• Returning to work after recurrent cancer.

    Asked by Kathy on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Returning to work after recurrent cancer.

    This is my second time returning to my same job as 3 years ago when I was first diagnosed. Both times I took a 90-day leave. The first time I returned I received a lot of attention and concern. This time the attention faded very fast and I don't have a sense of concern from my coworkers and having a hard time fitting back in. Has anyone else had this similar experience.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      I so hear you. I was news for about a month, after that people dealt with the idea and moved on (got a little bit of attention during chemo, but that was it).

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I have had both ways, people that hovered over me, and people that didn't mention it at all, acted like I looked normal and was nothing wrong with me. I can only guess, but I think those that don't make much of it don't want you to think they are making a big deal out of it. Sort of trying to make us feel normal. I've had some say that they just didn't know what to say so they acted like it used to be before cancer.

      Not a scientific study, just what I found in my little circle.

      over 5 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      To be honest, I've had an initial amount of excessive attention too. They may be concerned but the cancer is probably in the back of their minds right now. I've had a different chronic condition where people can do too much, too little or be just right. It all depends on the individual.

      over 5 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      It's possible your second absence has made your cancer bouts seem "routine." It's also possible people are really concerned about this being your second time and they really don't know how to express it.

      over 5 years ago
    • bbay65's Avatar

      I recently was in the same spot. Our workforce is small, so it's hard when 1 person leaves. They are caring, but we are realistic knowing I may have to leave again. Maybe your co-workers are trying in their way to make you comfortable. They probably think you're tired of being the focus. Good luck, getting back to work will benefit you in many ways.

      over 5 years ago
    • sunshinemb's Avatar

      Well the first thing is that your lucky you had a job to return to; I had a state job and they fired me for having cancer. Yep, fired! and it was a state law that they could do that. As far as coworkers; the ones I had acted like I had a virus they would catch; some were sympathetic others were not; my feeling is that unless anyone goes through this they have NO IDEA how things make us feel inside. That's why you need a community of supporters to help you get through the tough days. Keep your head high; and stay strong; for yourself; not anyone else. God Bless You and the days ahead.

      over 5 years ago
    • c25862's Avatar

      Yes I to have had the same happen to me. Everybody at my work yes nice the first time I came back all concerned. The second time I came back not at all. My manager thinks I can't do my job like I used to do it which is really frustrating because I can do it just fine. It's getting better the fitting in but it's not all there yet. It will get better for you :) I'm here if u need someone to talk to

      over 5 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Kathy... I'm thinking they don't understand and don't kinow what to say. :Perhaps just casually mentioning something at lunch... It's so good to be back. Believe it of not I missed work......

      over 5 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      My coworkers were great but I did work in an OBGYN practice. At first they were a little hesitant because I think they didn't know what to say. The day I found out about the tumor, I called my nursing supervisor who immediately offered her support. They when I told her about my follow up surgery she asked permission to post a notice that I would be out a little longer but not why. I gave her permission to tell them because I didn't want a lot of questions when I did get back to work. Plus the doctors would see me in the recovery room and the hospital since I had the surgery where our office was located. Even though I no longer am working, my coworkers still email me, call me, and we chat on facebook and the phone. Their support has been invaluable to me and gets me through. Maybe your coworkers don't know what to say or if you just want things to feel normal again. Maybe you can reach out to a trusted coworker and talk. Take care.

      over 5 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      I wanted to thank all of you for answering. The main thing is that I'm thankful to have my treatments behind me and able to be going to work again. Thanks again. This group is so helpful.

      over 5 years ago

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