Returning to work

I had a mastectomy in March and do not need further treatment. Is it wise to return to my part time clerical job while I still have swelling and stinging under my arm. I am not eligible for SSP due to insufficient contributions and have used my CSP so am now a 'kept' woman.

I know the advice is always to see breast care nurse but she just says it is normal and will go in time. Any advice please

8 Replies

  • Firstly, do you feel able to go back at the moment, please remember you can do a phased return which can last indefinitely, you say you couldn't get SSP, did you utilise CAB, to ensure you had all the financial benefits you were entitled to, I had lumpectomies followed by radiotherapy which finished in January 2014, and I was medically able to go back to work in the April, not sure if all this helps or not, and I wish you well when you do return xxx

  • thanks for your reply, I will try to get to see CAB, which is really difficult in my area as you have to go first thing in the morning and queue up all day before you can get to see an advisor, they don't have appointments.

  • Are you aware that MacMillan have advisors for cancer related issues that we'd normally go to CAB for so might be worth ringing them first, I was put in touch with someone that I spoke to on the phone, then visited the office where I went through everything with an advisor, who followed through with sending letters etc on my behalf, I hope this makes sense x

  • Hi Pammy. If I'm honest it doesn't sound you want to go back to work so maybe you are not ready to return yet. You maybe medically for for work but the emotional and psychological impact can also take it's toll.

    The others give good advice on financial services available to you and I'd take full advantage of that if I were you.

    You might find talking through other worries with a counsellor or on the Macmillan help line useful; I've used both and it helped me.

    Good luck x

  • I would try to get onto the CAB website and see if there are people who can advise you in this direction. But my guess is, as you were already advised, to get in touch with McMillan nurses first. Good luck! Hope you'll feel better soon!

  • As others have said, McMillan can advise on finances, which can be done over the phone. Best wishes to you x

  • Hi there,

    As someone else mentioned perhaps you're not ready to go back just yet....I went back to work too early and after a couple of days knew that I wasn't ready so had to take some time out.

    In terms of financial advise you can also contact Breast Cancer Haven centres for advise over the phone if you do not live near one, as they have qualified people who can help. I've pasted the weblink for the locations below and this also has the phone numbers

    Sending lots of love,


  • I had my mastectomy in march. I am a therapy support worker who works on the community. I went back to work at the beginning of June. I have gone back on phased return. I have found i get really tired. I work for the NHS so luckily I have been able to work in the hospital these few weeks. Went out with a colleague last week and I was shattered. Everyone is different and has someone has said it's not just physical it is emotional and it is only you who knows if you feel ready xx

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