Time off work- when to start

Hello ladies,

im new around here and this is my first ever forum post ever.

im recently diagnosed and luckily everything seems to be moving along quickly for me. Yesterday I had my patient registration at the Marsden and I've been given a date for my radical trachelectomy, 16th October. What I'm really worried about right now is being at work. I'm a head chef, my job is quite physically demanding and comes with a lot of stress being in char he of a team of people with all of their own problems. 

i'm on the bus to work just now and it's the last place I want to be. I feel so tired and short activities feel exhausting. I have no idea how normal this is or if I'm over thinking it. I don't know if I feel this way because I'm stressed or if it's a symptom.

i'm having a chat with my boss later today, I'm entitled to very decent sick pay. But I don't know if it's too soon to say I want to go off work or if I should stick it out for a bit longer. Or if I'm even entitled to go off now? Would my GP agree?

so many questions. If any one has faced similar what do you think? 

Thankyou :)


I don't think there is any right or wrong answer to this. Its how you feel. For me, I prefer being in work...mainly because when I am alone, I get myself in a state thinking about it. Staying "normal" has kept me sane.

However, your job is alot more physically demanding than mine. I think the starting point is your chat with your boss. Be honest about how you feel. Hopefully they'll be very understanding. You may feel a whole lot better once you have had that chat. Good luck x

I went off sick about a month before surgery (radical hysterectomy). Mainly because I had an infection from my LLETZ then work advised I stay off til results were in, which was obviously when I then got diagnosis. I have a stressful and demanding job and basically didn't want to deal with other people's problems so I stayed off. It is very personal though. Maybe take a week now while getting your head round things, then see how you go before treatment. I'm currently at the other end of things, wondering when to go back and feeling very nervous about it!

See how you feel about things after talking to your boss x


how did the talk with your boss go?

i stayed at work before my op... It kept me busy and on the go, I was on light duties and they were able to adapt my role. That helped with the physical stuff, fortunately my team are great so when my head was spinning they seemed to pick me up and put me on track. I did use odd days/ hours leave to break my week up and make sure I had some me time. In hindsight- I think I could have been on reduced hours - but hey ho. I only spoke to my GP at the point of my return to work, but I found them extremely supportive in allowing me to return at a time / pace that felt right for me- emotionally and physically.

hope you're getting the support you need to manage this best for you x

Hi Keira :-)

It's most likely the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis that is causing the fatigue. Your mind tends to go into overdrive and that in itself is exhausting. As Kelly says, there is no right or wrong answer to this. If keeping busy at work helps to take your mind off what else is going on in your life then it's a good thing. But if what else is going on in your life takes your mind off your work then it's not a good thing. You have to decide for yourself which is best for you, unless of course your boss insists that you stay away.

Be lucky :-)

Thankyou everyone,

i spoke to him and he basically said that its all or nothing. If I go off then I'm off until i've recovered. He's going to have to replace me and when I'm ready to go back I probably will have to find somewhere new to work in the company. It makes sense because i will be off over the busiest time of the year and I can't be bothered to argue. If I let go and be stress free then that will be the best thing. The job and my boss have caused no end of emotional hassle over the last year.

i work alone a lot anyway so the job doesn't really distract me. I think if that's an incentive to stay I'd rather be off spending time with friends and family who I never get to see because of working nights and weekends.

Blackberry, I really wish the best for you and that you can find the right time to go back.

im going to see my GP this morning and see what she thinks.

Thankyou for all of your help



moving forward stress free sounds like a good plan. I hope speaking with your GP went well x


I was only entitled to 7 weeks sick pay, so I didn't take any time off until the day before I was due to go into hospital, and I used that day to buy anything I needed to take in with me, and stuff for the house so I was sorted for when I came out. I also went on a mad spring cleaning spree so I wouldn't have to worry about the house for a while (mad the things you worry about!) and I bought a new duvet and bedding to try and make being stuck in bed more enjoyable!

If you have a decent amount of sick pay, and you're not going to run out during your recovery then I would definitely say take it beforehand if you think that's better for you. I know some people want to be at work for the distraction but everyone is different. For me, I had no idea how my recovery would go so I wanted to save up all my time for afterwards.