Breast Cancer Month: Cancer Treatment + Desire To Work!

Delivering food to ECCT supported school child Tapiwa (in red pants) and his father (in blue shirt) after his mum who died with cancer passed away.

By Francis Nyachowe, ECCT Field Officer

This week, I thought we’d talk about finding balance if you plan to continue to work during your cancer treatment.

For some, continuing to work during treatment is not  possible. However, for others it may be possible. You may find that continuing to work keeps a normalcy to your routine that may provide a strong sense of support and purpose during this time.

I remember talking with a patient a few weeks ago during a class and he mentioned how important it was to keep working, even with a modified schedule, because work gave him energy, purpose and a source of self-assurance.

He also mentioned that his work team was like family to him and so it was an important piece of his treatment and recovery to stay in touch with them.

You may find that co-workers are very supportive, finding ways to keep your spirits positive as you continue to recover.

The most important factor is to find a balance between work and life during this important time of healing. Discuss with your care provider the option of continuing to work. Be realistic about energy levels and anticipate that you may have more fatigue during this time.

The sister of Sarah, one of the patients we supported who has cervical cancer – outside their home in Hatcliffe, Harare. Sarah was in Marondera on this day.

Ask for reduced hours if you need it. As you complete treatment, slowly work back up to more hours only when you’re ready. Be honest with your manager and co-workers so that they know what to expect.

If you’re unable to work during treatment, ask for a medical leave of absence and keep the lines of communication open with your manager as much as possible. If you’d like to stay in touch with your colleagues at work, you may want to set up a Caring Bridge website in order give updates and share information. ECCT is there to assist You don’t walk it alone.

*To help us help the marginalised cancer patients we support in Zimbabwe, contact us via our website by clicking here or via our Facebook page by clicking here now.




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