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changing job after BC?

16 REPLIES 16
jenny29
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi sorry, I havent been on for ages. I couldnt be bothered getting used to the new forum and I've forgotten where I've posted previously.

 

I dont know if my answer is going to be helpful as  I cant really remember how long I was off. I was off  the time suggested by the medical team and went back part-time. It was fine but I would get home and fall asleep.  I think I could have done a few less hours to begin with and built them up more gradually. I think I returned full-time after about 3-6mths and that is what was too much. It was manageable but it just felt too tiring.   However I was on hormone treatment at the time as well and getting those side-effects.

 

Spudgirl
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Jenny, I know we are a few months on now, but I haven't been on here for ages to read the thread. When you say you went back too early, what sort of timescale was that?
jenny29
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Thanks Lois, hope the 15th goes as well as it can for you, sorry you've got to go thr another one. Even if you go back to your old job temporarily, it doesnt mean you have to stay in it. And if you are able to not rush back into work and go back gradually on a part-time basis, it can help you with that sense of being able to cope. I think we loose all sense of control with this disease. I was allowed to go back to work for short days part-time and then increase them but I still probably went back a bit too early. So take the time your body and mind need if you can. And yes, some nice sunny days help me.
Lols
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Sorry bout your news Jenny I'm still waiting for scans on 19 th July, got 2nd wle on 15 th. spend a lot of time in bed awake early morning wondering how I will ever be upto my job again, it's so physical and so stressful and very long hours. When all tests behind me I suppose il drop some anxiety and look at what I can do, at mo have no confidence to do anything but my job, makes me laugh really cos can handle stressful situation like cardiac arrest very well, but can't handle wondering what else I could do. I can see that work becomes less of a priority and all the little things we take for granted mean more. The only thing this disease has given me is time at home. I think the NHs are supportive in return to work its just I know once I back in there il be in charge again and will I cope?. Thanks for replying, hope you get all your test results soon, and they can control your stage, bloody disease it's so life changing. Have sunny week end x
jenny29
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi Lois
Echoing Sarah's comments, you sound like you have lots of transferable skills, it's just difficult to have confidence at the moment and not to worry about the future. The website might help you to see what skills you already have. By the end of your rads etc who knows how you might feel or what you want to do. My past employers were supportive in letting me go back gradually but I think once you're back its easy for people to forget. I also happened to be working with a lot of men at the time, so I didnt feel like talking about it.

I feel like I've been spending so long waiting for further tests and then further results. Still have another one to go but it turns out I have mets. At the moment I've no idea what that means in terms of work, except it's lower down on my priorities.
Lols
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hr!!!!! Ok thanks il look it up xxx thank you, take care
SP0
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Here's a link that might be useful to you...
https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx - free advice available and profiles of different jobs

Lols, as a staff nurse you will have plenty of transferable skills, nursing's just the environment you apply them in! For example, organising, multi-tasking, coping with pressure, managing conflict, people management.

It's hard to be creative and upbeat about what any of us have to offer when we feel crap while going through treatment. But when you're ready, there are some processes you can go through to identify what you're really good at, what you enjoy and so on. Hopefully this website will be a start...

Btw, I was working in HR!

Sarah
Lols
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi Jenny thanks for reply, you ok, what's other dx. I had news today can't stop cryin 4 lymph involved out of 25' bc nurse said not good news but not worst, got tomwait till Monday pm for all details. I agree money not everything, if it all works out I know I can't go back to the work I did, so stressfull, but whilst doing it felt ok, tired but coped. I feel the only skill I have involves nursing I'm not good at anything else, it's the only knowledge I have. How were your colleagues when you went back part time, supportive? hope all ok with you x thank you for replying very grateful x
jenny29
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi
I've just got another diagnosis and I'm in the place of rethinking my life. The first time around I went back to work (probably too soon) part-time and then full-time (too much) and then realised I needed a complete change and left. Since then I have had a better work/life balance with a lot less money. Although not having much money brings its own stresses, I don't regret giving up the long hours and commute. My experience is that part-time work does give a much better balance, it's a question of what is most important to you. Not always easy to work out but remember the saying that we dont meet many people who say thier biggest regret is that they didnt work more.
Lols, I know what it's like to think what else can I/do I want to do and to worry about the future. You must have gained so many skills as a staff nurse and helped so many people.
Spudgirl, I hope you don't mind me saying but as important as financial security is, I can imagine that there are others things that you give to your daughter that have nothing to do with money. If there was any possibility of dropping some hours, you might gain something else from it. Good luck with the decision.
Lols
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

