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Second amended duties return to work

26 REPLIES 26
Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Wow you’re still up against it Jak. I hope you don’t have too long to wait. Have you said you’ll take a cancellation? I hope new drug combination gets to work soon. I’m doing okay. I still he fatigue at the end of the day but definitely benefitting from reduced hours. Xx
jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Thank you for asking after me - how are things with you?

This week I have seen ortho re knee plus psych and GP re meds. I'm now on Mirtazapine instead of Quetiapine (alongside Fluoxetine) and am waiting for MRI for knee prior to operation. Still signed off - can't see me getting back until after knee op now. I'm still getting tired easily but doing more so that's an improvement. The fatigue is still there but not so bad. Don't hear much from school - I know they are busy. Just had a letter saying my next breast care app has been moved a couple of weeks later... and so it goes on!

 

Hi Vonne - I hope you are resting and looking after yourself?

 

xx Jak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi RIverside Dawn

I'm so sorry, for some reason I don't seem to get notifications about this thread, but do get them for others.  I was hovering around today and thought I'd check in on Jak and saw your message.

I hope you are in a slightly better place and I certainly haven't had to deal with the level of treatment you are still going though.  In terms of my story, I was diagnosed in June 2016.  I managed to swerve Chemo thanks to Oncotype test and had lumpectomy surgery (2x to get get better margins), followed by rads and then anastrazole, which I swapped to exmestane, as side effects were rotten.  

I went back to work quickly, as pay had halved; and back to being busy at home too.  I think I was so intent on being stoical and acting as if everything was fine, my body decided to stop me in my tracks.  I think now I had delayed shock and I had no choice but to give in and just stop.  I worked with Occ Health to reduce my hours to 4 days and have just this month gone up to 32 hours over 4 days.  I do still struggle with fatigue and vertigo but have finally started to feel energised again.  My garden is my complete escape and I would happily spend all my time out there!

I hope your occ health referral has gone well.  I found them supportive and my manager benefitted from a gentle reminder of the Equalities Act and reasonable adjustments.  Although dropping a day has made things a bit tight financially, being able to have 3 days off, has made a huge difference in finding balance.

Wishing you well and sorry again for not replying earlier.

Jak, how are you doing?

xx

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi I replied to this yesterday - don't know where it went! Jak x

Oops there it is! x

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Riversidedawn,

I was diagnosed in 2016 after routine scan; finished treatment Jan 2017. It's the emotional stress that I find difficult as I have struggled for 20 odd years with depression. Seem to be caught in never ending circle of fatigue, tiredness, emotion, knee pain and anxiety! We all have other 'baggage' to drag around - the older you get the bigger it gets! Our bags are overflowing just now and there are some things that can't be off-loaded to make room. I am better than I was a month ago but still not well enough to try second return yet. I believe you can work and claim ESA, so I might go that route if it comes to that (still on full pay at the moment). My boss has been amazing and is worried that I might have felt under pressure to return to work the first time (last June). I've never had cancer before so had no idea how it would affect me or what expectations of returning to work are for me. It is difficult when well meaning workmates want you to be OK so presume you are!

It sounds as though you have a lot to cope with healthwise as well as everyday living. Occupational Health may be helpful as they should know the best way - don't forget the protection we have under the Equality Act. Are you in a union? There is a great guy on the Maggies websit called Tom benefits. He has given me lots of advice and will give 30 mins online if I should need more. Give yourself a break: go and see your GP and see what he/she thinks - sometimes we have to let someone else be the decider. 

Hope you had a good day today,

Jak x

riversidedawn
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Jak and Janet, I've been reading this thread with interest. Can I ask where you are with your treatment? You sound very similar to me.

I was first dx in September 2014. Mastectomy, chemo , rads, reconstruction and redundancy!

I started a new part time job (24 hours over 4 days term time only) in September 2016. All went well until nov/Dec 2017 when dx with bone mets. I'm on new daily med plus monthly bone strengthening infusion and zoladex belly injection.

I'm shatteted! The monthly treatment knocks me out for a couple of days with flu like symptoms so I take a couple of days sick leave, but also have other odd days off to cope with mental and physical fatigue.

