Returning to work

NaturalBel
NaturalBel Member Posts: 542
edited October 2018 in Day to day

Interestingly 43% of the participants surveyed about going back to work reported a deterioration  of work life following cancer and only 15% reported being treated unfairly.  

I never resigned when I was told I had cancer, and I was clear about being keen to return to work as I walked away from a permanent part-time position a year ago.  I was prepared to take a year to treat and recover from cancer and of course, they replaced me so my tasks could be performed.

I truly feel very deflated after a phone conversation yesterday about my returning to my job and was told "We are looking for some-one to fill in the lunch time section of the day!" and you will do the 12 to 4 shift.  

This is spoken to some one who prior to moving to Tasmania had worked full time since the day she left high school.  I had not had children, and found that the income I had earned over my life time so far was always a necessity, not a hobby job.  I had 20 fabulous full time years of hairdressing, and recently 5 as a pharmacy assistant.  I always aimed high.

So with my bit between my teeth and a firm smile planted on my face, I return on Melbourne Cup Day, to start again.  With what I now feel is a "charity" position!

Be grateful I have a job, I get told, of course I am, but I have always had a job, so I am kinda used to that.  Fear, yes, Im scared of going back there, I feel like it will be a first day.

I know they didnt expect me to go back, I really think they thought I would not survive.  So now I have another new start and ice to break.  

Am I able to put a smile on my face, hold my head up high, and work hard, damn straight.

My hour a day walks are helping me to gain strength and my head says "Harden up, time to go back to the real world!"

Let me know what you experienced, open arms, or wariness??

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Comments

  • peggysue
    peggysue Member Posts: 44
    edited March 2015

    Hi Bel,

    Like you I am almost 1 year past diagnosis.  I did continue to go to my job all throughtout my treatment..Although I did have about 10 days off after each treatment, and my employer was well,   do whatever u have too......over the past few months I have been working 4 days a week......well, guess what, last week I was retrenched.....like u, I think they that were not expecting me to recover.   Hope you enjoy your return to work,          Linda 

  • Julia44
    Julia44 Member Posts: 361
    edited March 2015

    Hi,

    I went back after about 1 year or so to find that they decided that I was not able to take rostered days off(where you make up the time first) anymore as I was not there at the time that the decision was made,  Mind you, the other staff who were there are still able to continue on.  I was on sick leave without pay but it still counts as service.

    Unfair!

    I argued this point to my boss and also said I need some days off for medical reasons.

    I have now had more time off for reconstruction and am back next week so will try again, but it just makes for my boss disliking me!  pretty bad

    Julia

  • LouiseTurner
    LouiseTurner Member Posts: 1,610
    edited March 2015

    I am in a government job and had lots of sick leave and long service leave to help me though. This is very fortunate, i know. I returned to work after chemo finished (still in herception) and stayed on 'light duties' up until my mast/recon which had me have another 2 months off.

    I have now returned in full capacity to the workforce and I gave them plenty of notice. But i just cant shake to sympathy. I am a Head Teacher (a teacher but a manager also) but was never returned to my Head Teacher designation but rather given another role. It is an important one but not really worthy of fulltime hours. I continue to be asked with big sympathetic eyes "how arrrre you?", "you look great". Which is fine and understandable but keeps me from moving forward.

    I am now looking at redundancy if I cant be matched to another role during our restructure. I feel like I have missed opportunities and have just fallen so far behind. I feel like I am at a massive disadvantage to compete for a job role that i already have the qualifications and skills for but needed to take leave from.

    So the next few weeks/months will be interesting. i am trying to stay positve and saying to myself it is perhaps time to move on, but with so many job cuts its hard to see what the future holds.

    So Bel, to answer your question; I was greeted with open arms, but not offered my real job role.....but dont know why really.

    Does anyone have a crystal ball?

