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Stage 4 bowel cancer


Returning to work. Mixed Feelings.

Well the time has come to go back to work. This has been a really difficult decision whether to return or not. Like all of us the last period has been an absolute roller coaster with many lessons learned in the journey of life along with a true test of resilience. So it is with mixed feelings I have decided to return initially 2 days a week in a lesser role at Boots head office. I'm lucky that I feel really well and next surveillance scan is April 2018. My dilemma is should I seize the moment and travel more and take up more hobbies or should I resume some level of normality. On balance I've opted for the latter. I'm on a 6 week phased return to work plan starting next week initially doing 2 days so hopefully I can balance a bit of both and have some planned holidays. I'm seeing my trusted physchologist today so will be interested to get her take on it. With that in mind I most likely will step away from the forum for a while and will check in periodically with updates. My gut feeling is that once I'm back in the work place I may regret not having the freedom to do what I would like to do but it may just be a stepping stone in my recovery process psychologically. I'm a big advocate of the forum and very thankful for all the support from everyone on here. We did some filming back in September so hopefully you will see that soon. Lots of love and strength all on individual journies. Bridget :x::x:


Hi @Bridget55 hmmmm depends on your circumstances I guess ....if was me and numbers meant didn’t have to go back I probably wouldn’t bother lol! That said, I know @vt who had HIPEC similar time to you really enjoys being back at work so everyone different good luck though and go with your gut!! :x:


Good morning @Bridget55 x i think this is a difficult decision to make once treatment is over and we reach the point where we need to look closely at how we move forward. Personally I feel you are doing the right thing, as finding a new normal is very important. This for most of us includes returning to work, and it’s a great idea to be phased back in, and to consider a lesser role than prior diagnosis. I also feel it’s important to have more quality time, and if you can balance this you have cracked it. I would also be interested to hear what your psychologist advises, as a professional take on this would be interesting to me too. I really hope all goes well for you, and we would love to hear from you again from time to time, but the most important thing to you now, is to get settled into a new lifestyle. Looking forward to seeing the filming at some stage. Sending you lots of good health, love and happiness for 2018 Diane :x::x::x::x::x::x:


Wishing you all the best @Bridget55. It is wonderful to be able to write this after your journey the last year or so. On a personal level, I think returning to normality for you will have a great effect on the way you feel about life! Even if you eventually do retire for good and travel the world, or whatever else you decide to do, I think you are fantastic!

Look forward to seeing you as a ‘Film/TV star’. Please keep in touch periodically, I am sure we all want to know how you progress!

Love and best wishes. :x::x::x:


Hi @Bridget55 I think you have made a wise decision . Feeling valued at work is very positive and the interaction with others will help you establish the new norm . Hope all goes ok and don't forget it will take a while to readjust . :x::x:


@Bridget55 hope all goes well with your return to work. Interested to know how you came to a decision on what might be best in terms of your phased return to work. Started to contemplate this as I am hoping to go back after this lot of chemo has finished. I tend to overdo things so I need to be sensible.


Hi @Bridget55 just make sure you take things easy and don't overdo the work side. I think I would make the same decision in your position. Onwards and Upwards :x::x::x:


@Bridget55 Hope your return to work goes really well and if you try it and find its too restricting or decide its not what you want then you can always look at alternative options but know you had given it a go. I have the same dilemma coming my way which is complicated as also trying to reach a divorce settlement, sell the family home and will also have to find different type of work as I was a self employed full time gardener and know it would be too physically demanding. Keep us posted. :x::x::x:


Hi @Bridget55 good luck with your return to work, I did the same and had a 6 week phased return. I’ve now settled and working 3 days a week which is lovely as I still have time to do other things that I enjoy doing but also have the normality of working
3 days for me is plenty as I Find it quite tiring at the moment
Hope it goes well and you find what suits you :x::x:


Wishing you well in your decision to return to work @Bridget55 and I’m sure it is the right decision for you.

It was a very easy decision for me not to return to work as I was given a poor prognosis in Jan 2016 and told I was not expected to live beyond a year. There was no way I was going to be spending that time working! I was able to get early Ill health retirement and my full pension payout including a large Tax free lump sum. My work involved holding a large caseload as well as a managerial role and to be honest, my last few years in my job was spent regularly working excessive hours and it left no time for much else in my life. I’d say I was constantly under stress and didn’t sleep well at nights either.