My boss is now getting tricky about my time off and is making an occupational health referral. My job is very busy and can be stressful, I want to work but have trouble concentrating and am exhausted by the time I get home.

If I keep working as I am then I'm a useless wife and mother, if I stop working I know my mind will get bored and I'll miss the human interaction (got a menagerie of small furries!)

Not sure what I'm getting at here! Don't need a phased return to work as I'm back, albeit with ad hoc sick days. Guess I need to negotiate change of hours but then I'll be even busier at work!

It's all so mentally and emotionally exhausting isn't it?
Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi and sorry I seem to have missed your post. I do suddenly feel a lot better. Like some others I think I was struggling with delayed shock and needed to give myself space for a meltdown. I’m definitely feeling more like the old me again thank goodness. Someone said it takes 18 months and I think they were right! Hope you’re feeling ok and new tablets helping xx
jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

So sorry I didn't reply before. I'm waiting for a referral for changing my antidepressants as it's going on and on. Also finally being referred about my knee. Hopefully they can sort me out! I'm still all over the place emotionally so continue to be signed off. Not thinking about phased return until I'm well. Still very tired.

How are you are you coping?

xx Jak

 

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hello Jak

 

Wondering how you are doing? 

 

x

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Jak, they're great.  I have no talent for knitting or sowing, but am happily sorting out seeds for the garden and feeling better with each lengthening day! x

ladybowler
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

jak

 

They are amazing, well done you xxx

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey glad I made you smile!

My 'boobs' have gone off to health visitors who have made a donation to children's cancer. Keep well x JakP1200762 (2).JPG

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Thanks Jak and I hope you soon settle into the new medication.  I think it takes a couple of weeks for most tablets to be effective.  I'm okay and it's a routine appointment for me next week, although I hope they can give me some answers about fatigue and dizzyness. Work is okay but I took today off, as I'm acruing quite a few hours - think I'm still doing the same amount of work, but over less days sadly!   Your comment about knitting boobs made me smile, you could have that on a t-shirt! x

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Be careful!

I've been reading up on research into fatigue but, although it is being recognised more and more as a possible long-term side efffect, there's still no treatment other than hydration and exercise.

I'm stuggling with the effects of the quetiapine making me even more tired and very dopey. I have just started my full dose  so I guess it will take time to settle and it's only been 5 days. In some ways I feel a bit more depressed because I certainly couldn't work at the moment!! Oh what fun we have! Where are you up to in 'wellness'? Is the oncology routine checkup? Hope all is as it should be. Meanwhile... mostly I will be knitting boobs!

Thanks for staying in touch,

Jak x

 

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hello Jak

 

Have to admit it is taking it out of me again.  In an ideal world Wednesday would be my day off, to break the week up, but there are just too many clashes to do that.  I've enjoyed this week, but I just crash out in the evenings.  I have oncology appointment in a couple of weeks, so hoping I can get some suggestions for managing some of the side effects.  It does sound like you have a good doctor and he will be a good support with work.  Definitely don't rush back, as you need to have some reserves to see you through.  I'm looking forward to the days drawing out and some sunnier weather, to get out in the garden again.

 

x

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Hope you aren't doing too much?? Been to GP today. He doesn't want me to start phased return until he's seen me again as he says I'm not well enough. He has prescribed me quetiapine to take alongside the fluoxetine I've been taking for years. He reassured me that he's giving it as a potential mood stabiliser. I've read the side effects and frightened myself!! Mind you you could say that about any drug. He won't do anything about my knee until I'm well again. Wish the weather would buck up a bit - not a bit encouraging for walking!

xxJak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi. I went back and managed to do an extra 5 hours over the 2 days - oops! Struggling with vertigo again, but so far managing anxiety. I hope doctor can help x

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Merry New Year!

Thanks for asking after me. I am signed off for another month and my boss is happy for me to do another phased return when I'm ready with a view to returning to my normal hours eventually. The EFT didn't work out for me so I'm having counselling instead starting Friday. Still very emotional, wobbly and tired. Seeing GP Tuesday don't expect he will do anything just a chat.

