Feeling good/finding work a bit hard πŸ˜’

Hi everyone hope everyone is okay? Just like some advice about how to cope better at work, still feeling like they are not understanding my illness I'm am trying so hard as well with getting on with my life is been 5 weeks now since my last chemotherapy my body is feeling better and I'm am getting stronger my husband has been great he's my little hero - I've worked with the company for ten years I've got great friends there too - at this moment in time I feel like not being there I hope it gets better take care everybody.

Tess66

Xxx

39 Replies

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  • Hi Tess

    5 weeks since chemo and you are back at work? Wow!

    The downside may be that you are just appearing to cope rather too well and they aren't seeing that you are not yet 'normal'.

    You have just been poisoned to within an inch of your life with chemicals that are known as 'cytotoxic'.

    Perhaps the very good leaflets that Macmillan have published about cancer, chemo and work could help you explain the situation to them?

    I also wanted to be normal at work when I first went back but more than once I had to tell them what I could and could not take on- they seemed relieved to have it spelt out tbh. Best of luck! L xx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • I live in the Manchester area. I was diagnosed 5 yrs ago and took early retirement a couple of years ago. Let me know if you would like to meet up for coffee and a chat.

  • OMG!! Tess, you are only 5 weeks after chemo,did you have to back or was it your choice? I will be finished chemo early November and I wont be going back to work until thye say I HAVE to come back. That is very hard on your mind and body, would reducing your hours for a while be an option?

    Best wishes

    Damelza

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • I went bk last sept after operation and chemo still had 2 cycles left last year to do when returned to work... it was hard at first people dont understand what uve bein through... do you have an employment handbook or macmillian have the right booklets.. my employers have bein very good i had reccurrance in july of this year so im currently doing chemo and working... wishing you all the best you will be fine sending you hugs xxx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tess,

    You are amazing! Unfortunately people will look at you and the fact you are back at work and think you are fine now

    They don't know what you have been through and they don't understand how you feel.I am 18 months after finishing chemo,still get tired and probably am older than you,but because I look well, they think I feel well.

    Just be kind to yourself, rest when you can and pace yourself,that's all I can recommend,apart from take any help that is offered

    Carole xxx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Good luck with it all Tess,I'm sure it will come right in the end

    Hugs

    Carole xxx

  • Thanks sending hugs πŸ€— back Tess xx

  • Hi Tess I struggled when I went back to work, it took a while for me to feel confident in myself and also I felt that my colleagues had got used to me not being there, and because of my low self esteem I didn't feel I belonged there, but I persevered and in time it did get better, my energy levels got better my confidence grew and with that my colleagues began to accept me back into the fold so to speak. There were tears I can tell you πŸ˜’

    People think you are fine you are over it all now just carry on but it's far from the truth as we all know, it takes time!! Big hugs

    Karen

    Xx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tess . All three times Ive returned to work its been full time 6 weeks after finishing chemo. A lot of people go back phased return. Speak with Macmillan, they have handbooks, one for you and one for your employer. This tells how employers must consider reasonable adjustments which can include phased return, reducing your workloads etc until you are back to strength and also helps them understand your thoughts and feelings as well. Believe me you just need to give yourself time, it will get better xx Kathy xx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • might be worth speaking with Macmillam and getting them to speak with your employer. I had help this last time when, having lost my line manager to Cancer whilst I was off having chemo I went back and was on a clinical trial but I cudnt make my employers understand that this trial was something I needed to do and needed time off to attend appointments. took a lot of fighting!

  • I was thinking that, I've been waiting five weeks to see occupational health lady - we use to have them in house - my doctor has been great - I need some support feel like I'm am fighting another battle I could go off sick again until they sort it out but I don't want to throw myself back I need to go forward- I think it has hit me now what I've been through I am a very positive person i will keep my chin up eventually they will sort it out but we shouldn't have to do this. This horrible disease has changed our lives - the good thing is we are still alive we got to live each day as it comes and enjoy it thanks for your support take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tess, 5 weeks after your last chemo is not very long! I too have just returned to work for the first time this week. (I finished chemo 5 August) I found it very tiring, physically and emotionally. I have explained to them I can only manage a few hours a day over 3 days to start with, and work from home on the remaining 2 days. I will build up my hours slowly over the next fews weeks.

    The thing is we look alright on the outside, but we are still very frigile. Presumably Tess, you have gone back part time or phase return to start with? Take things slowly, and don't be hard on yourself, small steps at a time. I think you have done brilliantly going back so soon, I am sure it will get better as time goes by.

    Good luck

    Rosanna xx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tess like you I went back to work during my chemo sessions. We agreed 3 days a week 10-2pm... once chemo finished and now I'm back 5 days a week 5 hrs per day. I pushed for this as I find working therapeutic however I do struggle being tired and can go home if I choose. My company have been so supportive and it really is my call how I want to work. Perhaps you could suggest the same? By law companies have to do whatever to support you. Love Michelle xx

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tess,

    I went back to work 4 weeks after finishing chemo - for two hours a day and NOT to take on my normal duties or responsibilities, just for me to get used to being back in work environment and for my team to get used to be bring back. My doc gave me a reduced hours/responsibilities fit note.

