Your health and work

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Cosette
Cosette Member Posts: 637
edited February 2017 in General discussion


Last week, I saw this article on how many hours we should be working before work starts to have a negative effect on our health.

They found the work limit for a healthy life should be set at 39 hours a week, rather than the 48-hour week limit set internationally about 80 years ago.

You can read the entire article here.

How did your diagnosis affect work? Were you able to take time off for treatment? What was it like returning to work?
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Comments

  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    Ummm...still not working a 40 hour week yet...5 months on. I'm  on 4 days and will go up to 32 hours next week.
  • Cate64
    Cate64 Member Posts: 446
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    I continued to work full time throughout treatment, on Chemo days I went to Chemo in the morning & work in the afternoon...

    For me, I feel, it was in my best interest to be at work & not at home with nothing to occupy my mind but the thought of illness.
  • Cosette
    Cosette Member Posts: 637
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    primek said:

    Ummm...still not working a 40 hour week yet...5 months on. I'm  on 4 days and will go up to 32 hours next week.

    Is that a good balance for you or would you like to work more?
    Cate64 said:

    I continued to work full time throughout treatment, on Chemo days I went to Chemo in the morning & work in the afternoon...

    For me, I feel, it was in my best interest to be at work & not at home with nothing to occupy my mind but the thought of illness.

    I can understand that. Work can help some people from feeling restless or anxious. I suppose it also depends on what you do and how supportive your workplace is. 
  • Glemmis
    Glemmis Member Posts: 343
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    I work 3 days per week & had 10 days off with mastectomy & lymph node clearance & then worked through chemo. Some days I didn't feel so good but it was a distraction & they left it entirely up to me as to whether I would come in.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
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    Like cate64, I was able to work quite easily and preferred to do so. Gave me continuity and was very positive for morale. My staff were very comfortable about me doing so from the outset, but as It became clear that nothing much had changed, we all more or less forgot about it (at work anyway). I'm an event manager, so if my energy/mobility had been affected, it simply would not have worked. I feel I was very lucky as I don't think I would have handled being at home (hardly the time to take a long trip!!) for an extended time very well. While many people find time away from work restorative and constructive, I do feel for those who can't work, feel their life has been totally turned upside down including their career, and of course for those who face a loss of income at a time they may really need it.
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    I like the 4 days but financially will probably have to return to 5 as it is currently unpaid sick leave. I physically was unable to work during chemo and mentally either as I work in mental health. I found I had no more to give others. I support people here but can choose when not to, unlike at work.
  • Melsie97
    Melsie97 Member Posts: 74
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    I have been on leave since my diagnosis and subsequent surgery and Chemo since October. While I definitely could not work while having AC, I would love to be at work now during the Pacitaxel. Unfortunately as a nurse my Oncologist has told me I cannot return to work until I have finished in mid March. I feel like a bit of a fraud sitting at home whilst feeling well, and feel like returning to work would provide the next step to a new normal for me. 
  • Cate64
    Cate64 Member Posts: 446
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    @primek have you checked your super?? Most of them have a income protection part you can claim on... the dolicitor told me that just 2 weeks aho
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    Yes...might be worth looking at. I claimed aganst my life insurance which made it possible for me not to work 10 months and boost wages on part time but that is almost gone.
  • adean
    adean Member Posts: 1,036
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    I went back to 4 days but when l was diagnosed with my rare blood cancer l took 9 months of and re evaluated. I was coaxed back to a 3 day week where my employee understands l have sick days. We looked at our spending and cut back. I love work now its not such a chore
  • mum2jj
    mum2jj Member Posts: 4,331
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    I only work part-time and at the time of diagnosis was working a 5 day fortnight. I kept this up during chemo, but soon learned I needed to take the week after chemo off. This was doable in my job and was on 3 weekly chemo. I didn't have the option during radiation as I had to move to another town. 
    I found work a healthy distraction. 
    Paula 
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
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    I worked right through my initial treatment 10 years ago. I was on contract at a library doing special programs and picking up casual shirts in the branches. It was brilliant, I felt supported and as long as I was meeting my contract targets I could pretty much set my own hours.

    I was made redundant --along with 12 of my colleagues a couple of weeks before my most recent diagnosis. I won't qualify for any Centrelink benefits untill the end of June and my income insurance won't pay because I wasn't working when the cancer was confirmed. Even though I had taken time off to get scans and tests before the tumour was confirmed. So, apart from mortgage protection I'm on my own financially until I qualify for Newstart. I can hardly bloody wait for the ritual humiliation which will accompany that. Not palliative so can't access my super

    I so miss working. The days are endless and the chemo this time is really knocking me around. The heat isn't helping. I'm trying to revive old contacts and get involved with some volunteer work and studying  to keep my mind active. There are so few jobs up here that finding employment when you are my age and well is hard enough.

    I fear it is going to be incredibly difficult getting back into the workforce when I have a condition that I really have to reveal to a potential employer. Equal opportunity and diversity are much touted, but I think a great deal of that is empty rhetoric, I hope I'm wrong. Meanwhile my savings are dwindling and the bills keep coming in. Very depressing as I am too sick to get out and sell myself and still have to do radiotherapy (180 km a day round trip if I don't stay up there) when the envenomation is done. 

    Chemo yesterday and Neulasta shot this Arvo. Gawd I hate this. Oh well, that's my whinge for today. Going to go and play with the horse until the sun comes up. Marg.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,566
    edited February 2017
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    I hear you!  It is difficult as the savings dwindle.  I have kept up my voluntary work for sanity however it is not easy as we navigate our way through treatment. 
  • Scooper
    Scooper Member Posts: 113
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    I have been on paid sick leave since October 2015.  I have nearly run out of sick leave and intend to go back to work 2 - 3 days a week on a casual basis.  I anticipate to receive a temporary disability pension from my super once my paid sick leave runs out at the end of February.  I am able to top this up with casual work.  That is all I want to do.  I am so looking forward to getting back to some form of work.  I also like me time, going to the movies, shopping, socialising etc.  Work is not going to dictate to me.  I have done the hard yards.  36 years full time.  Its all about me now. 
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    Goodness everyone is so different!!! 2011 I worked through diagnosis and treatment as had to, am a single parent. 2015 I had to do Chemo, I had a schedule of when my Oncologist said Id be OK to work, it fell apart in the first 2 months. I had no capacity to work, was very ill and incapacitated. I pretty much had to learn to walk again, been a very long hard road all from Chemo. I returned 3 days a week at 6 weeks post chemo 2016 and have continued until the end of 2017. Im only working 20 hrs a week and I struggle enormously with fatigue and pain and Im 13 months post chemo. My specialists have said they are doubtful I will be able to return in a full time capacity to the work I do as an ES in an Autism Specific School due to the nature of the demand of the job and on my feet the entire time. The other thing the Oncologist said to my Insurance Company in a report is that for how ever long I am on Arimidex I will not manage full time in my job due to side effects 5 years minimum. So I am going to have to look for alternative work. I did learn a valuable lesson however through it....WORK WASN'T IMPORTANT...I finally put ME first Work comes second. I love my job passionately, but it comes down to each person really. Work is stressful for me, plus being a single parent all of these things are not conducive to a happy life or a healthy one. Putting time into me however....has been priceless and priority above everything. Thankfully Ive had a great Employer that has worked with me. So will have to make decisions end of the year. Everyone has different priorites, I was a workaholic...now I work to live not the other way around.