    Louie

  • LouiseTurner
    LouiseTurner Member Posts: 1,610
    edited March 2015

    I am in a government job and had lots of sick leave and long service leave to help me though. This is very fortunate, i know. I returned to work after chemo finished (still in herception) and stayed on 'light duties' up until my mast/recon which had me have another 2 months off.

    I have now returned in full capacity to the workforce and I gave them plenty of notice. But i just cant shake to sympathy. I am a Head Teacher (a teacher but a manager also) but was never returned to my Head Teacher designation but rather given another role. It is an important one but not really worthy of fulltime hours. I continue to be asked with big sympathetic eyes "how arrrre you?", "you look great". Which is fine and understandable but keeps me from moving forward.

    I am now looking at redundancy if I cant be matched to another role during our restructure. I feel like I have missed opportunities and have just fallen so far behind. I feel like I am at a massive disadvantage to compete for a job role that i already have the qualifications and skills for but needed to take leave from.

    So the next few weeks/months will be interesting. i am trying to stay positve and saying to myself it is perhaps time to move on, but with so many job cuts its hard to see what the future holds.

    So Bel, to answer your question; I was greeted with open arms, but not offered my real job role.....but dont know why really.

    Does anyone have a crystal ball?

    Louie

  • NaturalBel
    NaturalBel Member Posts: 542
    edited March 2015

    I was concerned that living in a small community may mean that my blog may get back to my boss, so I was going to delete what I had written.  However, the fact that it is a featured post, and the fantastic replies I got, I decided to leave it here.

    I intend to continue blogging my event of returning to work as an important part of my Breast Cancer "experience" feedback.  I believe that it is a valid topic that we all have discussed during our support groups! 

    Thank you for your honest and understanding on this subject.

  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    edited March 2015

    Good luck for next week.It's not easy going back to work after having alot of time off for treatments.Although I'd been at my workplace for 16 years,I got overlooked for many opportunities and advancements.I went through a period of 7 years having time off for 2 bouts of breast cancer and 3 surgeries on a broken ankle.I used my sick leave and long service.My work place was very supportive but at the same time,stuck me in a job nobody else wanted.I guess I was grateful at the time that I had a job to return to but after awhile I wanted to leave.I was lucky that financially,I could retire early at 56 -so I did. I know how you feel Bel and it's not fair but take the hours you are offerred.Build your mojo back up and remind your boss what a valuable asset you are to his business.Sending hugs,Tonya xx

  • Deb F
    Deb F Member Posts: 41
    edited March 2015
    Yes I was. After my initial diagnosis, my boss let me work when I could and basically come and go as I pleased. I still worked my 25 hours per week and on my good weeks, I worked longer hours so I had time in lieu for when I wasn't so good. After this diagnosis, they have done the same and I hope that my treatment holds my secondaries at bay so I can be here for my family, but also go back to a job that I enjoy.
  • Deb F
    Deb F Member Posts: 41
    edited March 2015
    Yes I was. After my initial diagnosis, my boss let me work when I could and basically come and go as I pleased. I still worked my 25 hours per week and on my good weeks, I worked longer hours so I had time in lieu for when I wasn't so good. After this diagnosis, they have done the same and I hope that my treatment holds my secondaries at bay so I can be here for my family, but also go back to a job that I enjoy.
  • mona63
    mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015

    I think the 43% figure could depend on all sorts of factors--for me so far ive had 4 days off work and now missing and taking an hour or so off as sick leave for radiation; so the impact on my work has been limited.  My role has been in tact; however when i thought i was having chemotherapy i thought there is no way i could continue to work and miss one or two weeks every month; i would have to take six months off leave without pay; which is not automatically granted anyway.  Im not one to 'power on' and try to juggle all sorts of things so this didnt appeal to me anyway! 

  • NaturalBel
    NaturalBel Member Posts: 542
    edited March 2015

    What I am finding over the last year is it all depends on how physical your job is.  I stand all day, and move fast, have to recall information, merchandising and lots of activity.