wondering about going back to work

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I am 7 radiation treatments away from being done, last day will be August 1st. I have my last chemo this coming week, split over 3 days. As it stands right now my family medical leave is up August 20th. They have said I can apply for an extension but it will have to be approved by the vice=president over our dept. I work in a hospital pharmacy, lifting cases of Iv fluids and totes of medications. I know everybody is different but just curious what other people's experiences are with going back to work. I just can't afford to lose my job. I am thinking I probably will need a little extra time if they will approve it but just worrying about it. Wondering how long others have taken to feel like going back to work??

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  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    work
    I work in an office so nothing too physical. I finished Tx 05/18 and returned a couple of days a week 3 weeks ago. Last week was my 1st full week (I only work 4 days). 8 weeks out had ample energy.
  • wr0ngway
    wr0ngway Member Posts: 7
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    back to work
    Finished treatment at end of May so i'm 8 weeks out. Am just now feeling up to full time work. Still requiring lots of sleep.
    But I actually did a condensed work-out routine just this morning for the first time since February. Who says you can't do sit-ups with a PEG tube?? (ans. - my surgeon, not me!) But then I went back to bed 'cause it was 6:00 am on a Saturday.
    Anyway, based on my experience I'd suggest about 8 weeks convalescence but if your work requirements dictate, don't be afraid to go back earlier, just plan for a lot of sleep and get help with household chores and such.
    best wishes,
    David
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    What do you think....is the VP a person who
    is good management, or one of those who'd like to hang cams in every department to make sure nobody ever EVER has a good time at work? I'm lucky I have a union job, so I have 6 months to get back there..tho I too have worried a little about having enough time...I thought that I'd get to the end of rads, and then with 3 chemo's left WITHOUT rads, I'd be darn near on easy street. Instead, since rads have finished more side effect stuff has been hounding me....the mouth sores make it so I can't wear my dentures, and I'm not going to work without them....I'm still tired, and want to take a nap everyday...my eyes drive me crazy itching and watering (I am sure that is a present from rads)...

    If it were me, I'd put in for the extra leave, and at least see if I can get it....if not, well you might have to get on back to work regardless how you feel, if you do get it then good for you....I'm sure you will be able to use it.

    p
  • Laralyn
    Laralyn Member Posts: 532
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    I'm on week 7...
    ...and working from home. My doctor doesn't want me going into the office for at least a few more weeks, so 8 weeks sounds about right for recovery. Going into the office involves a commute on the BART for me and some amount of walking, and I still get exhausted just going to a doctor's appointment!

    Recovery definitely takes a while, and I've discovered that no matter how impatient you get, it can't be rushed. I hope your boss understands and you get a little extra time!
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    I am on your team
    Hi boardwalkgirl,

    Sounds like the VP needs to show up for the wearing of the mask, then he (or she) will be offering you more time off with a raise. If it were up to me, I would prescribe an extension but there is a transition back to the “real people” world. I only work part time but I am exhausted with questions about how tired I look. First I am reminded at another thread of my (old) age and now this. Oh well, this is about you and not me, sorry.

    Don’t lift too much weight if you do return, and get plenty of rest. If you need a note, I can write a doozy for you.

    Ms. Phrannie is correct, you are not finished with treatments yet and there is no guarantee on how you will feel. There is a nice spread between the 1st and 20th for you to get better. I wish you all the luck in the world and if you need some help with heavy boxes give me a call and I’ll jump in the Matt mobile and rush over, no charge.