    Then I went on two weeks holiday (I'm owed all my annual leave ) I'm now back on 4 to 5 hours a day and am slowly getting to take on a little more. It's hard as I can't process too much info, very different to how I was in early March when I was last at work leading a team and leafing multi million pound projects with a diverse team over multiple locations!

    My boss would like to me to be fully up to speed but I am not going to rush, I'm lucky in that my HR has stated that people having cancer can have up to 12 weeks return to work. I also asked for an occupational health referral through my work (6 weeks ago and still waiting!)

    If you are still feeling its hard as I expect you are, and your work place is not as understanding as mine, then I suggest you go back to your doctor and speak to him/her about how you are feeling. You may be able to have a doctors note which gives you a bit more protection and time.

    It's tempting to take on too much but we must put ourselves first when we can.

    Take care

    Clare X

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Tess, chemo brain is real. Getting poisoned for months at a time affects your brain. 7 weeks post chemo and I am not able to function with the speed I had before treatment. Tasks that previously took me one day to accomplish now take 4-5 days. I have a hard time retrieving words and I cannot remember anything I read. It's a serious problem for me. I hope it's not permanent. Please take it easy and do not wear yourself down. I am surprised that more women on this forum haven't talked about the cognitive changes from chemo. Maybe it's just me. Take your time getting back into your Job. Do not expect to be able to jump back into it. People around you have NO IDEA of what you've been through and how long it will take you to be "up to speed". Tesla

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Hi Tesla,

    It's not just you love,I'm 18 months after chemo,forget what I've said,people's names,what I have done,it's not good.

    The only thing I will say anything to do with safety,driving,looking after my grandson,switching of cooker,hob ect.I check and check again.

    I dont think any of us should be surprised at this, the important thing is to keep going and strive to be the best you can.I also struggle with strength and fitness so have to pace myself.

    Anyway girls,keep it together, I'm sure it will all come out in the wash!

    Love Carole xxx

  • Wow five weeks that's quick I've not had my last chemo yet but im hoping to return to work on December on phased return... I've lost count of how many times people say "you look really well" it's really nice compliment but on the flip side they don't see you when your so tired you can sum up the effort to go to the loo .... Tell them how you are feeling if you need a break to put your feet up have one ... You are amazing and have being through a tremendous journey to get rid of a horrible disease they should understand ... It is difficult for people who have never had to fight so hard for their life to be normal again ... Have a heart to heart with your colleagues you are the most important part in all of this ... As your strength improves you will be able to do more but for now take it easier ... Have you any holidays that you can use to take a break?? Big hugs you are doing so well πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

    Ps I also agree with Tesla that i have cognitive problems which I'm hoping will get better... All these things are a factor that are unseen.

  • Thanks I'm am on reduced hours, at this moment I'm am wanting to change my hours and days I feel like I am fighting a battle with them I've filled in numerous of forms I've gone a long with it, but on Friday they knocked back the hours I wanted I felt very upset now is got to go back to the HR department. I can't believe it I work for a very well known Retailer doing Admit. I've just but some points together wrote down how I'm am feeling and I do have the Macmillan book knowing your rights at work I didn't think I would have to do this it has shocked me but I will fight on. Plus I am on a program that start in November at beechwood cancer care center one day a week for eight weeks to help me move on and also I've joined a walking group at the Maggie's cancer care center in Manchester I'm trying to get my life back to normal and work are knocking my confidence back hopefully when I talk to them they will see how I feel and might have some understanding of this horrible illness thanks for your support the site is great sending hugs and kisses take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • That's such a shame to be refused so cruel ... You are doing all the right things to move on... Could you get some supporting information from Macmillan a letter maybe to provide HR with ?? X

  • My doctor has been good, I will ring Macmillan tomorrow and ask questions what to do, I have a letter from my program what I'm doing in November they want to see that - just can't believe it they have really stuff up with me coming back - they have been nice to me will speak to the main boss tomorrow go to the top with my concerns this is first time I've been on long term sick. I didn't want to cause a scene but if I have too then I will they need to understand my needs.

    Tess

    Xx

  • Sounds like a good plan ... I've not had any sick either prior to OC hate being off work but this disease Knocks the stuffing out of you in so many unexpected ways and you just want to be normal again I find that I push myself to do things but then I'm so exhausted it probably wasn't worth it ... Good luck with your boss he will hopefully see the light πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  • HI Tess, I can relate to returning to work a few times and my illness not mentioned. I was promised extra breaks before return they didnt materialise, no surprise there. It seemed that people did not want to approach the fact I was ill maybe didnt want to bring it up. I dont know really. I was doing a college course at the time and had to give them a questionairre but people were slow to return it because they believed I wouldnt finished the project. This movitvated me to to keep on along with my very good Tutor. I hunted the staff down until I got my questionaires back. I completed the course and received a Diploma. People do tend to look at us differently at work, maybe they feel we are not going to be their for the long haul. However the best experience was one of the newer staff asked me one day in the staff kitchen would I take off my wig as she wanted to see what my hair looked like underneath. I thought that was hilarious and obliged and we had a great laugh about it. However while some people may appear indifferent, I discovered that deep down they actually had respect for resilience. So perhaps this is the case in your workplace.

