How long from the end of tx until you went back to work?

I finished my treatments on Aug. 20 and am looking to be back at work by Sept. 29 hopefully. My energy level is getting much better, taste still sucks but I can work around that, the peg comes out this week, haven't used it for two weeks. I just don't want to work for two weeks and then my energy levels crash, that's my big worry. How long was it for some of you and did you crash at some point and have to take time off again? 

Comments

  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
    Back to work

    It is different for everyone.  Depends on what you do.  Some were able to work online during treatment.  I was a K teacher.  The first time I finished treatment mid October, was feeling great at Thanksgiving but glad I didn't return until after the holidays.  I took a yoga mat and pillow to school, layed down during lunch recess.  Didn't have much energy left, worked, returned home ate dinner and went to bed.  I needed to rest on the weekend.  Second go around I was able to return after Thanksgiving but knew I had the holidays to rest.  Still used the yoga mat to rest at lunch.

  • lornal
    lornal Member Posts: 428
    If you can...

    Ease into work if you can.  For cancer 1 (2007), I worked part-time for a month, and then full time.

    For cancer 2 (2014), I didn't have radiation or chemo, but 8 months after surgery, I am still only parttime.  The second time around took a much bigger toll.  I will be switching primary care doctors soon, and hope to find out what is holding me back - or if this is as good as it gets.

    Lorna

     

  • Joanielo
    Joanielo Member Posts: 55
    Back To Work

    I went back to work exactly 2 months after treatments ended.  I was tired but so happy to get back to my normal life.  My energy levels were low but got stronger day by day.  I never crashed but I did rest after work and on the week-ends.  If you are going to return to work, I recommend that you don't over do it on your time off.  Take your time away from work to eat healthy and rest.

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    I went back 6 weeks from the end

    of treatment.....I had to, and I'm glad I did.....my energy levels were consistant, but low for 3 or 4 months after I went back.  I crashed hard on my days off.  I started back the end of October, and by February or so, was starting to feel less tired at the middle of the week....tho I was still crashing hard on weekends until the day I retire. 

    Ya know.....my hemoglobin was down and stayed down until just a month ago.....that was the whole reason I was so tired even at 18 months out.....I started taking "Soft Iron" supplements, and they pumped my hemoglobin up fast....I could feel the difference in 10 days.  Just a FYI.

    p

  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
    I worked

    some during treatment, but mostly from home.  I only work part time, but am full time in the summer.  (summer camp!)  I was fortunate enough to do my registrar and accounts receivable for camp from home.  I tried to go in some days, but only could stay a couple of hours.  After rads ended, I was back at work (just a few hours a day on the computer) about a week or two later and that was WAY too early!  It wore me flat out!

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710

    I worked

    some during treatment, but mostly from home.  I only work part time, but am full time in the summer.  (summer camp!)  I was fortunate enough to do my registrar and accounts receivable for camp from home.  I tried to go in some days, but only could stay a couple of hours.  After rads ended, I was back at work (just a few hours a day on the computer) about a week or two later and that was WAY too early!  It wore me flat out!

    3 months

    on 4 hrs per day which will increase. Take some time. You have been through a lot. Ease yourself back in. I have to take a bleep test and wider fitness test plus do mandatory physical training. Deskboynd I could have got back at two months. Good Lucj.

  • It depends upon what job you

    It depends upon what job you do. Probably a desk job you might go back sooner than, say, a builder. Although you STILL get TIRED, no matter what your job is!

    I am a psychiatric nurse. My job is great, but high energy. You *MUST* be alert, or you can't keep yourself, your colleagues, or patients SAFE.

    My treatment finished mid-March, and I went back to work late June.

    However, I was lucky. In the NHS you get a "phased" return.

    Week 1: 2 shifts

    Week 2: 2 shifts

    Week 3: 3 shifts

    Week 4: 4 shifts

    Week 5: 5 shifts (full time, 37.5 hours a week).

    I have also spent 3 months on a "quieter" ward where there is no requirement to 'restrain' patients. Patients are not violent.

    I am doing my yearly "physical interventions" update this week. Then I have a week off. Then on 28 Sept I return to my normal ward (where we do sometimes have to use physical retraint), for a month of nights. But I like nights, they are generally not so 'lively' (!)

    I was very, very lucky to be working for a public body (which is why we are all fighting tooth and nail against the Tory Party over here. They are privatising by stealth our precious NHS!)

    I was off work, in total, 4th December to 28 June.

     

     

  • hrowe
    hrowe Member Posts: 57
    3 months and I do medical

    3 months and I do medical record auditing so I sit at a PC all day. I was really tired for the first 90 days at work but managed to slug through 35 - 40 hours/wk.

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Too many variables,..........

    Everyone is so differant as well as what was done to them. You had RAD and Chemo but no surgery. Also other health factors. I returned to work in 10 weeks after surgery. Had a full laryngrctomy and neck dissection both sides and 86 glands removed, no chemo or Rads. Had to learn how to swallow, eat, and speak all over. I am a neck breather so I had to be at a point I could go back and not have to do suction on my treach, and beable to talk on the phone. I run the shipping dept on my shift and talking is a big part of my job. Went back on a full 40 hr week. 

