I had ten months off work between April 07 and February 08. Returning to work was a big thing for me as it had come to represent my capacity to live with cancer. All the time I was off work I fretted about the future so actually making it back there became evidence of me actually having a future.
That was OK for a while. I have only last week resigned from work as I have other health issues that have come up since those days and I have come to a position that places less emphasis on participation in social/society/workplace things. These days I'd much rather be at home reading, writing and blogging than going to work, so it has been possible to give it up. Not that I didn't resit doing that, because I did resist it quite strongly. And not that I can afford to, becaue I can't!
I would say there is no model for you here. Just like everyone reacts differently to diagnosis and treatment, people will react differently to returning to work. One question: for you is it about 'going back' to work or about 'going forward' to work? Your answer to that question might provide you with much better information than someone else's experience.
Hi Rachel. I took a year and a half off work and returned part time Jan 10 . It took a couple of months getting used to being back and learning how to deal with the tiredness. I started working full time last Oct and had to get used to that which didn't take too long. I still get tired some days and when I do I come home and have a nap. I enjoy working, using my brain and the social aspect as well. It's good to have a routine that doesnt involve hospital visits. Fitting in doctors appointments can get a bit tricky as I don't like taking too much time off work but I try to book them in 1st thing in the morning so I'm not too late getting in. One bit of advice I can give is to take your time, try not to do too much at first.
Hi Miss Ren,
I also find it difficult for others to understand the fatigue. I cannot keep
up the pace of before and I find the extra meetings which I have to attend
at night really tiring. It becomes complicated because everyone else attends
these meetings but I am physically too tired. I suppose it sounds like a cop
out because everyone gets tired but it is an almost debilitating fatigue.
Did you find that as well?
I agree about work, though, it feels like you have made it when you can
return to work and begin to feel some normalcy.
I must admit I have only been back at work for 2 months and the fatigue is getting to me.Some days I am really grateful to be at work and some days I am just too tired.
I will have to see how I go but for now it is good to be out and I enjoy socialising with my workmates.
I am a H & Necker and had surgery and rad therapy, I worked through most of my therapy except for the last to weeks when my pain tolerence was to high to drive to work due to the oral morphine.
I have been back full time now for 3 mths roughly, I also get fatigued...especially when the stress levels go up..meetings, deadlines to get crews into the field..etc.
I Went back not just for the money but for the cameraderie and basically so i didn't get bored at home..
I love where i work even if it is stressful at times but i get some healthy fullfillment from it.
A good road is a positive road.
I seem to run on 3 gears at the moment. I either have A LOT of energy, have moderate energy or terrible fatigue, which i agree is debilitating. The fatigue is getting less and less, what i found the hardest was being patient with myself. I was mentally fit but my body wasn't able to keep up. You will get used to the different stimulants at work and hopefully sooner rather than later you won't feel so tired. Are you able to attend meetings every 2nd day for a little while?
Hi MissRen, Unfortunately the meetings are at night and I will try to get out of some of them. I still get really tired at night. In the mornings I wake up ready to go, then by about 2.00p.m I am ready for a nap. This is difficult when you are at work.
I really look forward to the sleep ins on the weekend
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.