Working while on treatment

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Hi all,

I have a question that keeps lingering in my head and wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. I have been recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and will be receiving immunotherapy for the next 2 years.

In my current stage, I have a few symptoms ( cough, shortness or breath and fatigue) that are somewhat manageable. From a work perspective I am still keeping to normal working hours which can be longer on some days as I work with colleagues from dfifferent regions. My doctor has asked me several times if I am planning to change my working hours. In all honesty, I am finding it hard because I feel guilty calling in sick because my symptoms are manageable. I also feel if I keep up with my current ‘normal’ then the people around me will see that they don’t have to worry about me. That I am managing and I am ok.

I am stuck. In one sense I know the best thing to do is prioritize me and not make work or the opinions of others influence my actions but I don’t know how to go about it. Wondering if anyone has had similar thoughts or experiences and can share what worked for them. 

Thank you and stay well.

  • Hi  I have a totally different cancer and therefore treatment journey……. I did work for the first 12 years of my diagnosis but was not on strong treatment although the treatment was very time consuming so it was tiring and challenging fitting it all the in around my full teaching time table……. I also had lots of infections due to my reduced immune system because of the treatment,

    You may want to consider put the same post up in the Lung Cancer support group as there may well be people in that group have have had the exact same treatment so can give you first hand advice as to how things went with them especially with regards to work.

    I had to take early retirement back in 2011 as my condition was getting worse and it was impossible for me to work and go through the more demanding treatments I had to have.

    For me it’s all about a quality of life balance….. it was a hit on our income retiring at 55 but I have no regrets.

    All the very best. But 

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Thank you Mike. 

    What you shared is helpful and going to add it to the discussion that I am having internally. 

    Take care


  • Navigating work can be a challenge….. I found talking with the Macmillan Work Support team helpful. You can find them through the Macmillan Support Line open 8am-8pm (timings may differ across services) 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00. 

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Thank you . Wasn't aware of this option.