• Return to work

    Asked by rick_72 on Saturday, September 22, 2012

    Return to work

    I am due back to work in a week after being on disability for 4 months. My doctor gave me 2 extention so far and each consisted of 30 days that my employer approved. I'm afraid that my body will not react and perform the job as i used to because i'm so prone to fatigue. What would be the reasonable time frame for a patient be off work with this kind of cancer. I'm sure that my doctor will grant me another 30 extension if i ask but i kind of sense now that my employer is starting to loose patient. thank you,

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Harry's Avatar

      Well, I never actually went on disability. I lost a couple of days when I was treated and 3 days (+ a weekend) when I had a severe reaction, but not much else. How much time you lose depends on the treatment and mine had few side effects (except for the unusual severe reaction).

      I think your boss sees this as extending forever. If it's been 2 months since treatment stopped and you are still fatigued I would suggest talking to your doctor about treating the fatigue so you can go to work. Depending upon your "read" of your employer, I would suggest talking to him. Say you want to come back but be honest about yout fatigue concerns. Try to suggest reasonable work-arounds if they become necessary. This may depend upon what it is you do. A police officer or a sales clerk (for example) probably can't afford to be less than 100%. Many an office worker can. Not every boss will be happy about an employee who isn't 100% but you might gain "points" by making an effort. Also, it may be that making the effort is the fastest way to a more complete recovery.

      about 8 years ago
    • jhale17's Avatar

      You have not and probably will not get the answer to your question as no one knows exactly how you feel. Only you know how you feel. I have been looking for an answer for eleven years with four occurrences of NHL and have found that I had to figure it out each time for myself.

      I suggest that you be candid with your boss and explain you are making efforts to resolve your problem of fatigue as it goes with the treatment. It is up to you to make assessments of your condition while at home by trying to ease into slowly the activities you do at work.

      If you have not been doing any activity then you have to start! I tried staying in my recliner until I got better only to find out that made things worse. You have to build up your stamina and endurance slowly with light activity. They always say walking is enough. Naturally if your work requires heavy physical activity then you have to slowly work up to that ever level is required.

      I had a desk job but still required rest periods doing the day and was allowed to do that. Everybody is different; there was one gal that ran on the beach everyday while in treatment. Another man was doing chemo and radiation on the same day. He continued working packing and moving equipment where he works to a new location.

      I talked with my nurse advocate this week and she said in her twenty-six years every person in treatment asked your question, “When will the fatigue go away?”

      I have had to evaluate my proscribed medicines and they can give side effects that give symptoms the same as the treatment. You might talk to your doctor about your meds.

      Hang in there and good luck.

      about 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The longer you wait, the harder it will be to go back to work, both mentally and physically. I would recommend you talk to both your doctor and your employers about going back to work with maybe some limitations such as fewer hours or more frequent breaks or reduction in duties. It may sound counter intuitive, but being more active will help overcome your fatigue. You have already learned that 30 days hasn't be the solution and continuing to do what you have done before is going to result in getting what you got before...wanting another 30 days.

      about 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I am going into my fourth month of being off work, also. It sounds like, from everyone's input that the best thing to do is to talk to your boss honestly and hopefully you can ease back into your routine at work. The fatigue sucks, hey? I hope you continue to get stronger each day, do what you can! Best of luck to you! Keep us posted! I would love to hear how things work out, okay!

      about 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      When I was having treatment, I was still working. I couldn't do what I used to, and still can't, but I was there every day trying to do something. My case is different since I own the business, I will be there if I have to walk on two bloody stumps, but that's the difference when you own the business, If you go down, the business goes down. From an owners point of view, if you were working for us and continued to just say "I can't do it", then that's grounds to get rid of you. But if you come to work, and actually try to do something, I will look up to you, and give you something that you can do. As others have said, go to work, see what you can do, for your jobs sake, and to try to help you feel better. Think of it as a form of physical therapy. It might make you feel better.
      Best to you, hope it works.

      about 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      You might try going back part time to start and watch your energy levels, I have made the mistake of trying to go back full time and ending up going backwards. Start slow and build up. Talk honestly with your boss, perhaps you can work from home on occasion. Normally employers will work with you because its better for them to keep a trained employee who is honestly trying, Take care, Tracy

      about 8 years ago

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