I am told that the aim is still curative so am happy with that, and I've still got a few options left yet, so please don't feel as if you need to apologise! I totally agree with your comment about benefits for us! I doubt I'm ever going to reach retirement age (I'm 41), especially as the Govt keeps increasing it, and I can't help but resent the fact that I'm going to have to work for the rest of my life and not enjoy any 'me' time. If course, it's nobody's fault! In spite of the reason I was off work the first time, I loved just having the house to myself and time to read and listen to music and cook (I was, and am, childless) and even just not do anything at all! I guess we just have to make sure we make time for ourselves and not let petty things like work take over our lives, while also recognising the fact that we need the work to pay for the things that we enjoy.
Yes I dream of leaving work as well, then I wouldn't feel like I am in a constant battle to do everything.. I now realise how precious my time is and starting each week looking forward to Friday is not good..
Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a benefit system especially for us..you don't want to work why that's absolutely fine here's some money go enjoy your life!!! I know I am crazy!!
Scarily I dreamt last night that my oncology nurse told me I had a max of ten years and that my onc had been over optimist to me.. I have never ever dreamt about any of my treatment or medical professionals..mmmm am wondering why??? xxxx
I admit I would happily give up work. Whilst I was off it seemed like a luxury to be able to manage house, children & dog etc at a pace that seemed normal instead of the 'trying to do everything' which I seem to have fallen back into. Walk the dog, clean the house, go to work.........I realise this isn't the life I want on a full time basis, I want to enjoy things a bit more and i want my family with me to do that, however, how do you change this when financially it's not possible?? Sorry for sounding so pessimistic but I don't want to waste time in case something changes for the worst. Is this just normal feelings, does this change and settle in time? I'm not unhappy with each individual thing I do, just the way they are all lumped together in a never ending cycle.
I think I'm looking for that magic answer.
oh naomifel i am so sorry you have had a recurrence.. i sincerely hope all will be okay.. I am glad you can be more flexible at work having a better balance is what you need and like you say what is the worst that can happen to you..
You have really made me think about everything..I feel awful now for moaning so much...
You take care xxxx
Hiya, hope you don't mind me joining-just wanted to agree with your comment, fluffy chick, about work consuming all your energy, leaving you with little left when you'd rather not have to be working at all. I went back to work after 12 months leave and felt as if I had to work that much harder than I had before to prove to everybody that I was just as, and more, dependable than before I was diagnosed-I didn't want them to write me off just because i'd been treated for cancer. And yet I was so tired at the end of the day that I had no energy to live the rest of my life, which was more precious to me than work. Since being diagnosed with a recurrence, though, not only because I'm tired again, but because i am just not so bothered, I've taken a less stoic approach to work. Whereas before I would get to work at about (7.30) now I arrive between 9.30 and 10.00 am. And I'm more inclined to take a lunch break than I was. I am lucky that I hav the flexibility at work to chose my own hours within reason. I read today of anew term-work/life weave-rather than work/life balance-which sums up exactly how I am trying to approach work now-I even have an hour and a half lunch breaks so that I can go to pilates. I reason they can only fire me, which is nothing to what could happen!
Make sure you put yourself first for the while-you'll fall back into sync with your family in time! xx
I am in awe of you working through chemo... that was my plan but it didn't work out and in the end took 13 months off... have now been back a year and it is easier than when i first went back but i still struggle with work... i was only thinking today if only i didn't have to go back on Tuesday.. when i say this people look at me in horror and say 'what would you do, you will be bored'!!! I don't think so, i have a life to live after having it returned to me and at the moment i am only managing to work and if i do too much pay the price with fatigue and minor ailments...
well sorry to rant girls i am aware and very appreciative of the fact that i am alive and never try to loose sight of this fact.. sometimes though the aftermath of the treatment is very hard to cope with and yes i have read the books and fact sheets on how to help myself but that doesn't stop this overwhelming longing for life to be easier.. it is true how we don't appreciate what we have when we have it..like you say gardengate some days i am fine and think yes things are going okay and then others i just want to run to the hills and leave it all behind..
oh yes thursday was funny at work felt so ill i nearly fell asleep at my desk, one of the girls interrupted my siesta!!! and zero compassion from my boss... hope i gave them something nice for easter... aren't i cruel..
hope you have all had a good one xxxx
I also worked whilst on chemo, 1 week off, 2 weeks on. Thought I was actually doing not too badly as I kept hitting those walls. Very frustrating as you know your thoughts are over the other side but no ladder big enough to get there! I took time off following op and whilst on rads then went back. When i looked at the stuff I'd done whilst still working couldn't remember doing it at all, although my name was definitely there. A year on it's improving but it's been a struggle at times and I would happily leave if I could afford it. Although not sure the fug would have disappeared as much if I wasn't working.
It's all a bit complicated at times this cancer thing, one day I'm settled, the next I feel like just carrying on walking when I'm out with dog.
Not sure how OH copes when I don't know what to expect myself from one day to next. Life's never dull though!!
After chemo and during rads I was offered an early retirement package which I accepted..............
I had an exacting job! Needed to concentrate 24/7. I worked thro' chemo but not at 100%. I couldn't concentrate and hit a 'brick wall' by lunchtime.
I'ts so hard going back to work. Some are ready and willing to pick up where they left off, but I think a lot of people find it hard to concentrate and some (like me) realise that they could never do their previous job.
I think ladies maybe you are right when you say that the old me never returns... I don't think it will for me and like you Gardengate not sure I ever really liked the old me!!!
But I like the new me and I realise things like stamina comes back slowly it is frustrating though..
Today I am in work with a horrible cold and feel awful and people are like ' it's only a cold'!!! Grrrr I could scream...
My anxiety comes and goes usually it's in the middle of the night when i wake up and can't breathe..
Hope you all have a good Easter.. lots of choccy will make us feel good.. xxxx
I think like everyone I have been waiting to return to 'normal', normal moods, normal fitness but i think now i am finally, almost accepting that the old me is gone for good and this is it. I had a period, around 5 months after being told that my prognosis was good, of total and complete anxiety. felt i was being suffocated, couldn't sleep and felt fear that I have never before experienced. Took some amatriptylene for a bit but found it left me groggy all day even at a low dose. However, for the few months I took it, I got decent sleeps and the anxiety subsided and hasn't returned to the same extent. the worst thing i find is knowing that i should be delighted that I'm here but instead feel like I'm still grieving for the old me. (Not even sure if the old me was that great!!) Things can only improve i suppose.
I think you make a very valid and important point about it being like post traumatic stress. I had lost my confidence before I was diagnosed due to work and career issues,also the fact I'd had to become my dad's carer for a year;I lulled myself into a false sense of security thinking confidence would return in spades after going through all this - the old "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" theory. Believe me when I say it was a bit of a big shock to need counselling when I felt as if I'd stepped off a cliff. It had actually got to the stage where my OH couldn't cope with me and he told me I neded help that he could't give me. When I think back to it, I can understand couples splitting up through the stress if I'm honest.
Think the old me went when they told me I had cancer.Think it may be self defence If you are not you then it can not be happening to you. I always felt I was watching Casulty or Holby and someone else was getting the treatment. Suddenly the operation/chemo/rads and Herceptin finished and I returned to face the truth. It was me all the time and then it starts the fear the anxiety and the tears.I had been through the menopause but these new roller coaster feelings were like menopause on speed.Everyone says great your looking good and you have finished treatment but you just feel like it has only just begun.when I had counselling she told me it was like post traumatic stress. Does that mean you go nuts as well as have the Cancer believe you quietly lose the plot La La land is soo much nicer than reality but as you slowly return you realise that you are still alive you may not smile so much at the beginning you have had soo much to deal with but remember after the rain the sun comes out .Thats what life is like you have to have the rain to appreciate the beauty of the sun.You are just hiding behind a cloud for a little while.
Thank you for the advice on the book GI Jane - it came yesterday and it is helping me..
the other thing i am finding hard is the feeling i have lost my place in life, for example i am the eldest child and sort of knew where i fitted in family life but now that is all different.. i think it is just me and my feelings but family situations just don't feel right.. it's the same for home life i live with my oh and his daughter and again i don't feel like i fit in, same with work.. sorry i could go on..
