Back to work?

Hi all,

I can't remember if I have asked before, apologies if I have.

How long was it before you went back to work following treatment? It's been five weeks since my last brachy. I have a very demanding job and although I will have a phased return I know it will be 100mph in no time! physically I am ok, a few bowel niggles and VERY tired (have a toddler). Everyone tells me I shouldn't stay off til Christmas, but I feel guilty. Part of me thinks I need to start getting back to some normality but I just don't know if I am ready mentally/emotionally yet?

i know everyone will be different and there is no right or wrong answer, but I'd appreciate any input.

Thanks x

Hey Sweetpea,

"a few bowel niggles and VERY tired" - and this is just from being at home? I think you know yourself that you are not ready to go back. Dont feel guilty about being off and dont try and be a martyr by going back too early. You need to feel 100% ready because once you're back, you're back. I think now is most definitely the time to be selfish. The last thing you want is to rush back too early and then feel lousy right through Christmas. I agree with your family and friends - stay off until Christmas and enjoy it at your pace. Then start 2016 back at work Feeling kick @ss!! :-) 

big hugs xxxx

Hi Sweet Pea!

I totally agree with Kelly. You know that you are not ready but you feel so guilty that you are asking everyone you know if you should go back to work? Am I right?! ;) It's way too soon and you won't cope with a demanding job and a toddler. I went on about getting back to work because it would get me back to "normality" and I really don't know what I was thinking! I went back on a phased return 4 months after my RH - yes, 4 months!! And I didn't even get to the end of my phased return. I was tired and sore, my job was too stressful and full-on and when I got over-tired I got over-emotional. My mental health really suffered and I totally fell apart. I had to be signed-off again and take time to look after my physical and mental health. I now do a slightly different job which is a lot less demanding and I am feeling pretty fantastic. Nobody thinks I was malingering, much to my surprise!

You may have seen other posts where some people have gone back to work pretty early. Some people even seem to work whilst having treatment. It's not just that we are all different but we all have slightly different things done to us. Also, some jobs are much easier to go back to than others. You won't get any prizes for being tough on yourself. This is your opportunity to take some time to get properly better and think about how you want to live your life. If you can afford to stay off till Christmas then you absolutely should. You know it makes sense, Sweet Pea! ;) I needed to be told I deserved more time off many times each day at one point - my husband and I called it "The Conversation". I would just say, "Oh, dear....I need to have The Conversation again." It was always the same but I needed someone to actually say it. If you need The Conversation then do feel free to PM me and I will have it endlessly with you. I really do understand. :)

Kirsty xx

P.S. You need and deserve more time off and it's okay! ;)

I'm 3 months post RH, and in the same place as you. Still getting a lot of niggles, exhausted. Job is mentally and emotionally very challenging, and can be fairly physical at times. I'm still thinking I should be going back asap and people think I'm malingering, but I know they don't really think that. Listen to Kirsty, she's had The Conversation (love that) with me more than once, and it makes so much more sense when someone else tells you! Give yourself time to fully recover and recuperate, mind as well as body xx

Hi sweetpea

i think it's a personal choice with no  right or wrong answers, however from the sound of your post it sounds like your not quite back to normal yet, so why not take the time to regroup enjoy time with your family and mend, without worrying about treatment results etc.  You have been through a lot and it's ok to be a bit selfish and do what's right for you and your family.

i went back on a phased return quite soon after treatment but in fairness this was to occupy my mind as I don't have family and I was finding there was only so much Jeremy Kyle and ladies lunches I could take!!

i haven't found work physically hard but mentally it's difficult as I'm treated with kid gloves and people are a bit off with me at times.  I think I have found it hard as well as my bosses act like its my brain that's wrong not the cervix, and have lessened my role a lot which I find hard.  What I'm saying is I thought work would be my normality but in its current form it's just a reminder of my cancer.

make the choice you feel is right and don't feel guilty either way. It's your body, mind and life and deep down you will know what decision is right for you.



Hi Sweet Pea,

You've answered your own question really. You don't know if you're ready mentally or emotionally.

Everyone is different,  I start back at work on a phased return on Tuesday for 2 days, and will gradually build up from there, physically & mentally I am ready to go back.  I still have 32 days leave to take, so know I can take it easy, but then I didn't have a toddler to look after while I was trying to recover, I could take to my bed whenever I felt like it if I got tired, so don't be so hard on yourself. 

You've been through a hell of a lot in the last few months, don't forget that.  If you aren't pushed by outside pressures such as finances, then give yourself the luxury of going back when you do feel strong enough, emotionally, mentally & physically, 

Stay strong,

Feisty xx

Just had this discussion with my sister. Really feel I should be going back but truly don't feel ready. Hope you're OK sweetpea xx

Hi, I am giving myself until Christmas- In case you need a partner in crime?! I echo what everyone has said. Very individual. perhaps your body is telling you it hasn't quite recovered yet if you are still tired ;-) 

it can take a year or more to recover, do put yourself first as much as is possible. Lots of love!