    I also have other health issues; I worked for five months and my doctors took me off work with no returning ever, due to other health issues.

    It will depend what was done and are you back to 100%? Do not rush it too fast as you will pay for it in the long run. It will also depend on the work you do. The amount of walking, lifting and weight you lift, how long you can set at a time. When you feel you can go back and do everything you did do, take an extra week or two. You are still recovering from the Tx and will not be at 100% for around a year or longer. That doesn't mean you can't go back to work, you just need to know it will take time to get back to where you were if you can at all. It's called the "New Normal". It isn't like getting over the flue or a broken leg, you've changed and Rad will effect you for years, but you will be fine.

  • JC F
    JC F Member Posts: 74
    wmc said:

    Too many variables,..........

    Everyone is so differant as well as what was done to them. You had RAD and Chemo but no surgery. Also other health factors. I returned to work in 10 weeks after surgery. Had a full laryngrctomy and neck dissection both sides and 86 glands removed, no chemo or Rads. Had to learn how to swallow, eat, and speak all over. I am a neck breather so I had to be at a point I could go back and not have to do suction on my treach, and beable to talk on the phone. I run the shipping dept on my shift and talking is a big part of my job. Went back on a full 40 hr week. 

    I also have other health issues; I worked for five months and my doctors took me off work with no returning ever, due to other health issues.

    It will depend what was done and are you back to 100%? Do not rush it too fast as you will pay for it in the long run. It will also depend on the work you do. The amount of walking, lifting and weight you lift, how long you can set at a time. When you feel you can go back and do everything you did do, take an extra week or two. You are still recovering from the Tx and will not be at 100% for around a year or longer. That doesn't mean you can't go back to work, you just need to know it will take time to get back to where you were if you can at all. It's called the "New Normal". It isn't like getting over the flue or a broken leg, you've changed and Rad will effect you for years, but you will be fine.

    Anecdotes

    I know everyone's circumstances are different when it comes to this, I was just looking for anecdotal stories from people here regarding your own situations...thanks to all that have replied...   :-)

  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Like Mentioned...

    There's many factors...

    The main is what work you plan on doing..., and how you feel at the time.

    I worked pretty much continual, through sixteen weeks of chemo that included seven weeks of concurrent chemo and rads. I went back into the office about 6 - 8 weeks post Tx.

    But I do mainly all computer related work, connecting to my work computers online.

    John

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Type of Job matters

    If you are working outside it could take you longer then for someone who has a desk job. Then you might also find something are not as easy to do now like it was before. Just take it easy for the first few weeks and get your body back into it a little at a time.

     

    Tim Hondo

  • granmudder
    granmudder Member Posts: 41 Member
    Hi JC
    We have our own

    Hi JC

    We have our own business so my husband who finished treatments the same day as you has been going in  for the last few weeks  2-4 hours most days he  then brings work home and does calculations at his leisure  does get pretty tired afterwards though.. job is mainly on the road measuring  so not extremely physical but not sitting at a desk either.... i think the importaant thing is to rest when needed as much as possible.

  • donka
    donka Member Posts: 15
    2 months

    I finished treatments last week of June and went back to work September 2nd.  We are doing a 'gradual return to work' schedule, 2 days the first week, 3 days last week, and this week it was supposed to be 4 days but I requested we continue on with the 3 day week for a while longer.  Mon-Wed-Fri.  Of course I have to fight with the insurance company over this, and get more doctors notes drawn up...pain in the butt.  But...I just don't think I can do more than that at this point.  The fatigue is killer.  When I worked last week I came home Monday, passed out at 8:30pm, slept until 8:30am on Tuesday, had two naps on Tuesday, and basically the same thing happened after working on Wednesday and Friday.  I just don't think I can do two days in a row right now.

    If you can swing it, I highly suggest a very gradual return...you just may not know how wiped out you will be until you get there and try it out.  I was supposed to be back full time next week but it's just not going to happen unless they want me to fall asleep at my desk.

  • Roar
    Roar Member Posts: 269 Member
    I worked through treatment

    I lasted half way through- after my second chemo treatment I was done- I was out about 6 weeks total. Then when I came back I was in and out for a few months as the fatigue was bad - it should be noted like many said, it depends what you do. I am a construction manager and put in many hours in very stressful situations. It took me almost a year to get back to the new normal - I have come to accept things will never again be as they were. This is not a negative. I actually have learned not stress as much as I learned to take a rest when my body tells me to rest. I think the important thing like many aspects of this recovery is to keep testing yourself and never give up. But you have to listen to your body. Sometimes I get into situations where I just work too much - to many hours in a week and then will feel like crap for a while until I am rested. I am a believer in the nutra bullet- I have done it every day since I could start swallowing again and it makes me feel great. When I first started because of the weight loss I would juice with the ensure - I no Longer use the ensure - I will take some berries,kale,a banana and whey protein with coconut water and that usually keeps me until lunch - in December it will be 2 years since my last treatment. For me it was a real struggle for about 6 months after my last treatment.