    Best,

    Matt
  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
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    My Story
    We are all different. Aug. 9, 2010 I had surgery, radiation started in Sept through mid Oct. I thought that I would be going back to work after Thanksgiving, no way! I did go back to work (I am a teacher) in January. Work, lay down on a yoga mat at lunch, leave school at contracted hour (never did that in my career) eat and go to bed. I had to rest on Saturday to make it to church on Sunday. Thank God for my husband/caregiver (he is retired). Mets in 2011, surgery July 22, radiation September through mid Oct. I did return back to work after Thanksgiving. Still very tired, still go to bed early, not doing much else.
  • blackswampboy
    blackswampboy Member Posts: 341
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    hospital VP?
    do you work for the hospital itself, or a subcontractor?
    hard to imagine that a hospital would deny medical extension for their employees doing a physical job--not good for their employee and public relations. but if they pull a stunt like that, you could air it publicly... ;-) surely it won't come to that.
  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    Just curious
    Hey boardwalk girl,
    Besides your family leave of abscense didn't you aquire any medical leave of abscence also at work ? Some insurance companies offer long term disability leaves as long as you've qualified for it. I'd check this out with your human resource head, good luck. I know I will never go back to work...on SDI til I turn 62. Would rather be working though. Sending you positive thoughts...and keep in touch. Katie
  • boardwalkgirl
    boardwalkgirl Member Posts: 269
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    I work for the hospital
    I work for the hospital itself. And I am drawing short term disability now and am eligible for long term if I had to be off that long but I don't anticipate that. I want to go back to work as soon as I am able and over all I think I have done well thru treatment. I just keep thinking it is going to come up and smack me when I least expect it and I just don't think 2 weeks after treatment ends is going to be enough time to recover and go back to work full time. My supervisors are fine with waiting a few more weeks for me if need be, they just want me back but I am afraid of what the big bosses will say. I have worked there 20 years and love my job, just don't want to have to start over some where else. But I guess i am going to leave this in God's hands and what ever he has planned for me witll work out. I have to think of my health first.
  • D Lewis
    D Lewis Member Posts: 1,581 Member
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    I work for the hospital
    I work for the hospital itself. And I am drawing short term disability now and am eligible for long term if I had to be off that long but I don't anticipate that. I want to go back to work as soon as I am able and over all I think I have done well thru treatment. I just keep thinking it is going to come up and smack me when I least expect it and I just don't think 2 weeks after treatment ends is going to be enough time to recover and go back to work full time. My supervisors are fine with waiting a few more weeks for me if need be, they just want me back but I am afraid of what the big bosses will say. I have worked there 20 years and love my job, just don't want to have to start over some where else. But I guess i am going to leave this in God's hands and what ever he has planned for me witll work out. I have to think of my health first.

    24 weeks
    I took my 12-week FMLA leave, and then requested a 12-week extension, essentially all of it for recovery time. I was able to go back to work full time after that. I do have a desk job, so I wasn't doing a lot of heavy lifting. I did lose quite a bit of muscle mass during treatent, and it's still taking a lot of time to get that back.

    Deb
  • Tim6003
    Tim6003 Member Posts: 1,514 Member
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    D Lewis said:

    24 weeks
    I took my 12-week FMLA leave, and then requested a 12-week extension, essentially all of it for recovery time. I was able to go back to work full time after that. I do have a desk job, so I wasn't doing a lot of heavy lifting. I did lose quite a bit of muscle mass during treatent, and it's still taking a lot of time to get that back.

    Deb

    8-10 weeks for me
    I finsihed rads January 20, 2012 ...went back to work April 1st ...but it was tough. I am fortunate as a manager over about 20 people I can write my own schedule and have my A team working when I work (so they can cover for me if I was down or weak) ....

    ...I don't think I was at the back of the class as for recovery...but most seem to have done a bit better than me....I did lose 70lbs in treatment and I had a heck of a time with a reaction to Erbitux and the radiation did me in pretty good too....

    ..I should note the Erbitux hit me hard right away...but the radiation did not hit me until near the end ...then it wiped me up like a mop on the floor ...everybody is different...I say put in for the time and hope you don't need it...surely your supervisor / VP should have some knowledge of the "unknown" your type of treatment can cause and understand the request is a "first-strike" in the event you need it..

    Best,

    Tim
  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member
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    Tim6003 said:

    8-10 weeks for me
    I finsihed rads January 20, 2012 ...went back to work April 1st ...but it was tough. I am fortunate as a manager over about 20 people I can write my own schedule and have my A team working when I work (so they can cover for me if I was down or weak) ....

    ...I don't think I was at the back of the class as for recovery...but most seem to have done a bit better than me....I did lose 70lbs in treatment and I had a heck of a time with a reaction to Erbitux and the radiation did me in pretty good too....

    ..I should note the Erbitux hit me hard right away...but the radiation did not hit me until near the end ...then it wiped me up like a mop on the floor ...everybody is different...I say put in for the time and hope you don't need it...surely your supervisor / VP should have some knowledge of the "unknown" your type of treatment can cause and understand the request is a "first-strike" in the event you need it..

    Best,

    Tim

    12 weeks
    Lot depends on your C, treatment and physical condition in recovery, of course. For me, as a metalworking factory Inspector, I returned to work a month after the last rad, so was a total of 12 weeks/3months off of work and getting a temporary medical disability check. Was slow going for the first 1+-month. The severity of where H&N treatment takes Patients is well known in the medical community, so I would think a hospital would be very understanding if you do need more time off. Does take awhile for the dust to settle, post-tx.

    kcass