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Working post diagnosis

User
Posted 08 January 2018 17:58:24(UTC)
I’m interested to hear peoples experiences on working post diagnosis/ treatment. I was diagnosed with incurable PCa back in May and started hormone therapy immediately and went on Abiraterone as well (instead of chemo). I’ve really struggled with the side effects, particularly fatigue but, in any event, I didn’t want to be on my death bed in X years time and think back and say “wow you worked really hard in the years before you died”.

I’m an accountant with my own firm and I’m co-owner but I’m also only 60 and wasn’t planning to retire until 64 or 65. However I have cut my hours down and pick my 4 year old Grandson up from school 3 days a week and intend to cut down further from Feb. Having said that I still work way more than the 26 hours I’m supposed to do!

Anyway, today I got a note from my business Partner expressing concerns that my illness and the way I deal with at work (open, Frank and honest) was having such a negative impact on the practice that I should look to retire ASAP, either that or buy him out!

I’m not sure he quite meant it the way it came across but I can’t afford not to work and, if I don’t work I’ll just sit at home and mope about the future.

I’m interested in what other folk living with this horrible disease did about work, business, life balance etc. Did anyone carry on banging out silly hours at work or did the bulk of us do something similar to what I did?
User
Posted 09 January 2018 09:05:19(UTC)

Tony,

If you look at my profile you will see where I am on this journey.

I still work, mainly for the mental stimulus that it gives me and the boost it gives me to be working with fitter people who do not give me time to dwell on my issues.

Sure my hours have changed and I am in the fortunate position of being able to pick my hours to suit me, so if I am tired I don't go in or work from home, but on other days I do. I tend to work 3 days a week, but it is up to me. I work in London, but always drive in to work which helps me and with my disabled parking permit i have no trouble parking or traversing the conjestion charge which is free for a disabled driver.

As a comparison to your line of work, i work for a large multi national construction company and their attitude to my situation is brilliant and could not be further from your own experience.

Keep going Tony and don't let others get you down or divert you from your path.

Regards

Dave


"Incurable cancer does not mean it is untreatable and does not mean it is terminal either"
Thanked 1 time
User
Posted 09 January 2018 09:54:25(UTC)

Hi Tonyc my husband still works 5 days a week (used to be 6/7) he's unfortunately in the incurable camp and had early chemo which luckily he worked through ,and now on the stampede trial arm j ,his job is a very physical job constructing marinas up and down the country and worldwide ,since his treatment has started 2 years ago although yes he still works his firm have been fantastic and has slowed right down mainly doing all the supervising and paper work in the wheel house of his barge .He will still muck in with the others when needed but on those days it completely wipes him out and weekends are normally spent resting.
We still have a Morgage to pay so Gary says he will work on for as long as possible to finish that if he can but also it takes his mind off sitting around thinking .I personally would like him to cut his hours down more to spend with me and our grandchildren,but he's a strong willed man!
Maybe you need to have a frank conversation with you partner , are you a liability at work or just slower ? Or maybe they can't handle the fact that you have Pca, Can you do shorter days rather then less days .
I hope you can resolve it and not feel pushed out before you are ready .
Good luck and best wishes
Debby

User
Posted 09 January 2018 12:58:24(UTC)
Thanks Dave and Debby.

Debby, that must be so tough doing a physical job as well but I’m pleased that both employers have been understanding. I think my main issue is that I’ve gone down from 50 hours to 26 (although never done less than 32) and that’s out pressure on the firm. However I have no intention of being on my death bed in x years time and looking back thinking wow you worked really hard for x years.

I intend to carry on working as it keeps my mind occupied like yours does Dave but I have no intention of working all the hours God sends.

Interestingly my clients produce the biggest % of the firms income. Easily overlooked eh!
User
Posted 09 January 2018 14:19:36(UTC)

I quite agree with you as getting a working life balance and having no regrets but unfortunately as more and more younger men are diagnosed it's harder as they often still have young family's to support and if like us 2nd marriages which also brings in double the amount of children ! Luckily ours (4) are all over 25 but now it's the cost of grandchildren ,but saying that they are a joy to have .
Best wishes
Debby

Thanked 1 time
User
Posted 10 April 2018 19:14:55(UTC)

Really interesting posts. I’m a younger guy (47) and have just had brachytherapy implants.
I’m hopefully lucky that it was diagnosed at t1 with a gleason score of 7 so fingers crossed the prognosis is good.

But since having the op, it’s made me re-assess what’s important. Nothing like a potentially fatal disease to focus the mind!

I’m lucky in that I don’t have a physically demanding job, however it is quite high pressure. It’s also mainly younger people who are still very much “chasing the dream”.

I definitely want to take some time to decide what comes next. It definitely won’t be working more hours doing something of no real value to make so,done else rich!

User
Posted 11 April 2018 08:24:10(UTC)
Hiya Tony,
I too have found it interesting how men have contended with the life/work balance aspect post diagnosis. As expected the variants are extensive. Here's a condensed version of my story. I honestly felt utterly convinced that my longevity was guaranteed because the genetics,lifestyle,fitness and overall attitude were in place. At 57 years old, after 10 years working at British Coal followed by over 30 years in the NHS, I retired.I then started doing gardens for relatives which escalated rapidly into working 4/5 days a week. I didn't want this amount of commitment but nevertheless enjoyed it...i.e starting more or less what time I wanted, Ken Bruce's pop quiz on in the van,fresh air,the connected feeling you get when working with nature, and most importantly a relaxed,contented outlook.Then within a year I was diagnosed with PCa in early 2015. We opted for RP from which I recovered well and quickly recommenced gardening.However, my attitude changed. A sort of low level resentment surfaced and I began thinking that I should be doing other things such as seeing more of my grandchildren,going on holidays,days out, afternoons in the pub,sitting in my own garden,or just not doing anything.Despite this,I continued gardening. But ,within the last few weeks I've decided to jack it in. I go for my 15th( of 20 ) SRT session this afternoon, and this has fully concreted my decision. Sometimes I decry my late fathers ridiculously fervent work ethic that has over the years somehow has instilled in me,thankfully to a much lesser degree.I always try to resist saying 'we are all different ' but fact is we are Tony,aren't we,which I have found really evident during the open conversations that are taking place in the Radiotherapy waiting room.All the very best to everyone affected by PCa and the decisions we have to make.
Cheers mate,take care,
Paul



User
Posted 11 April 2018 12:53:00(UTC)

Hi tonyc,

If you're not quite sure of the intention of the note from your business partner, would you feel comfortable discussing it?

That aside, how do YOU feel about your working environment?

If you left that partnership, and started out alone, might your clients go with you?

With regard to the work - life balance, I believe, where possible, do more of what you enjoy, less of what you don't.

If you have to do something you don't enjoy, can you do it differently, make it more bearable?

So, maybe, your new business venture?

Hope you work something out.

atb

dave

Be content with your choice of treatment at the time you make it. Then make the best of every minute, every hour, every day.
 
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