The following information is designed to assist an individual with cancer to adjust to the process of work during or after cancer diagnosis and is thus written as if addressing an individual with cancer. The content however may be useful for others who support them – be it their health care providers or employers.
Returning to work has substantial psychological and financial benefits, but it can be scary depending on your level of mental health following cancer. For example, you may be feeling anxious about going back to work and mixing with people following your diagnosis and treatment for cancer; you may be experiencing a level of sadness, loss, or distress faced with an actual or perceived inability to function at the same level you could before cancer; you might have some apprehension about returning to work but basically feel fine and just want to ‘get on with things’; or you may be feeling great and see what you have gone through as providing you with a new perspective on life. Whatever the case may be, each scenario will involve some management of or preventative action to maintain your mental health and prevent against the onset or lessen the impact of mental illness.