Going back to work

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I am 9 months on from my SCT and feeling good. I've had  some of my childhood vaccinations and I've recently joined a gym and plan on swimming once a week to build up my strength. I am very anxious about going back to work. I have a meeting with occupational health soon. I am a primary school teacher and concerned about  my ability to cope as I still get fatigued very easily and I don't want to pick up infections from children. Teaching is very demanding and I wonder if I'll ever be ready to go back. I feel like a fraud because I look healthy and in remission but still get fatigued if I go for a long walk or have a busy day.. I often think about doing something else now instead. Can anyone relate and offer advise?

I have also started my maintenance chemo lenalidomide and coping with skin rashes. It's taking time for my body to adjust to this new pill.

  • Hi  I see you have posted the basic sane post in a number of the groups you are in.

    It is a big challenge especially in light of working in a primary school. We all know that primary schools are a greenhouse that grows infections.

    You will have seen that I was in Further Education for 20 years I was fortunate to be in the position to take my pension at 55…. My 2 Allo SCTs were 3 then 4 years after retied so I did not have the decisions that you are striving with at the moment.

    I retired when I did as my Lymphoma of 12 years was slowly progressing. I was in a full time table as well as management responsibilities so it’s was a stressful environment…… and stress is not good for my type of Lymphoma so pulled the plug.

    I see you mentioned medical retirement…… I tried this route but my assessment at the time said I did not meet the criteria as my type of Lymphoma ‘was not on the list!!!!’…… crazy when I reflect back that a few years later I was fighting for my life……

    You need to have an open and honest discussion with occupational health. Unpack the fatigue and infection risks with them. You are entitled to phased return on your terms.

    I had no infections during my SCT but many infections over the past 8 years including Chest Infections, Lung Fungal Infections, the RSV Virus, Pneumonia x2 and Neutropenic Sepsis x2. Post SCT your immune system is still growing and this often takes years…… You will still be on maintenance so you know that this will slow down your immune systems recovery si thus all needs to be considered.

    Do remember that the Macmillan Support Line is open 8am-8pm (timings may differ across services) 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00.

    This service has experts covering employment advice…… they deal with this subject every day.

    I volunteer for the .UKs largest Lymohoma charity so have talked with many teachers who have navigated the same path as yourself including post SCT and many have been able to pick up the white board markers again and get on with teaching. 


    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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