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Back to work tomorrow

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Tomorrow is a big day for me as I will be returning to work after being off for 8 months to complete & recover from surgery and chemo-radiation.  I am looking forward to this day as the beginning of my new life; however, I find myself being extremely emotional today which is not normal for me. I've just returned from a week in FL for some real R&R and had the time to reflect on my old pre-cancer life and how I will now live my new life.  I'm sure you all agree that there is nothing like a dose of cancer to put things in perspective.  And today as I celebrate my 55th birthday, I've never felt so old.  I was always very active without any health issues, but now chemo has left me with a beat up out of shape body, painful neuropathy and other new health issues which has me questioning if all this chemo-radiation was worth the small percentage bump it may give me.  On a good note, my hair is really starting to grow back and still no gray!  I will also start PT this week in hopes of gaining some strength and pain relief.

Thanks for listening, I'm thankful for this forum to share my thoughts.

Nancy

Red Corvette
Posts: 114
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi Nancy

Happy Birthday! 55 is a great age so chin up. You are starting a new normal that since you are strong, will be fine.  One day at a time is how mrs red and I hang in there. You're going to heal up, just takes time.

Red Corvette

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

,Now that you are starting to second guess your decision please know that it will lead to no good doing that as the next thing will be regret which is a deep  sigh away from awful depression.You are alive, going down this ally will change nothing that you've already done.

At the time you agreed to that  treatment you must have thought it was your best option and may well turn out that way.If you had refused that treatment maybe you would also spend precious days regretting and worrying about the what ifs.

We can't change yesterday into tomorrow so we must step out of it courageously and embrace the newness of tomorrow with awsome new point of view and an unshakable resolve to absolutely not lose the rest of your life to cancer.

I sense you at an emotional crossroad, work or social activities will be your savior from this cancer's sunami that is threatening to suck you in. Don't let it get in the way of "the beginning of your new life'

Moli-- wishing happy belated birthday, added strength and renewed courage.

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1808
Joined: Jun 2015

Nancy, Happy Birthday! I have found that we have emotional ups and downs on this journey. The good news is.... you are alive and strong enough to go back to work. That is a major milestone and will give you an emotional boost once your cross into the working world again. Who knows? You might find that you love your job or you might find that it isn't for you and decide to find something else that makes you feel passion. I hope your first day back brings you a sense of peace and loads of support from your co-workers.

Like Moli said... we can't change our decisions on treatment so no point in dwelling on it. I asked my oncologist on Friday how much longer the neuropathy would hang around in my feet and he said a couple more months. That would put me at 6 months post chemo so I hope he is right. Mine isn't bad enough for pain meds or therapy but it sure isn't fun. I can't imagine what you and others that have it real bad are going through. I hope the PT helps you overcome the nerve damage!

I hope that you woke up refreshed this morning and ready to start your new life!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Thanks Moli for all your wisdom you share to everyones posts.

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi Nancy, you have a new perspective on life and that is bound to be a good thing! You are here today fighting a war and winning it. Yes, there are scars from the fight but look how far you've come! You are celebrating a birthday, getting back to work, loving your new hair - all those things sound like progress to me. Hang in there. You can do this and we are all here to help you through it.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1480
Joined: Oct 2015

Happy birthday, Nancy!!!  I agree, we all have a BC (before cancer) and an AC (after cancer) life.  I have had severe neuropathy but just this week at physical therapy, I have felt better than I have in a long time.  I think the therapy is working.

Good luck at work tomorrow and know you have a whole bunch of "cancer associates" behind you!!  Be sure to let us know how it goes.

Love,

Eldri

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Eldri, Happy to hear therapy is working for you And you are feeling better!  Hugs!

BabyCoach's picture
BabyCoach
Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2016

True words here:  "I'm sure you all agree that there is nothing like a dose of cancer to put things in perspective."  Recognizing that you feel emotional knowing this truth means you are in touch with yourself.  That, my sister, is all it takes to realize the lessons to learn as you take steps into the next chapter.  Continue to be open, don't deny, and the possibilities many be numerous.  Feeling old will be a memory as you embrace the life you have.  It may be a different llife, but - it's one being put in perspective.

