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Return to Work

Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 2012

I am so conflicted.  I was diagonised with stage 4 NHL with bone marrow involement and orbital cancer.  Went through 8 harsh chemo, and 17 radiation treatments.  Had my last PET Friday and 4 cat scans the week before.  My radialogist told me that my scans looked good and he had a good feeling about my PET.  To say the least I am estactic about the news.  My problem is that I still tire so easily and I'm worried that my oncologist that will release me for work and I won't be able to handle my job.  Right now I do receive LTD and if I go back to work and can't do my job, I will lose my LTD and have to start all over again.  My medical bills have really hit us hard, and I don't want to start over again. I feel ungrateful to even post this since I may be in remission, but on the other hand I don't want to lose my job anyway, and not have some income coming in.  Any suggestions will be welcomed.

jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Carol.  I'm so glad and thankful you are in remission!  I think you should discuss this with your doctor and make sure he is on your side.  For most people, the recovery from what you have experienced can be a long time.  Also, there are side effects from the chemo and radiation that could prevent you from working normally.  I can tell you I still have issues with fatigue and some new symptoms that have shown up since I completed chemo a little over a year ago.  Usually with LTD, you are required to apply for SSD (Social Security Disability) so you may want to look into that if you haven't already.

With my company, there was a window (required by law I think) for them to hold my position or employment in another position  for a period of time.  I knew that I was going to exceed that window so effectively, I lost my employment.  The downside in addition to managing on about 60% of my income, is I had to go on COBRA to maintain my insurance until I'm eligible for medicare.  The insurance premium is expensive (about the same as my mortgage) and that has been tough but I am managing. All of this has practically exhausted my savings.   If you have health coverage through your husband, that probably won't be an issue if you get to that point.

Personally, I don't think you should try to return to work unless you are 100% confident you can.  I hope things work out and again, congratulations on the remission.

Hugs - Jim


Posts: 70
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you Jim!  Yes, My l LTD is working with SS to get me long term disability.  In 3 months I will be 66 so I am able to access my social security, but I will have to buy a supplement.  My husband was self-employed but he has retired.  There are so many cons to be not working, but again, I honestly don't think that I am able to put in a full 8 hours, and maybe not even part time. 

My year furlough runs out April 5th, and after that date my job is eliminated.  I just feel that I am letting everyone down, including myself.  My co-workers have been so good to me and I will miss them greatly. 

Today is a good example:I had a blood draw, stopped to pick up a few things at the grocery store, came home and had to take a nap.

I'll wait until I see my oncologist in 2 weeks and see how I feel then.

Again thank youKiss

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