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Staying at work? Returning to work?

Re: Staying at work? Returning to work?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jun 4, 2019 8:12 am

Hocklem‍ , no one knows you as well as you do, and you appear to know yourself really well, based on your post! 

As a teacher, you’ll have the summer months to give you time to evaluate all the factors involved in you being and feeling ready to return to work. I’m on-side with Lianne_adminCCS‍ And Brighty‍ : candid discussions with all the “players” - your oncologist, union, administration, and even yourself - are in order. Perhaps something can be worked out with your timetable that you’ll have extra “on call” time that you can lean on if you need it for rest. (It’s been 30 years since I did timetabling at the high school level - I don’t even know if you still have on call time!)

Good luck with your deliberations!

Re: Staying at work? Returning to work?

Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 4, 2019 9:53 am

Hocklem‍ Great question!  Lianne_adminCCS‍  gave the link to a really good website that I have used to help with this decision.

My story is that I wanted to return to work last Fall .  I had completed treatment - bilateral mastectomy, chemo and radiation.  It was 6 wks post radiation and thought I was doing well and then - BAM....some side effects of the medications hit me like a truck.  That, and I think the combination of all of the treatments, in addition to the emotional side all cumulated into not feeling well at all - fatigue, nausea, dizziness.  Thankfully I hadn't communicated to my LTD provider that I wanted to return to work yet.  So here I am - 9 months later - now just starting the RTW process.  The plan is to return in June/July and over an 8 week period build back up to full time.

Everyone is different for sure.  My brother - a lawyer - reminded me that LTD staff are not " your friend" - their job is to get you back to work as soon as possible.Now...having said that - there are some great case managers with LTD but remember it is better to go slower than too fast.  Once you return to work - it's hard to go back to being off - if it's too quick.  I used the website referenced by Lianne as a tool to write down my concerns about returning to work - fatigue, remembering things, needing time to adjust to work pace etc etc... You have the advantage of seeing how the summer goes for you, but remember other teachers can use the summer as their "holiday" but for you, you may still be "working" on your recovery.  Once September starts - it's a long way till the next break in December. In essence it would be ideal if you felt ready to return to work by the end of June - so you could enjoy some summer "holidays" and go back refreshed in Sept.

You know your own body.  Go at the pace that is most comfortable for you.  The goal is that we have put active cancer treatment behind us - so lots of working life still ahead - just give yourself the best start possible.

Best of luck!  Kim