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Going back to work

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2048
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi, I have a problem, I got myself a job 3 weeks ago which I love, the people are great and I really fit in as I am somewhat of an expert (ex-as in Has Been, and Spurt-as in Drip under Pressure) In horticulture. BUT My husband is really having a job dealing with being alone all day when we used to spend every hour in each others company. This job started out as part time, then last week full time, now this week overtime (7 days a wk 8 hr days) I know I am not physically or mentally ready for these hours..and so does he. The people I work for are not taking advantage of me and treat me with a great deal of respect, and we have deadlines, if certain things (potting on, pricking out...etc) are not done over the next week, plants will start damping off and be lost, so I understand the urgency, and why they need me there as much as they do..I'm a very fast transplanter and do about a thousand plants an hour. BUT my husband is going crazy here, every night I get home from a hard days work and he is drunk and just about ready for bed..I'm trying not to be judgemental but it's fairly soul-destroying.
We DO need the money and I am more than happy to work there doing what I love. But he really can't cope...

What do I do?

Advice please. Thanks Jxxxxxxxxxx

longingforhope's picture
longingforhope
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2009

I feel for you, I am about to be in the same position. I have been the caregiver since August, 2008 for my husband who has malignant matastic malanoma stage 3. It's been a long road and in December I was forced to give up my job that I dearly loved. Now we have been together pretty much 24/7 since then but he is stable at the moment and I need and want to go back to work at least part time. On top of this we are relocating to another state because he can no longer stand the cold winters in Ohio and our oldest daughter is going away to college. We will still have a sophmore in high school but she is busy with her life and I'm worried about how my husband is going to handle the change, he was forced into permanent disability and is only 50 yrs old. I worry about how he will fill his days if I'm not there to motivate him to get out of bed and live life. This burden is so hard some days you just want to curl up in a ball and make the world go away. I admire you for having the courage to return to work but maybe you should cut your hours back to 3 days a week until you both can adjust to the change. Cancer, the never ending changing pain in the rear. Personally it can leave anytime.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

I am suddenly in the same position; after being weeks from the grave (literally) I am doing well enough on my new therapy that going back to work is a real consideration,
My melanoma was so wide-spread that we thought there was only weeks left and now, I am getting tremendous results, with mets disappearing from the lungs, kidneys, rectal area and brain.
My boss is also my primary-care doctor, so I would feel comfortable working, but I don't know if I or my family are ready for this psychologically. It is a difficult decision, as I am still somewhat weak and my family worries that I may be pushing my body too hard; I know we REALLY need the money and am willing to push myself to catch up with bills and finally pay off the debt that the cancer has brought our way. If I do go back, I think they will miss me being here all the time and cooking for them. They're not being selfish, just want their mom to be here and I don't blame them.If I had a fortune, I wouldn't go back, so it is a matter of financial need, not boredom. And I do enjoy my job; my patients miss me and I feel the same way about them.
I guess there's no good answer, just do what absolutely needs to be done for your family and pray that everyone gets used to another "new normal".I will, of course, check with my oncologist before making any commitments, even to part-time.
Good luck and know that you're not alone; this economy and the "cancer economy" have a lot in common. We're all broke and don't want to see all that we have worked for go down the drain. I guess if it has to, it has to, but I would at least want to try and fight it, for my kid's sake. I have one more to graduate high-school next year and that means college the year after. Yikes!! We have no savings left to help, so work is all I can think of to do.
Best of luck to you,
Hollyberry
P.S., Getting drunk won't help him cope any better; maybe time to suggest some kind of counseling?

longingforhope's picture
longingforhope
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi Hollyberry,

I've been looking for you online. Those were some strong words of wisdom you shared about going back to work. I'm on the other end and can't imagine what you guys as patients go through, to watch is one thing, experiencing the pain is another. I didn't realize you had melanoma and that it was more extensive then my husbands. I have had zero luck with clinical trials, what magic is your Dr. performing? Mark is on 10,000 units of Interferon 3 times a week after we did 5 weeks of 5 days a week iv treatment in November and December. Right now he is doing ok they removed a 5 cm tumor from his back in October then did surgery again two weeks later and went for wider margins and removed 20 lymph nodes from his left side. My email address is mweaver18@juno.com if you could sendme some personal info.