Good luck on your return!

Mary Ann

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

Congrats on going back to work and happy birthday ! Birthdays have a new meaning now don't they?! Rest assure you had the treatments that you thought were best for you and you've done all you could. Best of luck on your new day!

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2835
Joined: Jun 2010

Sorry you are so emotional.  I think that's part of the process.  As is second guessing ourselves.  And all of the hype about not doing chemo or radiation can't help but play into the second guessing we do.  I did not have chemotherapy or radiatio for my endometrial cancer, but I did have both for breast cancer.  While both of my cancers were considered early stage, having 2 at the same time really took a toll on me emotionally.  Then I ended up not getting my hair back and this remains a constant reminder (as I sit here typing today wearing a turban because at home I don't wear a wig).  The ONLY thing that helped me was simply getting through it and time passing and the women on this and the breast cancer group who understood.  You're going back to work which will help distract you, but all of our non-cancer friends who will tell you to get on with your life and don't worry are mostly full of crap.  If only you could.  And I hope you will.  It is afterall what we want to do and is sometimes very well meaning feedback.  I  learned early on to whine about things only to people who have been there because other folks simply do not want to hear about it and it always felt like they thought I wasn't acting like they thought I should.  So I did.  I acted like I was strong emotionally and only shared those other feelings with people who got it.  I no longer see the gyn/oncologist, but Thursday I have an appointment with my breast cancer oncologist who I will see for the rest of my life I'm told.  For 5 years I saw folks in white coats far too often, because I had to check both ends!  While I believe I'm well and knew my odds were very good, I always go into those appointments a little nervous.  But - the good news is that in between appointments which are now every 6 months and probably after Thursday will go to yearly, I do feel better than my old self and I find that amazing as I will be 69 in June.  I hope the time passes for you remaining well and you continue to get stronger and remain NED.  Happy birthday.

Best wishes, Suzanne

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Suzanne...I am happy to hear you are doing so well after all you've been through with two cancers. I wish you all the best with your appointment and that you get to graduate to yearly visits.  I think that part of my current emotional state was due to me holding everything in for too long and it has built up.  Also going back to work is closure to this horrible chapter of my life and then being unsure of what the future holds.  I remained a rock through all this, showed no emotions, never once complained and it was like this never phased me.  My dr was even shocked by my non-reaction, it was only when she told me I would lose my hair that my expression changed.  I'm so sorry that your hair has not returned.  I only cried twice, not even in front of my husband. The first time was listening to a friend singing with his acoustic guitar George Harrison's "Give Me Love", this was on the day I received the news of stage 3C1 & needing treatment and the other time was when I finished my last of 28 radiation treatments.  Oh well, life goes on.  I hope to soon return to my old younger self, I know I will.  By the way I now listen to that George Harrison song on a daily basis, it is a great song and is kind of like my daily prayer. 

Give me love...Give me love...Give me peace on earth...Give me light...Give me life...Keep me free from birth...Give me hope...Help me cope with this heavy load...

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2835
Joined: Jun 2010

Got your attention, huh?  I saw the movie Burlesque right after finishing chemo.  I was with 2 girlfriends.  When Cher sang "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" I sat there in that dark theater and bawled.  My friends never knew.  The song was about her business going south, but the words were definitely applicable to having cancer.   The only other time I cried was at a memorial service and I typically cry then, anyway, but I cried hard watching the memorial video.  Triggers . . I will listen to Geo Harrison now.

Suzanne

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Thank you all for the words of encouragement.  I'm not regretting my treatment decision, I know I made the right choice.  I'm just discouraged I ended up in so much pain that snuck up on me weeks after my final treatment.  I know that in time and with PT I'll feel better.  Being back to work is overwhelming and will take time to adjust, but I am happy to be back.  My office was decorated to welcome me back and I received many gifts and hugs, it was nice to know I was missed.  

