Home Now what? The highs and lows of survivorship

Feeling better than expected what now

MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140
So its 3 weeks since my final chemo. Im feeling better than i expected to feel at this point. A few cosmetic things, not much hair, rashes, mild foot pain, fatigue at 9.30 pm. 8ve been walking everyday, going to my exercise medicine sessions. My appetite is back. 

Im considering going back to work 20 hours a week.

A few people, mainly friends who havent been through the thick of this, dont understand why i would want to and shouldnt i just stay on income protection as long as i can? 

Im tired of being sick, i want to be well and alive but im feeling uncertain whether things will get worse during radiotherapy or if im missing something? I do still have hormone blockers to start also. My friends concern is undermining my confidence also. 

I know this is a nice problem to have. Any words of advice?


  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140
    Hi @cath62,

    Thats great you are well and hope you are enjoying your retirement.  

  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140
    Hi @Afraser,

    Yes i think you do know. I view it as had cancer and being treated so it doesnt return. The treatment hasnt been particularly pleasant and at times i felt less well than when i started. Ive been open about it.

    But now that im feeling better i want a balanced life and i see work as part of it. 

    I have to jump through a few hoops to go back to work including notes and forms filled out by my gp that im capable for my current employer. It feels a bit over the top but ok can do it. I think some colleagues are afraid ill look ill and how ill be. My boss i think wants me to go on a less stressful project. I just want to get back to work. Im happy to do my hours and leave whilst like i work out what i want to do longer term. Working it out might involve going back to see what i think too.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,336
    I found work colleagues take their cue from you. Mine coped admirably with me appearing one day with a wig (had all my hair cut off in prep for chemo) and treated the whole thing as normal because I did. I felt a tiny bit useful in trying to demystify the whole business - the only down side was people then felt happy to talk, sometimes for the first time, about their own family’s brush with cancer! A less stressful project is not a bad idea until you see how you go. Good luck! 
  • LocksleyLocksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 316
    Hi @Michelle_R congratulations on getting through your chemo.  I'm currently having radiation and I am feeling very tired in the afternoon.  I know if I was working I would struggle with full time hours but we are all different and you know what you can and  can't do.  I hope your boss and colleagues are supportive.  Cheers.   🙂
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140
    Hi @Locksley,

    Good to hear you are progressing through treatment. Hopefully the end is in sight.

    Im only planning on working in the morning. I should have exercise (twice a week ecercose medicine and walk the rest of week) and radiotherapy in the afternoon. 

    Is the tiredness all consuming or if i rest for an afternoon will i feel better the next day?

  • LocksleyLocksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 316
    Yes I find resting in the afternoon I'm good to go for the morning.   If you are only working in the morning I think you will be fine.  You sound like you are mentally r r day.  🙂😘
  • LocksleyLocksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 316
    Sorry  ...Ready.   Oh my eye sight is shocking now but I'm not looking at new script until treatment is over.
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140

    I was going to wait for new glasses too. I gave up and got them early. So good to be able to see!
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,478
    Well done, @MicheleR on going back to work if you are up to it!  Just make sure you stay away from anyone who has a sniffle as your resistance etc may be compromised for a while yet (or just wear a mask as extra insurance, anyway!) ...... and I hope your bosses are good with you maybe changing hours if you find it a bit much initially.   Just play it by ear & you should be fine

    All the best with your rads too xx
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 140
    Hi @Sister and @Zoffiel,

    Thanks for your thoughts. 

    Im kindof in a wierd, i feel good but maybe this is all a bit abnormal state if mind. 

    Radiotherapy place is only 5 min from where i live. 

    The plan is to only work mornings and from home. I have kid drop offs and gym and radiotherapy to deal with in the afternoon. Ive been out of school run for probably 8 months but i remember the rushing nature of my life before all this happened. 

    Im not due to start radio till february. Ive booked an appointment with my gp to discuss it and to fill out income protection and work forms. Im thinking a March start now. Probably work wont mind as they are finding me a role i can do from home and less stressful and coming back from xmas i seemed to catch them on the hop. 

    There is a lot more organising to all if this than expected. The organisation i work for is large and they can support role changes etc but also its less caring than a small organisation. Maybe that isnt fair but it just feels like im having to jump through hoops. 

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,817
    It sounds even more as if you need to allow yourself some extra time.  Time to recover properly after treatment and not to have to rush back into the rat-race of ordinary life.
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