I hope today is a good day.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Hi longing,
I internal mailed you a few days ago; guess it didn't get through.I will e-mail you, but you might want to go back to CSN Home and see if my message is in your mailbox. I am happy to share my story and treatments with you. Melanoma is cell for cell the deadliest cancer around (at least, that's what I've read) and we need all the help and support we can get!
Also, I posted on the emotional help board about my latest experiences and scans- that will probably help, if you care to read it.
I am praying for your whole family for strength and a therapy that will work for him. I was literally weeks away from saying goodbye, when I started the Gleevec trial. It is working wonders for me. You do have to have the C-Kit protein mutation to qualify for the trial. but it really is worth the effort to send the slides to Oregon for testing.
I will contact you soon.
Much love and strength,
Hollyberry

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Being 54 years of age " holy am I old" and having to sit around the house stinks. To survive cancer and end up on disability changes our lives completly. I started working at 13 and it was a major part of my life. Trying to fill that giant void has not been easy. I could start drinking or take more pain pills but that would not solve much. I spend my days looking for things to do without getting myself into pain problems. This week I made a stick with a nail in the end to pick up trash along my road. After falling into the ditch a couple times and picking up two bags of trash I called it a day. Wet feet, wet socks and stinking like a dump. A manly thing to do ha ha. Working in the yard is great when its not raining. And Martha Stewart would be proud of my housekeeping skills. I would make someone a fine wife if I was not so dang ugly ha ha. I am lucky I have a dog that does not know the difference. If he gets his treats I am the best thing on earth. Well the wife is awake now and its my duty to bother her before she has a chance to open her eyes fully. She always loves it when I talk during Desperate Housewives. I bet this sounds pretty normal to all you women. God loves you for putting up with us men. Slickwilly

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4625
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Tasha,

You already know my jest on this, I just saw your post and wanted to chime in. You have been through a lot and have battled back from your cancer and now you are working so very hard to get back to normal (if there is such a thing). Stay strong my dear friend and please, please, please take good care of yourself!

Hugs,

RE

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3656
Joined: Apr 2009

I know you love your new job. No doubt you're fantastic at it. Absolutely, your employer appreciates you. Of course, the money is needed. It's just about perfect, except for maybe one thing...

You've moved very, very quickly from part time to way more than full time. Perhaps too quickly. And your work is physical, dear. It's true physical labor. You're not sitting at a desk, shuffling paperwork. Outwardly, you may seem fine, look fine, even feel fine. Inwardly, your body is still healing from all it's been through. I know this, I don't just "think" it. Been there, been where you are right now.

I don't even want to get started on the emotional and mental aspects of it all...

If I lived anywhere near you, I'd offer to "job share" with you (although I fully realize there's no way I could measure up to your expertise!). So that your employer could have all the help needed, without you having to put in all those hours. Then, at some point down the road and when you'd be really ready (i.e., healed) for it - I'd back off so that you could gradually work your way up to full time. Key word = gradually. Benefits all around. Employer gets the help. You work less while you continue to heal. And time for your family and home life to adjust gradually, too. Again, key word = gradually. Is this an option? Would you feel comfortable proposing this to your employer?

Not intending to get all "mushy" on you; but, I'm simply worried. Genuinely concerned. I'll be hoping for you, tasha_111 - hoping for a workable solution that retains the job you love, without sacrificing the good health you've worked so very hard to achieve. In more ways than one.

As always, with...

Kindest regards, Susan

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2048
Joined: Oct 2008

Thank you all so much for your wonderfully compassionate replies. I had a long chat with the lady I work for and she agreed that I absolutely should not be working 7 days a week. So now I am going to get sunday and monday off, as well as this thursday. I am absolutely knackered, but still loving the work, the people and (OK I admit it, the praise) Yesterday she walked in on me furiously sorting out the cold-frame and said: "Jules, I really don't know how I managed before you, I really don't" I felt just great!
My Back is killing me, My feet are singing...ugghhhhh. but I am looking forward to a lie-in tomorrow.

Thanks again to you for being there. HUGE HUGS Jxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3656
Joined: Apr 2009

I was SO hoping for this, for you! Those days off are much needed, by your BODY. Even if not needed by your mind and spirit.

Huge hugs back atcha!

Kind regards, Susan

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2048
Joined: Oct 2008

Hey thanks for all of your support. Today....My day Off.. I went into town and bought myself 3 new t-shirts (5$each) and a pair of gel insoles (13$..ouch), and a new pair of trainers, Black and pink (BUGGER Nobody had turquoise) 30$ca.