How are you feeling now? Are you back to work tomorrow?

x Jak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Happy New Year Jak, how are you doing? x

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey sorry you've been unwell hope it's gone now? I didn't have to say anything to my boss as he didn't mention it, so will wait now until January. Have a great Christmas x Jak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

That sound really positive.  Sorry a late response, I have had rotten cold and fever, so was off work again!!  Have a good Christmas break and hope you get what you need to make work work for you! xx

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Thanks for that. EFT today was interesting, it was quite a release to let it all out to someone who knows where I'm coming from (cried buckets again). It gave me the courage to make a few decisions such as: go in for Xmas lunch (big step) and (if he broaches the subject) ask boss if we can talk after Xmas; making it on my terms. How I feel in the morning will decide if I act on it - no pressure!

x Jak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Jak, I think all local authorities support phased return.  You would very definitely be entitled to a temporary reduction in hours.  I am reviewing mine on a three monthly basis, which is helpful.  I'm so glad you have a supportive manager.  Occupational Health is there to be neutral and support both you and your manager and has been excellent if giving me and mine some advice and a clear plan, so it's definitely worth asking for a referral - my GP was guided by my report and wrote me a fit note to sign me back to work, but on amended duties and a phased return.  Occupational Health won't make a dent in the school budget but is supported by the Authority.  EFT is very good, so I hope today went well xx

jak60
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi Janey,

Thank you for your advice. When I returned in June it was amended duties as apposed to phased return. I would need to get my GP to start another fit note as my current one runs out on 2nd Jan (I have an appointment booked for 9th; earliest available but I could phone I suppose). I really need to go in to work this week for Secret Santa and to see everyone before end of term. Just hope I can do it: a, without feeling ill and b, without blubbing!! I'm also fretting about mylovely boss wanting to talk about next steps (not ready to discuss yet as I'm supposed to wait until I feel strong enough). But I do want to clear up with him whether he meant cutting my hours permanently or just for now, as it's preying on my mind. I think I might put it to him that another amended duties/phased return would give me more time to find out if I'm going to get over this blip. I'm not likely to approach OH on my own as we are a small school and always work things out together. I don't have any leave as I am term time only but having school holidays helps. It's important to me that you know my boss has been brilliant and cares a great deal.

I'm starting some Emotional Freedom Tecnique therapy on Monday - I'll give anything a go! 

I hope you have positive news from your appointments.

Thanks for listening it helps to have someone who gets it! X Jak

Janey2
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

Hi both

Helena is right, I have had two phased returns and am just finishing the second one.  I think Clair may have had similar as well. I officially returned to work on 23 December last year but used leave to start back on 9 January and took 4 weeks, gradually building back up to full time, but again using some outstanding leave to stretch out the process, as it was such a shock to the system and, like you have been struggling with fatigue.

I managed full time until September and then reduced to 34 hours a week spread over 4 days.  Ongoing issues with insomnia, fatigue and anxiety about multiple health and genetics appointments meant I was signed off for 5 weeks.  I asked to meet with Occ Health again and they recommended a phased return over 4 weeks and I am amending my duties slightly, underpinned by Equalities Act.  I am hoping my oncologist will be able to work some magic at my review next week, otherwise I am going to be taking Occ Health advice and reduce to 30 hours over 4 days each week.  I think you are also working for a local authority, so should be able to access similar.  If it's any encouragement, I felt so unsure I could get back to work when I went off in October, but the time and amended duties has made a difference. xx

ladybowler
Member

Re: Second amended duties return to work

jak

 

I am sure that Janey has done something like that.

 

Could you perhaps contact occupational health and discuss it all with them, they could then make a recommendation for you to go back on to amended duties again. 

 

remember that you are covered by the Equalities Act and your employer has to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to do your job.  I know other ladies have contact MacMillan and they have given very good advice with regard to this sort of thing

 

Sending you hugs

 

Helena xxx

jak60
Member

Second amended duties return to work

Hi Ladies,

I returned to work on amended duties in June until start of school holidays in July. From September I was back to normal hours. The fatigue is a big problem and has, unfortunately, caused a setback in my on-going depression. I've been signed off until January and have been mulling over what to do. Retirement isn't really what I wanted yet (as discussed on another thread - I'm 62). I'm wondering if anyone has had two returns to work on amended duties? This seems to be a way of easing back in without changing my contracted hours (an option I hope to avoid so as to protect my little bit of pension). Look forward to your comments...

Jak x