Nancy

 

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

You will have many many better days as time goes by. Team members seem to have your back and that will be helpful for your new journey

Moli--Hugging.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1480
Joined: Oct 2015

I was wondering how your day went.  I went back to work last week full time since we still don't have an office manager (two hired - one quit before she even started and the other one we let go after eight days), so....I'm the office manager AND the bookkeeper.  I am beat!!  I know what you mean about it being overwhelming.  Physically, my body is tired but I find that by the end of the day, my brain is wearing out and sometimes it's hard to come up with the correct word when I'm talking to customers.  Most of our old customers know about my cancer - we put it in our christmas newsletter and they have been very kind and patient with me.  New customers have been harder but I just try to slow down and focus.  I'm nervous about the work I do and doublecheck AND triplecheck everything I do.

Good luck and let us know how it's going!!

Love,

Eldri

ncg007
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2015

Like you I too by the end of the day find my body is tired and aching and i am also at a loss for many words.  Very frustrating, I'll be talking away and say you know that "thing" when I am at a loss for the word.   People I work close with I just laugh it off and say it's chemo brain, which is still embarrassing and I wont be able to get away with that when talking to executives.  I work in the IT department for a large global corporation and there has been many positions eliminated resulting in people loosing their jobs.  So I'm very thankful I had my job to return to.  So much has changed in what I was responsible for and my employees that took on my responsibilitis during my 8 month absence have now become the knowledge experts instead of me.  Which is great, they can continue on and I can now focus on other new projects.  Everyone is being great and delaying dumping work on me.  Wishing you good luck as you continue adjusting to work.

Nancy

BC Brady's picture
BC Brady
Posts: 70
Joined: May 2015

Dearest Nancy - I felt so encouraged to write to you this morning. I want you to know that you are a brand new miracle. Happiest of birthdays! If you didn't cry at least twice a day I'd wonder what was wrong. All things are new, for all of us after this diagnosis. We all know that every day is a gift - so why don't we remember to celebrate that? Sometimes the darkeness creeps in on us, that's why. We are clinging to our old selves because we want that back - but you are a WARRIOR now. Despite the tears, you are stronger than you ever thought you could be - you have endured more than you ever thought possible - and you have analyzed every minute of your past and speculated on every moment of your future. You are aware - painfully aware - of how precious life is and it's awareness that regular people without cancer don't have. I like to think that is exactly the quality that makes us special. The "no sweating the small stuff" mentality - and we don't get caught up in the tiny dramas of life that they do. Your body is battle scarred for sure, and the effects of your battle will persist reminding you of all you've survived. Go back to work and show your new self - find good support in some of your coworkers where you can, and live with the enlightened knowledge that you have never been stronger. 

Carpe Diem Friend! 

Billie

Anonymous user (not verified)

We are clinging to our old selves because we want that back.  I didn't realize that is what I was doing, but it's true.  I continued to work because I wanted to be as close to my old life as possible.  I still see it as a distraction from my new cancer life.  I just finished tax season on Monday and went into work on Tuesday (to a skeleton crew) and felt sad.  I've always been able to adjust to a new life, (after my husband got sick, became a paraplegic, lost his leg, lost his life), each time I adjusted so I guess I will now adjust to me living with cancer.  Hugs Nancy

BabyCoach's picture
BabyCoach
Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2016

Good to know your return to work went well.  I've had you on my mind.

My 9 yr old grandson made a personal card to "my all-loving Gram" when my cancer was diagnosed.  Many sweet things were included but also this advice (taken from a favorite basketball coach who died from cancer).  Included in his sweet card were these words:

"there are 3 things you should do every day.  Number 1 is laugh.  Number 2 is spend some time in thought.  Number 3 is you should have some emotions move you to tears.  If you laugh, think, and cry - that's a heck of a day.  You do all of those incredible things every day and we will take that trip to California this summer."

To cry is to be human.  Go for it!

 

 

 

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

All posts so supportive and encouraging, right on the button and just the spoonful of medecine you need.

You are on your way sister, you are mending physically and emotionally.

By now you aught to know for sure that we -got-your back.

Have a great day you all.

I am going to my bed now (night owl) happy with the company I am keeping, thanks guys, you are all appreciated.

Showers of new blessings I wish for all cancer suffers world wide. Moli

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