HI Milo hope you continue to enjoy your work. Im only recently dx and still waiting for chemo and rads but did discuss before to spud i think that dont fancy going bk as staffnurse all those hours on my feet and all the stress, but dont think id be good at anything else, keep thinking what else could i do? Plus at moment am getting paid whislt off i know its a future worry but it does go through my head especially in middle of night. This bc dosent come alone, lost all confidence hopefully drain out today we will see. Have good day x
Milo1
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hiya,
new employers are allowed to ask about your sick record as in how many periods of sickness you have had in the past year, but are not allowed to discriminate if you have a serious illness. My new employer did not ask me anything so I did not have to tell them, I am hoping that by the time I am back on chemo I will have proved my worth and not lose the job. No one knows about my health here as when I moved from wales to england my hair had started to regrow and I decided not to tell anyone about my cancer.
Maybe part time will be the way for you, I do understand about wanting the best for your daughter it is only natural. Have a chat with your BCN maybe she can point you in the right direction for advice. xx
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: changing job after BC?

Following my diagnosis with metastatic BC and the first round of chemo I was unable to return to my previous job. My employer terminated my contract on the grounds of ill health but offered me a less demanding role with fewer hours which I accepted. To be honest at the time work was quite low on my list of priorities. I hadn't the energy to fight for my job and I was easily persuaded. Unfortunately my husband was made redundant the same week I had my diagnosis so that made it impossible for me to give up work completely and emotionally I wasn't ready to do that. I felt that returning to work was one of the few 'normal' things left in my life. Fortunately I had critical illness insurance which eased the transition to a salary that is less than a third of my previous job and I now also claim DLA which helps to narrow the gap in income a bit more. In some circumstances it is also possible to claim ESA, tax credits and income support. Macmillan has advisers who can give advice on maximising income and help with claim forms.
I do think your priorities change and there is a lot to be said for having a career that gives you pleasure. Even though I still miss my former role terribly I know I could not cope now with the demands of working those hours and the pressure I was under daily. I am much less stressed and have found a better balance between work, treatment and family. It has been important to me to continue working and not just in the financial sense.
Mags2710
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi, I just returned to work last night, staff nurse for 20 odd years, am 8 months post dx. Couldn't sleep today for the legs pains. Not looking forward to going in next week for shift. All last night just wanted to be home and not doing nursing. I started dog grooming as part time interest prior to dx. Am now looking to change full time to this career path. At this point in my life its time to rethink my life work balance.x
Spudgirl
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Lols let me know what you decide to do, I'd be really interested, or if you want to swap ideas and thoughts ...
Milo1, I really admire you, I didn't think DLA would be an option, never even considered it. I did have a small amount of critical illness insurance so it's eased things for now.
I think my problem is the immense guilt I feel about wanting to work less/earn less. I have an 8 year old daughter and as we had her late I worry we'll leave her quite early in her life (i know it sounds crazy - even when I read that back) so want to make sure she is financially secure.
I know I can't carry on as I was, I wish there was something like career guidance to help me downsize the job in some way.
Milo1, You say your employer isn't aware of your condition, does that mean they cannot ask about health? It's great if that's the case.
I might start by asking if I can work part time, that's if I can get over the guilt thing.
x
Milo1
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

Hi Spudgirl,
sorry to hear you are back here again, do you have critical illness cover? or are you able to take a career break? could you manage with DLA, I had the cover and was able to take ill health retirement from the nhs, I moved back to be near my family, downsized, no mortgage, and have been able to take a year or so to heal and recover (bilateral mx no reconstruction and secondaries) I have just started a part time job which I enjoy but it also gives me time to rest, my new employer is not aware of my condition.The last two years have been the most difficult in my life but I feel that I am finally getting used to the new me. I chewed over my options for a long while before deciding what to do with my life and I think my decision was right for me. Good luck with whatever you do choose to do,it is not easy especially when you have others to consider, however you must decide for you, not anyone else xx
Lols
Member

Re: changing job after BC?

hi im 48 too. just had lumpectomy and anc already know its in lymph awaiting staging but chemo and rad onway, been told. I have same thoughts as you, cant imagine going bk to same amount of work, but bills etc mean cant ignore this. will be grateful for any advice, im a staffnurse and have been for 13 years but not sure i want to be in that environment when all this hell over. x
Spudgirl
Member

changing job after BC?

Hi there
I'm not quite sure where I am going with this so please bear with me.
I had DCIS in 2010, after treatment I vowed to adjust my work life balance. This happened for a while then over Time I ended up back on the slippery slope of work taking over.
I now have a new BC and going through treatment and starting to think about what will happen after.
I dislike my job and ideally I would love to change my job but in reality I think I would be less desirable to an employer, and I have financial commitments of course.
So what have others done to get a better balance / change jobs / change careers? Or at least make work less stressful / more bearable?
xx