Job / Working full time


Just wondering how you all got on with going into work after your diagnosis or if you think its best to have some time off?

I know everyone is different but just wanted to hear your stories if work helped gave you something to focus on or if you just had to take some time off to let this whole situation sink in.

I just dont know what to work wise.

Thanks xx


I fully intended to continue to work after diagnosis and treatment starting. However all my appointments, investigations etc had other ideas. I had a couple of weeks of after my biopsy, EUA etc as I couldn't drive, got back to work for 3 days then had an laparoscopic procedure on 1st June and have been off since. This is largely due to my inability to drive at the moment. I've got lots of lower back hip pain which I feel makes me unsafe to drive. Really depends on the job you do. I'd love to be at work at the moment while I wait for treatment to start but hey ho.

Essentially go with the flow. Work if you feel you can otherwise don't. 

Take care and look after yourself

Rachel x

Hi Grace :-)

I would imagine that it entirely depends upon what work you do and your relationship to it. If it's a job you love and it fully occupies your mind then I imagine it would provide a welcome distraction from lurking dark thoughts. If on the other hand your diagnosis is going to make you helpless and tearful and unable to concentrate then it may be best not to be like that in front of your colleagues. Really only you can make that decision. A wee word in advance though, a lot of people go a bit 'funny' on you once you let them know your diagnosis, so be prepared for some strangeness. Or of course you could try not telling them until later and you are fully in the picture yourself.

Be lucky :-)


Hi there, 

I didn't have any time off other than for hospital appointments from getting the diagnosis up to the day before my surgery. 

I told my boss as soon as I got the diagnosi.  I work for a large UK Bank and they have been great through the whole thing. I did have to convince Occupational Health that I was OK to be at work though.

Trying to carry on as normal was very important for me as I didn't consider myself to be ill. I told everyone that I work with and they have all been great, probably more worried about it than I was. I' m 5 weeks post Op now and looking forward to getting back to the office before long.

 Greta xx

Hi Grace

I had the first day off after I was told as I was very tearful, after that I didnt have any time off up until the day before the op (apart from half a day for the MRI).  I needed something to occupy my mind and stop me thinking of cancer all the time.  I work in HR for an engineering company and everyone was totally supportive there.

I also did a bit of work from home once I had recovered sufficiently as it was important to me to get back to normality mentally if not physically.

Wise words from Tivoli above, it really does depend on what you do and how your colleagues are with you.

I hope everything goes well for you.



Thank you all for the replies, I have decided to just get on with work & keep myself busy.



I went into work because I didn't really know what else to do with myself!  In hindsight it was probably the right decision for me because I had to wait 6 weeks for my surgery so I would have been off work for ages otherwise.  I would have only been at home worrying and an emotional wreck if I wasn't at work.

That said my colleagues didn't expect much from me and I was very lucky at how supportive they all were :)  My closest friend at work sat for hours with me while I was a gibbering wreck... I'll never forget her kindness.

I used the time to hand over all my work, routine tasks, share knowledge etc so that it would all be handled while I was away and I didn't worry about any of it while I was off.  And that was very reassuring.

Ironically work were great when I was diagnosed but piled on the pressure when I went back and was 'better'.  Within a year I had left and found a less well paid but less stressful and more rewarding job analysing data for the NHS.

So do what feels right for you.  Remember if you decide to go in and you can't hack it, you don't have to stay!!!  Also, this illness may change what you want from life so don't work because you feel you should!

Best wishes

Kirsty xxx