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Oesophageal Patients Association
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teirdness and return to work

6 months after my op ,then chemo,have begun a very limited return to work. feel really teired after only three light morning on admin. any comments

12 Replies

Afraid its part and parcel of recovery and in real terms you are very early in recovery.I know many who have returned to work and find the tiredness very difficult.I myself had a manual job and took early retirement but that suited me as gone back to my original occupation which I do part time and I still get tired 18 months post op but doing really well in all other aspects.Its a thing that you adapt to like eating and the few other things that crop up in recovery.Hope that helps


thanks Griff

I think proberbly thinking 3 hours days would be easy ,but its completly differant than being active at home.have to remember to take things one day at a time and be thankful i,ve got to here.


Before I went into hospital for the first time, I was telling my colleagues that I would be back out in a fortnight, and back to work a further fortnight after that. People told me that I was full of it, but I knew better. I knew that I was in for a difficult time, but considred that it wouldn't take too long to get over it, especially as I'd managed to go to work all through my chemo.

It's now four and a half months since I came out of hospital and, apart from a couple of meetings with suppliers at work, and going in a few times on a weekend, they're only contact with me has being by phone or email.

I'm in the lucky position that I can work from home, and have been since mid-June, but it still tires me out by the end of the day. I also know that when I come out of hospital this time, I will still have to work from home for months, as I just won't be able to cope with a full day at work.

I think that everyone has their own speed of recovery and, whereas one person might go back to work relatively early, many just might not be able to. In the past I would probably have told myself to 'get on with it.' Now I've started to take it easier on myself, both physically and mentally, and accept that things will take as much time as they take. Whatever, it's a hell of a lot better than the position I was in at the start of the year.

Best wishes



Thanks Paul

I think one of the things that is a problem is that i was previously in the thick of things at work,now for my staged return im doing light admin.seem to be on the outside looking in,without the inclination to get to involved.i hope that feeling will return, but as you say thank God i,m able to be at this stage


I was told by my surgeon that after such massive surgery I would not be feeling back to normal for between 1 year and 15 months..that did worry me, but it was the truth. Even after four years I get tired and need power nap (sometimes) so you are doing very well and as Paul says in a better position than at the beginning of it all. Well done keep it up and be kind to yourself.


Thanks Bernadette.

Got to remind myself its all about small steps, and if full time work is a long way off or not possible ,so wot.


I'm two years post-op and chemo and back at work full time but I do still feel very tired most weeks and sometimes I just have to give in to it, go home and rest. It's definitely getting better in terms of stamina but I suspect it's still going to be quite a while before I feel anything like I used to.

It's a massive operation with huge impacts on your body - never underestimate what we've been through.

All the best,



Thanks Peter

good to hear from someone back at work fulltime.Helps to put things in prospective


Try printing off the Employers Notes that you should find here:


It is a bit of a job for you to understand, so do not blame people at work who will be expecting a much more conventional quick return to full health and strength. It will get better, don't worry, but it will be slow, and there is a fair chance that you will overdo things by accident because we do not have the same stamina and resilience as before. You cannot make it quicker by how hard you try and work at it, and you will no doubt feel that you cannot control your speed of recovery. But that is how it is.

Quite a few of us feel that we have never quite recovered to where we were before - perhaps 85-90% and wonder whether the passage of time and age would have slowed us down anyway. Try not to overdo it, but do take enormous credit for how you are doing up until now.

Do not be too downhearted if you do have a bit of a setback from overdoing it - you will just have to take a bit of time to recover - there is an element of trial and error in this recovery process!


Thanks Alan

I think i got myself used to doing well at home with out taking in to account of how long it took to get to that stage.i guess this is the first step of a new stage.


13 months post op I'm back at my part time job but stamina is not great. Difficult to accept, but it is improving slowly...

best wishes



Thanks Brian.

Its good to get so many replies.you,ve all reminded me ,and some times i get ahead of myself ,it,s got to be slow and steady.


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