Now, although I’ll have chemo indefinitely, I get to spend loads of quality time with my husband and family of 3 sons, one married and another with a partner as well as my little grandson of 15months. I’ve reconnected with friends and I go out and about walking, lunching and generally doing as I wish. My ‘kids’ all come round for dinner every Wednesday and we make it a big deal. I just love it! I’ve started yoga and will soon be starting back at pottery classes. My youngest son has moved back home to save more money ? and I absolutely love having him here.

All of our illnesses and circumstances are entirely unique and we all have different needs. I simply don’t have the time to work as I continue to do my very best to live and enjoy my life. Physically and mentally, I know I wouldn’t manage it either as my priorities have shifted entirely.

I wish you all the very best in your return Bridget and I’m sure you will quickly adjust and settle back into your role. I’m looking forward to seeing your film! What is it about? I’m intrigued!

Lots of love,

Karen ????❤️


Hi @Bridget55 .
All the best for your return to work.
Everyone is in a different position and like @Baxter2 I was very ready to give up a stressful, relentless job to be at home more. But this year I am now committed to at least 2 mornings of voluntary work a week, several exercise classes, all the household chores.....I might be more exhausted than ever and a lot poorer!


Wishing you all the best with your return to work @Bridget55 . :x::x::x::x:


Hi @Bridget55

Best wished going back to work and hope you find the right balance. Like you I am going back to work in February part time unless anything crops up in the interim as I will be able to drive in about three weeks, will be just doing administrative role.

Good luck :x:


Hi all. Thanks for various viewpoints. I must admit I'm a bit wobbly about it as having been given a poor prognosis and now an improved one then I'm suffering from Ptsd. Physchologist session was great. 2 things that were key exhausting myself trying to make the most of every day and secondly she indicated that my brain would feel a little scrambled at the moment and that's where she would expect it to be. Big sigh of relief as beating myself up for feeling incapable of making clear decisions and also worrying about the future as well as going over what's happened. The good news is that there is a 10 week course she is running next week to help people like me to operate better in the present. So I'm reviewing that and think it will be really valuable for me. I'm lucky I can go backto work and really just test the water and if it's not working for me then I can call it a day. I've also resumed volunteer activities at the local children's hospice which was immensely rewarding and fun before Xmas as well as the Rock Choir. I take on board everyone's individual viewpoints and respect the positions. Thanks all as really valuable. The film was about my patient experience which we did in London. I did feel like minor celebrity status for the day after doing the talk and film ! Lots of love to all. Keep warm and will send an update. Off to the Derbyshire hills in a cottage for a long weekend with friends which will keep me out of mischief. :x::x:


Sounds like a good plan @Bridget55

As you say, you can always call it a day if you like and concentrate on the other stuff.

Looking forward to seeing your film! Well done you!



Bear G

Hi @Bridget55
Completely understand your position on this (apologies I’ve not been able to read all the other replies - the amount of comments shows how you’re valued and loved here).
I feel going back to work on a reduced basis is brilliant and similar to what I’ve been doing. It engages your brain, brings in some cash and helps your days not be dominated by cancer! it also gives you the camaraderie of an office environment.
I completely agree with your psychologist on making the most of every day - I now see this as enjoying every day, even if I’m just lying in the sofa watching tv with the dog! Yes, I’m ticking things off my bucket list and spending more time with friends and family than before diagnosis, but I keep control on this. That also includes the forum, like you I love it here but I do need to take breaks from it from time to time.
Everything in moderation!
Good luck with the return to work and achieving more balance in your life.
Most importantly enjoy it!!
Big hugs

springer michelle

I made that decision and I'm so glad I did. I have a very physical job too. But I'm as fit as I can be now, still get very tired, and do just 3 days a week. It's just right for me I do Wednesday thurs Fri and off Sat Sun Monday and tues, so enough to have the best of both. I hope you make the right decision too. You can try and if it doesn't work then rethink. Good luck :x:


Hi @Bridget55 as @HH79 has said I went back in October. Took 3 months off work after HIPEC , and between my diagnosis and HIPEC on systemic chemo just worked 12 hours a week. I think it's really helped me. It enables you to put cancer at the back of your mind. I work 2 days at the surgery and 1 day from home. I was lucky enough to be able to employ an assistant manager to cover my other days. It really does help to forget about it. The first few days back are odd obviously, as no one really knows what to say. Now they know they can just take the piss out of me, and me them, and it's just like before. I have the perfect work/life balance now, and feel very fortunate that my line of work and my amazing employer has allowed me to do this. I know in most people's positions, this is unrealistic, but it seems you are able to do the same. I think you'll really enjoy it.
I've also taken a step back from the forum, and it's when @HH79 tags me, I give my penny's worth! Good luck. :x::x::x: