How long should you keep working.

AngeloAngelo PerthMember Posts: 13
edited May 17 in Metastatic breast cancer
Hi everyone, 
I was diagnosed with Mets in December 2018 and am having pleasing results to date, however I’ve been told that Ribociclib is only effective for a year, I’m hoping my Oncologist is wrong. I am working full time in a senior management position and feeling the effects of fatigue from the treatment. My work is my life and a distraction from the reality of this shit disease. I’m 57 and financially could consider dropping my hours and stepping down from my role. My fear is am I giving into this shit disease or is it time to start easing up and smelling the roses. The unknown of how much time I have and the quality of time is weighing me down and causing anxiety. I’m so tired of the uncertainty and inability to concentrate and even make decisions because of this shit disease... it’s hard work and it’s been a f... hard day 😩. Is there any hope out there, if so send it my way xxx


  • AndyCAndyC Member Posts: 1
    Hi Angelo, sorry you are having a shitty day :( my oncologist hasn’t been able to say how long the ribociclib will work for, she has a patient who has been on it for 4 years! Hoping you have a better day tomorrow x
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 6,838
    I think it's about self-knowledge @Angelo. Only you know the answer.

    How much is work intrinsic to your enjoyment of life? If it fulfils you, brings you contentment and satisfaction, and outweighs the exhaustion, then keep working, making adjustments as required.

    Maybe you could try approaching it as a retirement decision. We're advised to have plans for retirement. You're retiring in a month... what's the plan? How does the thought of retiring in a month make you feel? Panicked or relieved? Are there hobbies you want to pursue? Places to go, books to read, new skills to learn?

    Perhaps a few sessions with a counsellor to parse through your options, motivations, hesitations and anxieties would be useful.

    Some people with mets get more time than they expect, others get less. And everyone, mets or otherwise, wants to die with no regrets. Keep talking here, let us know what you're thinking. Big hug, K xox
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,860
    Whilst I don't have metastatic disease, all of us when faced with breast cancer diagnosis think about stuff like this.

    So I what you love. If you thrive by working and it makes you feel mentally great and not physically too taxing...why stop? If you feel you need to work a bit less due to tiredness...then look at that. Lots if  work places will accommodate that.
    There are other treatments after ribociclib, so even when it stops being effective that doesn't mean that's it.
    Working on bucket lists can be helpful. So...if you want to see the pyramids...have that holiday. It doesn't mean you have to do it all now...finish work because you think you should rather than want to. Great holidays take working and regular breaks can be the perfect combo.
    Small steps. You'll know when the time is right to finish.
    We all have shitty days. ..that's what sick leave is for. Or having a short break. 
    My sister lived 10 years with metastatic disease. She and her husband bought an ostrich farm. She volunteered at her grandkids kindergarten so she got more time with them....she did this right up to last few weeks. She thrived on being busy and useful. Something I suspect you do too. 
    Kath x
  • AngeloAngelo PerthMember Posts: 13
    Thanks for your supportive messages...they are all valued xx
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 3,865
    Hi @angelo I'm not where you are but agree with what the others say.  If work is getting you down then think about how you might scale down or retire.  If you cannot see yourself happy not working - then stick with it.  Are you able to negotiate a break or possibly a sideways move (mentoring?) with less hours?  I don't know what your onc is measuring your prognosis on, but from what I've heard, it's length of string stuff.  What's really important is that you enjoy what time you have as much as possible, whether it's measured in months or decades.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,376
    The decision is personal and it sounds like you're at the crossroads. Don't consider it as giving into the disease, if you decide to finish work but rather looking at it as a new chapter. A new chapter without stress perhaps. 
    I had a friend with Mets and her fatigue and continued treatment meant making the work life balance a priority.  Work gave her a project which she completed in its rough format and her friends stepped in and formatted her documents into a finished project.
    Enjoying time with family and friends and making memories and still feeling useful with the project she had helped her cope.
    There's no right or wrong approach it's what you are comfortable with!
    Best wishes and here's to ongoing health improvement. 
    Take care 
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