Life should be easier tomorrow. Hey Guess What?.........I dyed my hair ....streaked it white blonde today, just like it used to be, Ohhhhhhhhhh I feel so much betterr!!!!

I also purchased an Algae eater fish.

and a bag of cat food.

Could life be any more exciting???????

Luv you all Jxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3656
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad you enjoyed your well earned day off! And happy to know you indulged in much needed RETAIL THERAPY! It IS essential - I wholeheartedly agree with you - and, the benefits are almost immeasurable. Off the charts! Ha ha!!! Sorry you couldn't find shoes in your beloved turquoise. However, I'm sure you look fabulous in the black & pink ones - especially with your freshly streaked hair!

Sigh... Well, I guess life COULD be more exciting. But, was it more exciting than today - prior to cancer? For us, getting back to "normal" life is a real goal. And, when we get there - even if it's a "new" normal - it is, most certainly, exciting. I think cancer teaches us to appreciate even the littlest of things, rather than take them for granted.

Good for you, J! And, good for the fish & the thousands of guppies. And, the wounded cat. Thanks for sharing.

Kind regards, Susan

P.S.: Hey, what colors are your new t-shirts? I hope at least one of them IS turquoise. :-)

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2048
Joined: Oct 2008

You just won't believe this.........

I got woken up at 3.30am by the sound of ferociously scrapping cats, I knew one of them was mine and was concerned because of his injurious state. Anyway, Chuck (His Lordship) Is a raving insomniac, so I staggered downstairs and informed him that I thought Shnugglepuss was battling it out in the front garden with another Moggy...
Well He took off and thought that his mere presence would halt the fracas....Not so!
The intruder ran away, straight up the busy Hwy #3, Shnuggs hot on his tail, Riva (Our German Shepherd) took off like lightening after them and Chuck was running up the Highway in his Bath-Robe, Screaming "RIVAAAAAAA! RIVAAA!)

Why does it happen to me?... Anyway , he got Riva home OK, Shnuggs came in this morning, slightly the worse for wear.

Bloody animals.......
LOL Hugs Jxxxxxxxxxxxx

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3656
Joined: Apr 2009

Honestly, J... I DO BELIEVE YOU! I'll apologize upfront for the visual image in my mind of His Lordship running after the animals in his bathrobe at the ungodly hour of 3:30am - because it's frenetically amusing! Though I'm terribly sorry for your poor cat's additional injuries. And, at the same time, happy that at least the dog got home, safe and sound. Here's an idea for ya - keep the damn cat indoors! He'll protest, but eventually will adjust. Do it for your own sanity, woman!

Aaah, our beloved pets. Dogs, cats - they are like perpetual 2 year old children, yes?

Did this happen on a work day? You being awakened at 3:30am, dealing with this crazy fracas and then having to report for duty? Good gosh... I sincerely DON'T know why this sort of thing happens to you...

Kind regards, Susan

P.S.: Didja get a turquoise t-shirt? C'mon, I need to know! :-)

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2048
Joined: Oct 2008

Noooo. I got a pink ine that makes me look like a ********. An Orange one and a Lime green job, and 3 ladies at work asked me where I got it!!!!!!..I think it attracted THE SNAKE, so maybe I won't wear it again EVAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! LOL
Hugs Jxxxxxx

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3656
Joined: Apr 2009

J is a SNAKE CHARMER! HA HA! :-)

Well, maybe not wear THAT shirt to WORK - only on days off.

Good gosh, YOU and the CREATURES!?!?! What's UP with THAT?!?!?

Kind regards, Susan

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

I applaud your return to the type of work you enjoy. This itself can be a source of healing and strength. However, sometimes as we become stronger, those who served as our crutches during weaker times feel useless, like the crutches that wind up in the closet when a broken leg heals. Remember, that is not your problem, he must deal with his own feelings, what ever they may be. You have a responsibility to yourself and your recovery.

"Let me not take to myself, and suffer over, the actions and reactions of other people. Other adult human beings are not my responsibility, no matter how closely their lives may be intertwined with mine. I will not allow myself to be troubled by anyone else; my one problem is to improve my own way of living and looking at life." From "One Day At A Time In AL-Anon", pg.7.

Love and Courage!

Rick

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