It's like i am on a different treadmill to everyone else and i am not moving in sync with them.. am i going mad????
Road runner i too have overwhelming feelings of sadness it is with me today sitting on my shoulder as i type this..
my gp is lovely and sorted out counselling for me but i just didn't gel with the woman..the thing is i know all the practical things to do i just can't seem to get focused.. my gp didn't think antidepressants were the right thing for me and i agree..
so i am hoping i can work through this and at the moment these forums feel like a lifeline to me... i do exercise but again don't always pace myself as i should so get overtired then frustrated and so it goes on.. i need a month away from it all i think..
happy mothers day to all the mums on here, enjoy xxxxxx
+ 1 for the cancer survivor companion book.
I can completely identify with you all. My prognosis is excellent after diagnosis in Nov 2010 so I feel like a spoilt brat for letting it get me down. It's my 40th birthday in a few weeks and everyone is so surprised that I'm not having a big party but celebrating is the last thing I want to do.
It's so much more than an illness for which, in my case, I simply had the offending area removed. It's changed me from a confident outgoing woman who used to travel the world for work and enjoyed life to someone who cannot drive or be in busy places as I get panic attacks and gets overwhealming feelings of sadness. Fortunately I am getting help from a clinical physiologist and am learning to find my new normal rather than my old normal.
During my treatment I was determined to ensure that I made the most of each day, but that just isn't always possible and just managing everyday life is an achievement.
Good luck to you all and thank you to ladies further down the line from me for reminding me that it will get easier.
The Cancer Survivor's Companion by Goodhart and Atkins is also very practical in terms of coping with all this stuff... I got it from Amazon.... hope it helps... Jane
If you've done chemo then your hormones have probably been messed around with. Do see if you can have a chat with your GP to see if there's something for you. Or if your hospital has a support centre attached they may be able to offer counselling to help you deal with the trauma you've been through.
No choccie muffin, love your name, I'm not on tamoxifen and when i last had my bloods done to see if i was going through menopause they came back fine..
I just think i am expecting too much and like so many ladies working full time is hard..
Thanks for your support sometimes it's good to get it all out and makes a change not to be shouting at my oh!!! xxx
Fluffy, if you're on Tamoxifen, you might be finding that your response is following oestrogen deprivation. When women go into the menopause naturally their bodies (and moods!) have a bit of a chance to adjust, but I reckon we get booted into menopause with no warning and at light speed, so it's no wonder we sometimes suffer. This is all just my own opinion, of course, and I could be very wrong.
I have also read that a fair percentage of BC patients end up diagnosed with depression. Hardly surprising, really, though I think that has something to do with the speed of menopause. If you think that could be the case, you could think about having a chat with your GP, who might be able to arrange counselling, or even a course of anti-d's if that's what you and he/she decide might help.
And don't apologise for ranting. If you can't rant on here, where can you. We understand.
In addition to the support here I am posting a link to the 'BCC Moving forward' web page where you find further information and support ideas to help you through this difficult time:
I am almost at 3yrs since diagnosis and to be fair i am pretty much back to 'normal' but it has taken a long long time to feel happier and less anxious about my future. I still have tears, i still feel why me and i still worry about dying but it doesnt dominate my life any more.
Take it step at a time. The way you feel does not be classified into right or wrong..just go with the flow and remember what youve been through. I started running after my 2yr all clear and it is just the best thing ive ever done.
I was diagnosed 24th Feb 2010 and after chemo mx radio and herceptin which finished 20th Jan 2011 i was told last thurs by my onc that he is really pleased with me and gave me an excellent prognosis.
After this i was on a real high but now i feel so down and my oh is struggling to cope with my mood swings and general nastiness!!
I have read the article by Dr Peter Harvey so i know what i feel is 'normal'.
Does anyone have any tips on how to cope with this please?? I am sick of people thinking or expecting me to be how i used to be as i can't and don't want to..
So sorry to rant ladies as i know i am lucky to have such a good prognosis..
Thank you xxx