Nervous about going back to work

Hi everyone,

I’m Scarlett, I’m 32 and I recently got diagnosed with stage 1a2 cervical cancer. Still haven’t processed the news, but im grateful that in my case it is 100% curable, which is very lucky.

I found out the news last Wednesday and took Thursday and Friday off work. I want to go back as soon as I can as I really love my job and the people I work with, but I can’t help but feel apprehensive and slightly nervous about it.

I think at the moment my concern is mostly the atmosphere changing as my immediate team know about my diagnosis. I know I can’t help how they will be with me, but I still have that anxious feeling. I also worry about my own emotions as I haven’t quite figured out how open I want this information to be. If someone I work with who doesn’t know about my diagnosis catches me in a vulnerable space, do I tell them? Do I not tell them? I’m just not sure.

Can someone tell me about their own experiences going back to work? Would people be able to share some advice if they have it? I would really appreciate it.

Thank you all

I have stage 3 currently on week 4 of 7 of chemo radiation and i only stopped working on Monday.

I told my immediate managers and HR as soon as I was referred for investigation but did not tell the wider team until a week before my treatment started. We shared that I had cancer but not the type, that I would try and work during the beginning of treatment and also that we had discussed plans for those I line managed and supervision of the team. We then shared those plans with those who were affected.

I found everyone was very supportive. It did get overwhelming at times and when they sent me a care package and card with lots of messages I had a cry. I also cried on my last day working as I felt like I was loosing a part of myself because I love my job and did not want to step back. If my treatment times had been better this week I might have managed to work an extra week.

For me personally managing peoples moods was very draining. However work gave me a sense of control and structure at a time when my diagnosis and treatment left me feeling like I did nit have much control.

Ultimately its up to you. My work were surprised by how long I wanted to work and kept checking if I needed more time but they also listened to me and let me tell them what I needed.

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I was diagnosed this past Tuesday and told my Boss on Wednesday. I was sorta in the fortunate position that my team believes I am still off with complications from my LLETZ (which is sort of true as still bleeding and horrible period pain)

Tomorrow my Boss is going to tell the team and my wider colleagues tomorrow for me as honestly, I cannot face the emotional requirements to keep repeating that I have CC and dealing with my colleagues emotions as well.

I don’t know what I am planning for when I get my treatment plan as my role is not something you can do part time due to the projects being over a 3 month period….

Part of me is hoping for surgery only but I get the feeling my luck won’t hold for that