Work?: Interested in how long after... - Oesophageal Patie...

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Work?

Janashlin
Janashlin
16 Replies

Interested in how long after surgery people have been well enough to return to work ..... if at all?

16 Replies
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Zantri

Hi Janashlin,

I had chemo, then surgery, then more chemo/radio I still worked at the beginning & after the operation I went back for a bit, it was the chemo/radio that knocked me & it took 4 moths before I could return to work.

I have since had another op as it came back & this time I took 3 months off before going back to a phased return. I work in an office, some travel required so adaptions needed. But not a physically demanding job it’s mentally tiring. Phased return has really helped as it’s led by me & what I feel I can do, some days great some not so good.

Are you worried about taking time off?

Zantri

Xx

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to Zantri

Thank you for your reply. I am not worried about taking time off but just wondering if I will ever be able to get back to work. I am 9 months on and still have not had many days without bad dumping episodes. I will also try the phased return when I do try to go back. I can’t even imagine having enough energy to put in a day yet. All the best to you.

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Zantri
Zantri
in reply to Janashlin

I still get dumping syndrome I purchased VI POO as I am nice to my colleagues I don’t let that stop me. Tiredness does sometimes so I chill & don’t try to do too much.

You will get there in your own time & work out how much battery supply you have xx

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Mrs1972

I had chemo then op in January followed by more chemo and I’m due to return to work in 2 weeks. I was first signed off Aug 2018.

I was completely wiped out by chemo, after the first lot I concentrated on building myself up for the op, after the op my strength started to pick up just in time to start chemo again, after 2 cycles I could barely walk and it was cancelled. My physical strength has returned slowly, fatigue is tough but I’ve not felt ready to return to work emotionally also, I’m glad I’ve taken this time with my children. I’ll do a phased return over 6 weeks, it’s an office job and I worry chemo brain will affect me, I also worry about being able to eat adequately and dumping syndrome whilst at work. I’m in a fortunate position that if needed I can give up work so I’m happy to trial it.

Hope that helps

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to Mrs1972

I am like you, the dumping and fatigue along with a very sore back. My job is high stress and I don’t want that to further impact my health. However, I really miss working so I’m hoping I start to feel stronger soon. Thank you for responding and I wish you well. I’m also going to check to see why I was not given post surgery chemo after reading these replies. I had chemo and radiation before surgery but no post chemo.

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rayw55

I had my Op almost 10 years ago and returned to a staged return to work after only 3 1/2 months- again office based but offices all over the place- in retrospect I went back too early but mentally it was what I needed to get 'back on the road' as it were. I returned to 'normal work after around 5 months and then took early retirement when i reached 55 when the offer was there - best decision i have made- i miss the people i worked with but not the daily grind. So I guess in all honesty you have to do what YOU feel is right, some people manage to return to work after a few months - some never do, its all a question of what YOU feel is right for YOU. ( most of the consultants will say after IL it takes around 12 months to go back to work)

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to rayw55

Nice to hear you are 10 years on from your surgery, that is great! Thank you for your response. I am 9 months post surgery and there is no way I could put in a day of work yet. I had a lot of complications and was in intensive care for two months post my surgery. Being patient has never been my strong point but I am learning I can’t make the healing go faster than my body and mind are able to do.

All the best to you.

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Wojtek123

Hello,

I had 8 rounds of Folfox, 7 of herceptin then the OP in the beginning of Oct 2017. I was back at work mid December, so 6 weeks. I worked as a maintenance Supervisor with some physical work involved and a lot of time on my feet. Generally I felt ok but had to take frequent breaks for eating.

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to Wojtek123

Wow, you got back to work very quickly. Are you working full time now? Thank you for your response and all the best to you.

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Sammy1968

I had my op 2 years ago next month but I won't be returning to the work I used to do. Still suffer after eating. I usually eat then have to sit for about 1 hour. I can not do the eating throughout the day as small amounts can make me feel ill. Also the job I did was working out on sites, not near any toilet close by and it also involved climbing ladders and crawling through pipe work which I couldn't do now. I also travelled alot of miles a day by car which is also difficult now as I sometimes need to rush to the toilet.

I would love to go back to work but finding a job that fits in with how I live now is difficult. I had 2 bad infections in the front and rear incisions while in hospital which has caused the scar tissue to go deeper than usual which makes both areas really tight as well.

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to Sammy1968

Like you I am really struggling with the eating and have to sit or lie down afterwards with dumping syndrome. Quite a life changer for sure. Thank you for your response and wishing you all the best.

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Mauser1905

Hello Janashlin,

Remember every oesophagectomy patient and their recovery is unique and cant be compared like apple for apple so in general it is good to find healthy comparisons, however the baseline has to be yourself pre-surgery.

Also if you spent 2 months in ICU then that extends recovery closer to 1.5 to 2 years, icy rule of thumb, which I dont recall. I had a month in ICU coma, ARDS,and was survived only by ECMO life support, so it has taken a lot effort to find back my new normal. Came home in wheelchair and learnt to walk, brush teeth, climb one step etc from scratch.

I wanted to get back to work asap but due to recession in industry I could manage to find work only after 6 months and that too in middle east country, away from my home in Scotland.

I am now 41 and cant afford to take rest. Though I get dumping after every meal and sore back and tiredness, life goes on.

Since back into work I have worked in middle east, now in Scandinavia and from next month in Bristol, England. Commute to family monthly as more frequent travel tires me further.

I have fully accepted the new normal and adjust my daily routine, meals, travel etc in accordance with my new normal.

Enjoy the new normal.

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Janashlin

Thank you for your response. Sounds like you are really making a go of the new normal. I hope I am able to adjust as well as you are doing. All the best.

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0206rolo

Hello Janashlin

It’s been good to read everyone’s experience with this illness, the different ways it effects us and peoples perspectives.

I had my procedure in the Hammersmith hospital and believe I was one of the first from my area in Herts.

I’m nearly 2 months post op and have different issues to some of you here, however fatigue, dumping are issues I can relate to.

I’m still losing weight and lost 1/2 a stone the other week, at this rate I’ll be getting sand kicked in my face if I turn up on a beach, I think so far I’ve lost between 4 1/2 to 5 stone, mind you I needed to lose weight but not exactly that much.

Like you I have been told there’s no follow up chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery required, it was a bit surreal to hear those words, very humbling and words could not express my dept to the team that looked after me.

I have tried to keep positive all the way through from diagnosis to recovery, I count myself as blessed that I’ve got this far and recognise there are things that will never be the same again, but there are people here to help and give support.

I wish you all a happy healthy life and keep your heads up

Good luck to you all

Rolo x

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Janashlin
Janashlin
in reply to 0206rolo

All the best to you as well. Hard to believe how many people have been through this same ordeal. It’s nice to share and learn from others. All the best

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Hon-Moonraker

I went back after 6 weeks, but it depends on what you do for a job. I was office admin based.

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