  • Good for you well done - we are all doing so well fighting this disease. I didn't lose my hair due to having just carbonplatin had full hysterectomy and my omentum removed in march - all I get is you look so well it is nice to hear but after a while I'm am sick of hearing it - I'm am jolly person got a good senses of humor so I've had some laughs with work colleagues - it has helped me a lot - is just sorting out my new hours and days what getting me down that's company for you hopefully it will be sorted soon take care

    Tess

    Xx

  • I think that's amazing. Five weeks after chemo and back to work - wow. I waited about eight weeks and think that was too soon. Your body needs love after the assault. I started off part time but being se the pressure was on so now aim to limit at 25 hours half of my old normal.

    It's now six months post chemo and get crazy tired

    LA xx

  • I did think it was to soon I went back after the 12 day of chemotherapy I'm am getting stronger I'm doing 5 hours a day for three days my normal shift is 12 hours a day working three days a week looking at it now it is going to take me a while to get back to normal. They need to understand this hopefully I will get it sorted soon thanks for your support hope you are keeping well

    Tess66

    Xx

  • Hi Tess. Feeling the same way too.

    I look way better and healthier than some of my colleagues. I too struggle with concentration and memory. I feel that i am not able to give my all at work, the way i used to, and although everyone says, dont worry, give yourself time and it will all come back. I just dont know if it will. Im having a 121 with my line manager next Tuesday, so i hope to have an honest discussion about how I, and she feels about the way forward. Like you it is early days. Just completed my 5th week. Did 4 days this week, 2 normal days and 2 short days. Have spent most of this weekend just catching up with all the usual domestic stuff, washing clothes for work, making sure i have food for packed lunch etc.

    Just feel less than efficient, and a bit of a fraud as i am being paid at fulltime for less than a weeks work. The more I am off the more I miss, and there is no continuity. Always feel that i am playing catchup.

    Looking forward to my holiday in 3 weeks time. Hoping to turn up for 5 days after, though not sure if it will be for full days.

    2 of our management team have been to the Maggie's course for employers, so I'm hoping that there is some understanding of what we are going through.

    I work in a customer service role with operational responsibilities for staff and facilities. Everyday is different, and I generally thrive in a challenging unpredictable environment.

    ultimately my perceptions of the reality of the situation and how i feel may be skewed, as the emotional and mental recovery from this disease is definitely tougher than the physical.

    We need to be kinder to ourselves, and appreciate that we have climbed mountains to get here. Maybe some mountains are not worth climbing if the view is not to our taste.

    Watch ths space.

    Lots of Love Loraine. πŸ’™πŸŒ±xxx

  • Me too getting full pay for my reduces hours my normal shift includes 12 hours shifts 3 days a week I get two days off in the week and I work one Saturday in three. I'm am reducing my hours by 7 hours a week and asking to work one Saturday in four. My job involves customer service and support dealing with complaints and selling we have targets for our sats at this moment I could not do that I need to pick up speed- I didn't think it would be this hard but we have been through so much on this roller coaster ride we are survivors of this horrible disease I know it will get better as time passes - I just can't believe how they have handled it - I think they though I would just sloth into place like before I was ill - we don't have a union I been waiting five weeks to see the OH person going to have a 121 with the main boss tomorrow I need this sorting out if no joy will go back to my doctor she been great and get another letter from her to tell them what I can do and not do again thanks for your support hope all goes well with you take care

    Tess66

    Xxx

  • Five weeks after your last chemo and you're back at work! I take my hat off to you. I am retired but I know I couldn't possibly have concentrated sufficiently to do a good day's work. It's just not possible, from my point of view anyway. I'm four months post chemo and I lack concentration; whether that's down to the chemo or other thoughts which intrude I do not know. I do know that the effects of chemo were still with me after five weeks. Reduced hours is the way to go but your company should not expect the same from you for those hours as you would have been able to give in the past.

    You've been with your employer for ten years, so they most know how loyal an employee you are. They need to give you time to get back to where you were before your diagnosis. If HR are being less than responsive, I wonder if you have a union official who can help you negotiate.

  • The workplace can be difficult after treatment. I went back during my radiation with a note from my doctor staring what I could and could not do as I was still weak and not a lot of energy. My note also said if I needed to nap, I could. What really did bother me was a new boss that came while I was gone and even though I wore a scarf he kept insisting on touching my head even though I said no. People don't understand unless they've been through it or have experience with cancer. Try not to let it bother you.

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