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Topic: Just Not Into My Job Anymore

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

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Posted on: Apr 19, 2017 10:13PM

Jojobird wrote:

I'm four months out of treatment. NED, energy levels creeping back up, life is overall feeling better.

But I'm back at work, and just not feeling the connection. My coworkers are wonderful. Seriously, some of the best people I've ever worked with. Kind, supportive, gracious. Couldn't ask for better. But.....the engagement and interest I used to feel about my job just isn't there. Of course I do everything with fidelity - I do all my work and follow through. I'm not a sourpuss. But I am....quieter. I volunteer less. I'm not a super go-getter -- just way more subdued.

Has anyone had this happen after treatment? I'm trying to be ok with this for now, and to accept that this is a process. That this, too, is part of healing from cancer. That I am a changed person, that my priorities have shifted. But it's difficult when I feel like others are getting trained, moving ahead, signing up for extras, and I'm the quiet short-haired lady in the back of the room, a little more tired than normal but getting by.

Would love to hear your stories about back to work.

Dx 3/2016, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 21/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 19, 2017 10:39PM gracie22 wrote:

Wow, I bet you will get a lot of responses. I am a couple of years out, and wish I had an answer as I feel disengaged myself. I am being dutiful; the rote stuff, okay, no problem. Things that need more creativity or focus are a bit of a slog. I think for myself that having gone through a gauntlet of internal emotions over the whole cancer thing, it is hard to take work issues too terribly seriously; dealing with your own mortality kind of trumps everything else. I am actually worse now; I think when i came back to work after surgery (BMX) i was very invested in proving that i was totally back for the first year, and i worked very hard and tried not to think about things. But in the interim my work ardor just sort of cooled. Not feeling depressed; oddly, there is a freedom in being kind of unshakeable. Hard for a boss or anyone else to strike fear in my heart. I don't care to be homeless, so I will carry on. But yeah, the whole deadline/stress/get it done dynamic of my pre-cancer self appears to be gone; so much of it seems silly and pointless.

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Apr 19, 2017 11:00PM octogirl wrote:

I worked all through active treatment, with only a few days off during chemo, so it wasn't really a question of going back to work...but something changed for me too. At some point, my priorities changed and work no longer held joy for me. I would have moments when I felt inspired, but it became more and more of a slog...so, given my age (early sixties) and nice retirement benefits offered by my employer, I decided to retire. Last day before retirement: June 30th. Some days I feel stressed about all I have to do between now and then (it will never get done) but honestly, I can't wait!

I'd say if retirement is not an option for you, it might be worth considering whether a change of jobs could reengage.



Dx 6/18/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/16/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 9/9/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2015 Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 19, 2017 11:04PM ksusan wrote:

I had a similar experience. I'm a little over 1.5 years out from active treatment and I'm only just becoming energized and interested about work again.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Apr 20, 2017 10:26AM vlnrph wrote:

Congrats to octogirl on retirement! That is the option I chose after returning for 18 months. I wanted to travel and did not have enough vacation time so was able to quit. There is now more opportunity for fitness, new hobbies such as genealogy in addition toold favorites like playing violin and Bible study.

My clinic did a neuropysch cognitive test prior to chemo. I asked for a follow-up wondering whether my brain was still functional and actually did better once treatment was behind me and I knew what to expect during the exam which involved a memory quiz, number/letter sequences, etc.

I agree with gracie about the change in perspective and hope everyone reading this finds the situation that works for them. Since a cancer 'survivor' has been through more than most people (health wise, at least) realizing what is important to you is key.

IDC too! Rt MX/DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema as of 9-18-11; switch to letrozole 3-15-14; Discovery made during chemo=I'm a human BEING, not a human DOING Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 20, 2017 10:30AM gb2115 wrote:

Yeah, I go to work for the paycheck and benefits. Other things are more important now. I still do my job, but I'm more along the lines of "it's just a job" these days. I'd much rather be at home with my family.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes.
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Apr 20, 2017 09:55PM Nel wrote:

you are not alone.  I have continued to work, 5+ years, I was dx with stage 4 in 2013.    It has been a struggle.  I have days where I am fully engaged and working on all burners and more days when I am not. Fortunately before cancer dx, I could be super efficient.  Since dx I work more slowly, but I still get plenty done. Just no enthusiasm.  I will be 63 in July, also retiring June 30th.  Downsizing, thinking the next chapter.   I have decided to go sooner rather than later, who knows what life holds and I want to enjoy my time. 

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf Dx 9/27/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 8/6/2013, IBC, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2+

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