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Going back to work-Need advise

colonstageIIIc's picture
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2006

I am starting back to work after being out 7 months for Colon Cancer Stage IIIC, having Folfox chemo.

I am alittle scared as it has been so long since I worked and I still don't have my full energy back. My job is a sit down at computer job, an electrical designer.

I will be coming back with a temporary ostomy that most people know about ar work.

Any advise?

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Can you go back part time to start and build up your stamina that way. My company's disability plan supported that and paid the difference. Your doctor can tell them you need to do that if it requires that.

BYW......congrats on being able to go back!!!!! Quite an impressive accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself.

Lisa P.

Limey's picture
Posts: 447
Joined: Mar 2004

Congrats on starting back to work. I recently went back to work after 5 months off. A couple of things i realized were: 1)minimize your hours as much as possible. I used to work 50-80 hrs / week. I slowly worked up to 40 hours/ week and am not doing any more for now. I notice that mid afternoon I am pretty tired. 2) don't let your work schedule inturrupt your routine. Make sure you are not dropping off on your exercise, juicing, vitiamins - you know- what ever is your routine to say healthy. It is really easy to start missing because you get busy.
save enough energy for when yo uget home so you can still take care of yourself (that one is hard for me). My boss wants me to keep up walking so he encourages me to take time to walk everyday. he just includes it in my 40 hours, pretty neat. 3) Plan on being a bit emmotionally drained at first. I felt out of place and emmotionally worn out from all of the how ya doings for the first few weeks. I think planning for that a bit better would have helped me. overall, I have had a positive experience so far. best advise, take it slow. Good Luck.

Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2007

I love your name... Thinking Positive!! I went back to work after being a stay at home mom for 15 years. Hubby decided cancer was too much so I HAD to go back to work after he left. It ended up being the best thing I could have done.

It has been 2 years since surgery and I have a permanent colostomy. I won't kid you when I wasn't prepared for the various situations that I have found myself in. The worst for me is the uncontrollable noises. I call my colostomy "Stella". Actually my kids named her. She has a voice of her own and doesn't bat an eye at joining any conversation. This is funny in the the right company... at work... not so funny. Mostly totally embarrassing.

Even tho most people know about Stella, it is awkward at times. I deal with it gracefully... I hope. Usually I will say, "Sorry. Rude noises. Can't help it." and then keep on with the task at hand. Othertimes I will deal with it with humor talking to Stella like she is real (believe me, sometimes I swear she is because she answers right back). Or pretending to translate for her saying "See? Even Stella agrees with me." My son hates that one.

Above all, I recommend paying attention to your body. If you are tired, take a break. If you are sore, go home and lay down. If you feel good, then work but keep in mind what you still have on the agenda for the rest of the day. YOU are the important one. And only you can take care of YOURSELF.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Take it easy. Rest when you are tired. Ramp up slowly if you can. Ask for copies of any labs...if your white cell count is weak, call in sick...

I had to work during treatment with both my rectal cancer and my breast cancer. I am self employed. Computers. I don't work I don't get paid....sigh...

now, 2 years after, I'm almost back to full time...doing well.

Remember, you only have one body, and it's been thru heck....treat it well!

Hugs, Kathi

minniemoose's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2005

Hello...I have a permanent colostomy and you will be fine going back to work...I remember being so scared of everything...going out of the house was an ordeal even....but you know it is just the same as having a normal bum...if you have to go you have to go..regardless..

Am pleased to hear your ostomy is temporary...that is wonderful for you....

Just take each day as it comes...try to eat good nourishing food and even carry little snacks with you in case you feel hungry and need energy fixes....try not to over do it at work...sounds like you have a desk job which is great...and if your work mates know you are still feeling under par then they will be there for you....
You will be fine...believe me...after the first day you will stop feeling so nervous....

Hey if an old woman like me can do it so can you....I was retired and ended up managing the apartment building we live in...we also go sailing and camping....so life doesn't end because of the big C....it is a new beginning for you..take it with both hands and enjoy....

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