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Back to work after treatment

littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi there,

For those of you who took time off work - My mom wanted me to ask how long after treatment did you go back to work? My mom has been off work since April 2004 and is going to go back part time. I'm convincing her to go back VERY part time.

Did you find getting back to the 'routine' difficult? Any thoughts will help.


Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2005

I have not gone back to work yet, as I am still in treatment...the lat day I did work was April 9th, 2004...

I'm not going to go back to work until I am done with my treatment, or at least the chemo part..

This April it will have been one year, but I promised myself that once I am done, no matter when it is, I am taking a month for me, to do all the things I want to do and feel up to, which includes a trip back to Hawaii..

alihamilton's picture
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi, my husband went back to work after 4 months of sick leave and three admissions to hospital. He still works half days but I feel it certainly helps him keep his mind on other things than cancer. I get anxious about him if I feel he is working too hard....and he does....but his colleagues are very understanding. He was still on chemo when he went back and I really thought he was not ready but we have to put our own feelings aside and let the person involved make their decisions.

Good luck to your mum...you can still monitor her and make sure that working is not doing her more harm than good. It may well help her though.

Posts: 756
Joined: Jul 2004

hi julie,
i just finished treatments. was going to go back to work but i now need surgery for a hernia where the stoma site was. my dr suggested 2 weeks after treatments. she will have to see what is good for her. keep us posted.
all the best

Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Yes, I really wanted to ask this, too, but my chemo brain keeps forgetting to post. Glad you asked the question!

Right now my last day on the pump is scheduled for February 12, and I'm scheduled to go back to work on March 21. (I haven't quite cleared that with my boss, but I think it will be okay with them.) Some people tell me that this is WAY too soon.

A friend who had breast cancer and did chemo and radiation advised that for her, right after she finished her treatments she had a wonderful euphoria, and felt a surge of energy with that--and then crashed. She described herself as feeling a tremendous amount of fatigue as the cumulative stress of the whole ordeal caught up with her. She said I would have to heal both physically and emotionally. (By the way, she is an extremely high energy and competent workaholic-type person, so this advice seemed particularly sobering.)

On the other hand, I can't quite imagine just hanging around indefinitely "healing"...so I'm very curious about what other people will say about this.

johnom's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Dear Julie,
I think the answer for your mom is when she feels like she can. Everyone enters and leaves treatment in various stages of health and that may determine when to return to work.

I make my living in a court room sitting in a black robe all day. I went back 5 weeks after my resection because I was going batty staying home. I had some fits of fatigue during the ensuing chemo but I was glad I did it. Everyone will be incredibly concerned about her and she will probably realize how much people care about her. I even had a guy I sentenced to life in prison for child molestation who very solicitously asked about my cancer battle after I was finished with his case. I mean...I could feel the love clear across the room.

Anyway, it might be best for her to phase back in and I'm betting she finds she enjoys it.

Take care, both of you.


Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004


Hello There!!! I know that you are worried about your mom going back to work but as I found out with my husband Bob if you enjoy what you do then let her go for it. Bob felt better when he was able to work as he got a chance to get his mind off of the treatments and on other things. He was self employed so he felt obligated to get back to work but he did enjoy working. He was never one to sit around and read or watch TV. He wanted to be outside so when ever he could he did. I was a reack when he went out but I had to let him go. He needed that to survive and give him the strength to get through the next treatment. Some time I didn't know how he did it even when he was on hospice he went out and they couldn't believe it also. I sorry to go on all I am saying is that if this is what your mom wants to do you have to let her do it.

I am praying that everything go well!!!! Hang in there and keep us posted!!!


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