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Phased return to work - need advice please

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Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi

I finished treatment beginning of May, started phased return end of May on half days, increasing each week with a view to being back to full time by the fourth week.  

By the third week I was still suffering with really bad fatigue and anxiety and after spending an hour in HR in floods of tears ( not like me at all!!) they sent me to OH.  

They put me on a month of working half days 5 x a week.  I have one more week left and can honestly say I am only just starting to feel back to my old self.  

Seeing OH again next week and imagine I will be full time by the next couple of weeks after that. 

I also believe it is also the emotional aspect of a cancer diagnosis that can affect your ability to work.  That isn’t something you just get over quickly.  I am having counselling sessions at the moment ( funded through work) and have found it really beneficial. 

Don’t feel rushed into going back full time if you are not ready. 

I have waffled rather 😊

Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi

just wanted to say, you’ve had a mastectomy which is a big op so yes you have had treatment. You might not have had chemo or radiotherapy but surgery is a huge thing so please don’t underestimate that when planning your return. 

Hope you get a return that works for you xx 

Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi Melanie 

 

Thanks for the reply it sounds like you have a good plan there and I might suggest that tomorrow. I’ve only just started the tamoxifen so not sure how it will affect me yet, I’m hoping and praying not too much!!!!

 

Hope your recovery and going back to work goes well for you this time, take care xx

Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi Shaz 1969,

 

I’m currently off work following a mastectomy and implant reconstruction, I’m on Tamoxifen ( after being on Tamoxifen then Letrozole then back to Tamoxifen ). I’m going back to work 1 July on a phased return.

 

My phased return is over 4 weeks but can be longer if needed. The first week I’m doing 20 hours over 4 days working in the mornings. I’m doing Monday and Tuesday, taking Wednesday off then doing Thursday and Friday. 

 

Our equivalent of Occupational health suggest no more than 4 hours per day in the first week but I really wanted a break mid week. I’ll then go up to 25 the next week, then 30 aiming to be full time in the fourth week. They have told me at any time if it’s too much we can go slower or spread it over more weeks. 

 

I tried to go back at the start of May but it was too soon. After two weeks I was exhausted and had to go off again. I’d just gone back onto Tamoxifen and really struggled with the initial side effects. This time I feel ready to go back.

 

it’s in your employers interest to get you back to work and keep you there so I hope they’ll be supportive and let you go back slow and steady. The other alternative is you stay off longer which isn’t good for them so fingers crossed you can come up with something that works.

 

think about what you want your first four weeks to look like and offer that as a proposal. Take the lead and go to see your manager saying you’re looking forward to going back and you’ve given a lot of thought to what will work for your job and help you cope with the return and then lay out what you want to do. It will be much harder for them to challenge it after you’ve said what you want to do as they’ve got to justify why it won’t work. You’ll most likely be tired in the afternoons so keep that in mind. 

 

I hope you can come up with a solution that works for you and that you make a successful return to work xx Melanie 

Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi Karen

 

Thanks for the reply, yes that sounds good, the only thing I have is that I haven’t had any treatment so wasn’t sure what to suggest to my employer, maybe see what they suggest to me I guess.

xx

Member

Re: Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi Shaz,

I did a phased return to work and my employer suggested 5 x half days for 2 weeks then back full time. It was far too much to quickly so I would suggest part time for a few weeks.

I had chemo , surgery and rads and had been off work for 9 months, it’s difficult to slip back into working I was exhausted.

Take your time and take care of yourself first 😊

Karen

x

Member

Phased return to work - need advice please

Hi, I had a single mastectomy with a tissue expander the end of April with no chemo or rads but now on tamoxifen. I have been signed off work until the middle of July and really unsure of the phased return fo work.  I know everyone is different with recovery etc and wondered what other women have done? 

 

I work in an office 5 days a week, 9-5 which can be stressful at times and am thinking of going back 3 half days the first week and three full days the second week with the view of then going back full time, do you think this is reasonable?

 

Thanks for reading 😀