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Post treatment work transitions?


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I'm really curious to hear what transitions people have made after going through lc treatment. I can tell that some people have left the job market - either because they are no longer able to work or because they decided it was no longer a priority - or maybe there is another reason? For those who have gone back to work, whether because of financial need or other fulfillment, did you go back in where you left off (assuming you stopped at all) or did the experience alter your world in such a way that this was not possible?

It's been two months since treatment ended for me and I have been back at work. I hadn't really settled into this job before this all started, so I don't feel very connected with this office. Worse, I had quit a similar position two years ago, kind of burnt out on the work. Not sure if I am not over that, or if this experience has changed me. I need to make a living or win a big lottery.

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When I was diagnosed we had just moved back to Minnesota. I am a nurse and had applied for and got a job at a local hospital then found out the pain I had was not strain from unpacking boxes but lung cancer! I did not think taking chemo which lowers your immunity and working in a hospital mixed so I told my to be supervisor I could not show up. Would you believe she said let us know when you are finished treatment and are ready to start. She even called periodically to see how I was doing.

Well after I finished and got my blood counts back to normal I did start working there. I have been there 11 years + now. I used to always work full time but now I work 6/10ths (of a 2 week schedule) .

Donna G

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I kept my job through chemo, I wasn't here very much, but did get some hours in some weeks. I ended chemo mid Aug. '08 and have just hit a full 40 hour work week these last 2 months. My attitude has definitely changed, I just don't seem to care about my job like I used to. By Friday I'm just beaten in to the dirt. Everyone, including me keep telling myself I need to exercise more, just can't seem to get there.


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Thanks Dana,

I am exercising - that is the best part of my week, especially swimming slow laps twice a week. But I always loved swimming and hadn't done much the last 25 years except at hotels. Getting additional cardio, stretching, and weight work too.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I am wiped out by the end of the day Friday - I am working 3/4 time and treatment only ended 2 months ago. But being interested in the work? Not so much.

So, what does keep you interested? Is there another passion stepping in? I'm looking for mine.

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Amen to the having trouble caring about a job, Dana. Lung cancer does seem to give you some perspective adjustments. I'm trying to get to where I can retire, or at least semi-retire to something that's easier, better working conditions, and less hours than the machine shop machinery repair work that I'm doing now, 45 hours a week. But mine is a salaried position, so I lost no pay while I was off work during treatment.

I had no trouble getting back to exercise. I'm convinced that my great fitness level had a lot to do with how well I tolerated the medical horrors that lung cancer treatment is, and I got out of the hospital wanting to get back to my bike riding as soon as possible.

I was given 4 weeks off work after surgery, but I was back on the bicycle just 16 days after surgery. I only missed work a day here and there during chemo, but there were also days when I wasn't up to much physical work.

By the third round of chemo, my riding time was down to nothing, but I was riding again in less than two weeks. I did a lot more easy miles on the bike that first year after surgery and chemo than I normally would have, but I can't think of better therapy for surgery damaged lungs than riding a bike, and I really think it helped my overall recovery more than anything else I did.

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Ooh, I like machine shops. A salaried machinist? Interesting. Funny, anytime I am salaried, I get no extra pay for working long hours, but when I can't work, the pay is docked. In this case, I just stayed away for so long I thought it was appropriate.

Staying home with the cats, gardening, exercising, reading...still sounds good to me.

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