Time off work post radiotheraphy treatment

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Hi all, ive recently started my 25 sessions of radiotheraphy, already had a radical hysterectomy in january which came with complications (see bio)

I was wondering how long i might possibly need off work once the 25 sessions of treatment are done as i believe the side effects tend to rear their heads more towards the end of treatment and beyond.
Have people found they needed a further period of time off work after their treatment finished or found they were ok to go back to work straight away? 
thanks in advance

kath x

  • Hi Kath

    I think it’s really hard for anyone to say as everyone reacts so differently to treatment, but you had a lot to cope with even before you had your treatment with major surgery and the complications you had.

    I’d be guided by your consultant as to what’s reasonable for you given your personal circumstances-be honest with how you’re feeling physically, and they will be able to help if you need to be signed off for a time.  I wasn’t working, so didn’t have to worry about any of this, thankfully. But I couldn’t have gone back to work immediately after chemoradiation as I was exhausted and still suffered the bladder and bowel issues for a couple of weeks after treatment finished-I did have 32 radiotherapy sessions, but I hadn’t at that point been through surgery as you have, 

    You might find that a phased return to work is easier-employment law gives you rights under the Disability act as cancer is classed as a disability and employers should provide you with flexibility to return. 

    Sarah xx

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  • Hi  

    Thanks for replying, totally get that everyone is different.  I have been off work since the day of my original operation for my radical hysterectomy so its been a while off work.  Im in no rush to go back as im still physically and mentally exhausted from it all, however i will obviously have to go back at some point and just wondered what people’s experiences were with timeframes so i can start to maybe get it all processed in my head and in the hope of getting some sort of plan together to return to work and some sort of normality eventually.

    thankfully my work have been brilliant and are leaving it in my hands on when i decide to return there is no pushing from their end which is great for me and one less thing to worry about thankfully

    All the best and thanks for the advice

    Kath xxx

  • Hi Bubbsy80, I went back to work last year three months after finishing treatment.  I think it is probably important to take it really slowly to begin with and maybe have a phased return as Sarah has suggested.  Some people don't feel able to return to work after treatment so I would see how you feel.  My employer was fantastic to me all through my illness and that helped so much. xx

  • Hi  

    Thanks for replying.

    I think a phased return is going to be the way to go as my job is quite physical so I will need to be careful.  I know it might sound stupid but I feel bad for the amount of time ive had off, and Im obviously fully aware of why ive had to have this time off but still in my head im feeling anxious that its too long, and I know its silly as ive had major surgery and been horrendously poorly throughout.  
    I know I need to get these thoughts out if my head, as ive still got another 4 wks of radiotheraphy to complete, which may bring a whole host of side effects which may result in further time off. 
    Again my employer is not pressuring me at all and is very supportive, its just in my head the pushing thoughts, trying to get myself back too soon xxx

  • Hi Bubsy80,  your thought processes are exactly the same as mine were!  I felt so very guilty even though I wasn't under the slightest bit of pressure.  I also have a very physical job but all my colleagues look after me and are even quite protective!  I think that your pelvic bones can be quite fragile after radiotherapy which is why I took that time and even then it was probably too soon if I hadn't had the help I had at work.  There is a lot of stuff to weigh up and your CNS can help you with all the options available to you.  Good luck and just take it one day at a time. xxx