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not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

employers also offer these 'keep in touch days?

 

good luck to all xx

 

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi there, I'm in total agreement with this being up to each individual. Nobody should feel under pressure to go back to work before they feel ready. It's a difficult one though, as once you start to feel better it's tempting to think about getting back into those routines we had before treatment started. I think it's really important to consider that feeling okay going about life day to day can be a million miles from feeling okay doing a day's work in an office/school etc, particularly if you cannot take breaks whenever you feel the need.

I was diagnosed with TNBC in Feb this year, started chemo in March, 3xFEC then 3xTax, surgery in August, then 15xrads which finished on 14th Oct. I'm planning to go back to work in January on a phased return. However, I have said to my HT (I'm a primary school teacher) that should I get to the end of the year and feel that I'm not ready, I'll be extending my sick leave. I'm going in next week to discuss phased return and start to get my head round everything again. I've also heard that my council have what's called 'keep in touch days' which are paid days when people who've been off for a while can go into work and spend some time becoming familiar with the workplace again - for me, probably getting computer access set up again, looking at new developments etc. - so I'm going to ask about that and see whether I can use a couple before Christmas to help me get the feel of it all again. Maybe worth finding out if other 

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

I was diagnosed in January 2014, surgery february, chemo ended in August and Rads in September. When I was diagnosed the BC nurse said if I had Chemo to expect to be off work for at least a year.

 

I didnt believe her but I do now. nine months on I still feel very tired and cant see me going back to work till the new year. However I also feel that I need to get back to work to get some normality, I will get a phased return, my manager has been brilliant and I know that I wont be pushed by him to return early.

 

Throughout my treatment  I have been constantly been told that everyone is dfferent and what works for one does work for another. So for me,  the return to work question is about listening to my body and how I feel, being honest about how I feel to myself and my manager, and to not feel presurised to go back to work too early. I just hope I can follow my own advice.

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

I think everyone is different and you are the only one who knows what you can cope with. I was diagnosed last July, had mx on left side and immediate reconstruction diep on the 28th aug 2013. Come out of hospital on 12th sept and was lucky enough not to have rads or chemo just started on letrozole end of sept 2013. For me I went back to work full time 1st oct 2013. I know now that body thought was too early but for me I had to cope this way. Still working full time now although am tired and am normally in bed by nine however mentally i needed this to help me except what had happened. Take care , listen yo the experts , but listen to yourself more you will know what you want to do to allow you to cope. I think that yes is a major orator of the healing
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

After being diagnosed Jun 2013, then had mx in July, chemo (6x FEC/TAX) from beg Sept then RT (x15) in Feb 2014, and developed an infection at surgery site, I have only actually just returned to work nearly 16mths after it all began. I knew it was going to be difficult initially as I still have big fatigue issues and have been led to believe this may take time to lessen, but I needed to get back to work for some sense of normality. I know lots of my friends have dealt with their Occ Health team in their return to work, all of them going on to do this on a phased return. You should not have to deal with your manager putting pressure on you and only return when you feel able. So long as you keep the lines of communication open, hopefully you will be able to arrange something to suit you when you are ready. I think a lot of people are unable to understand just how much the effects of our treatments will linger and for some, the fact you want to return to work means, in their eyes, that you are fully fit again. All you can do is let them know where you are in terms of fitness and with any luck your OH team will be more understanding than your boss. Good luck with your return, when you're ready x
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

I will say whether your boss is supportive or un-supportive and if they are willing/able to be flexible can make a massive difference.
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

I think its very individual how long you need/want to be off for. I was diagnosed in Jan with grade 3 stage 3 IBC, and I worked flexibly through 8 cycles of chemo. Had 2.5 months off after my last chemo as was getting tired and had my surgery and recovery. Now having rads and went back to work last week on a 6 week phased return. I am taking it easy and using annual leave to have one day a week off as well as working short days, but for me being back at work is a step on the way to reclaiming some degree of normal life....
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi Gill. Thank you for your reply. I am going to talk to my head teacher about going back to work on a phased return. I keep hearing they are eager for me to return though but I am not going to rush into it. At the moment I haven't been able to start radiotherapy as I've had a seroma and a wound infection. Hopefully when I see my consultant tomorrow he will say I can go a head with it. I think it's going to be November now before I can start the 18 sessions allowing for the 2 weeks planning. Take care, love Sheila

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi SML

I think this is much too early personally. I had surgery, chemo, rads finished jan this year had 7 months off went back March 2014 phased return but i felt that this was the time i need to be at home to recover fully.  So really only had I month after all treatment was finished. Unfortunatlely i wasnt in a position to stay noff work any longer than 6 months due to then being on half pay. You do get very tired and I know it is good to get back to normal but I would give yourself more time love Gill

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi. After reading the responses to lisacs question I am wondering if I am being too eager to return to work. I was diagnosed in March this year and started chemo in April followed by surgery in September and now waiting to have radiotherapy and start on Anastrozole. I was intending to go back to work after Christmas. I am a teaching assistant and was told to stop work as soon as I wa diagnosed because of the risk of infection from the 4 to 6 year olds that I worked with. I know I am very fortunate to have long holidays but it is a very demanding job when I am there and the only break I get all day is 30 mins at lunch time. I am now wondering if may be I am being a bit unrealistic after reading this thread and may be I should give myself more time.

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

hi lisac, I returned to work but was phased in I took annual leave them came back to work on reduced hours , still feel very tired after 6 hours work .... don't be pressured if you can afford to stay off, I couldn't but my boss has been very sympathetic since I was diagnosed a year ago ... good luck
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Lisa's
I finished treatment in feb14 after diagnosis last April,after 6 months of chemo and 18sessions of radio I am still not back at work,I have good days that's when I overdo it and then hit the wall with fatigue again,it is getting better but recovery is sometimes harder than the treatment,speak to HR your boss is out of order.
Big hugs
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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi Lisac

 

You will need to be assessed by occupational health because you have been off sick for a long time and they will almost certainly recommend a phased return. Has anyone apart from your boss been involved in discussions about your return? If not then you should talk to HR. It doesn't sound right that your boss is talking about a change in your work patterns at this stage.

 

The only other think I can think of is that there will be a limit to how much sick pay you are entitled to and you need to know if you are in danger of hitting that limit.

 

Your employer should have all this information set out, ask for a copy.

 

Take care

 

Mary

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Re: not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Hi LisaC,

 

I also work for my local council and i returned to work on a phased return agreed by HR and their doctor. I then used up my outstanding annual leave. So I have spent the last 6 months as part time. Have a chat to HR and see what they can offer.

 

Good luck, Kat x

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not ready to go back to work, anyone else the same?

Mid Jan this year I had a lumpectomy because of grade 3 stage 2 breast cancer. I then had 6 rounds of chemo 3 weekly, 20 bouts of radiotherapy, am now on Tamoxifen for 5 years. All this has left me fatigued, aching; probably effected my fibromyalgia, nerve damage, inability to get a proper nights sleep. Believe it or not I am OK with all this; better than the alternative, but I feel no where ready to go back to work in any capacity. My boss is trying to make me go on to nightshifts, something I didn't have to do before! I am still on long term sick but am beginning to feel that others think I should be thinking about going back soon. Why? How do I convey in a way that makes people understand this is not possible and may not be possible for a long long time; going by documented side effects and issues. My boss even said " I'll cut to the chase, when are you back?" I wanted to swear at him. I've told the union if and when I go back I want a new job; I work for the local council and believe there must be a job out there that will fit in with my new needs I.e. reduced hours and no shift work. I'm wondering if anyone else has been in this position and what happened? How long were you off?