Returning to work… had to do it

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Hi all I am new to group, I joined as I am pretty down at the moment. I had lung cancer that I had removed along with my bottom lobe, no chemo needed as luckily it had not spread. I work in payroll as a stand alone, so worry when I am not there to do it, to ensure people get paid correctly. I work for a large company so this should not be a worry but it is as there is no suitable cover. So I had my op, was out of hosp for 4 days then rushed back in as the drain site was leaking and I could not breathe properly, after another week of hosp I was sent home, I felt better, but not hundred percent. But stupidly, although WFH, I ‘went back to work’ this was in the understanding that my stand in was still take it the brunt of the work.They have since left and I have been left to pick up all the work on a full time basis, when I was meant to be on a phased RTW until at least 1st Dec, this has taken its toll on me, and I have now gone backwards in my recovery. I still have pains in my chest after 2 months from drain site especially, I still have limited breathing when walking, I am also having emotional issues, bursting into tears.Is this normal? I don’t feel like I have had much after care support. I don’t know I just feel like you have to chase to find answers, does anyone else feel the same?


Well after much deliberation with myself and my own conscious I had to go back to work. I could not see people not get paid all the hard work they had done over the last months, not get their pay and have a lovely Christmas. If I never went back, yes they would still have been paid, but just paid their salary. Some of these technicians on the field though, had worked long hours in the freezing wet weather to earn more pay to give their families a better Christmas and I could not destroy that. I know a lot of people would say ‘ well that is the companies fault for allowing it to happen and not realising I was the ‘SPOF’ but that would not help these technicians. So I decided to return to work WFH. I now have a helper, that I was also training up last week, I am absolutely shattered, as we done it, we got it over the Deadline, I worked long hrs all week to get this done, which is why I have not been on this forum. Has it helped my pain NO, has it helped my emotions, NO, well slightly. I did not have time to reflect on myself. Do I regret it NO. I would be so annoyed with myself right now, if I had not. 

I will be having a chat to my boss though as I do need time to reflect and go to classes, rehab etc.

But I will add that sometimes work is a form of therapy, it does distract your mind, but could I do last week every week, NOT A CHANCE!! 

  • Hi Suzieblues,I’m sorry you are feeling down.I certainly felt like this during recovery from major surgery for bladder cancer.You have all these appointments,tests and surgery and then post op you are suddenly processing what you have been through.I had virtually no after care support either.I agree about having to chase for answers.It’s the last thing you feel like doing post op.I had problems just trying to get my stitches removed.I feel after care could be greatly improved.Even if it’s just a phone call to see how you are getting on.It does seem to vary though as I know others who had good follow up and helpful specialist nurses.I hope you can get help at work.It doesn’t seem right that you have been lumbered when you needed a phased return.I hope your situation improves.You are not alone in feeling like this.Love Jane x

  • Hello Suzieblues, I suggest find your way to the Ask an Expert section of this website (link near the top of the page), and the Ask a Work Support Advisor forum. They will be able to advise you on what support you can ask from your employer. I hope it all works out well for you. Very brave to go back to work so early and I totally understand it must be exhausting. LR.

  • Do call the Macmillan Support Line open 8am-8pm (timings may differ across services) 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00 as this service provides benefits, financial and employment guidance.

    We also have our Ask an Expert section but do allow a few working days for a reply.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Hello Suzieblues and a warm welcome to the forum, being over emotional and tearful with cancer is perfectly normal. I still burst into tears 18 months after diagnosis. I know aftercare is not what it should be but you should have a specialist nurse who you can contact as well as getting physiotherapy, As the others say contact ask an expert", Like you i tried to do too much too quickly after heart surgery and i am fortunate to still be here so my two weeks going back to work early cost my ten weeks off and nearly my life. Please Suzieblues listen to what your body is telling you and take care of yourself.

  • Thank you Eddiel, I certainly will be now, the company will be there long after I am gone. No one is irreplaceable x

  • Just read your blog, wow what a journey you have been on Eddiel Flushed 

  • Hello again, i am so glad your going to give yourself time to heal, Suzie do you have a specialist nurse, and are you  getting physiotherapy to help with recovery, I see you have read my blog " 1am in the morning", i am not going to ask. I was going to put all my health problems in but decided to stay on topic, When i went through my dark emotional time i went to a therapist and she has been wonderful, i still see her today. though less often. Suzie can i suggest you find your local Maggies centre ,, they are a cancer charity drop in centre, no appointment needed, which me and many others on here use and would highly recommend .take bare. Eddie