Returning to work

This is one of those big moments that proves I’m really getting my life back. Today I’m returning to work! It’s exciting to be normal once again.

Cancer steals your usual routine and replaces it with something alien. For months my job was beating the stupid cancer. I’ve done that, had all the evil chemo side effects and now finally it’s time to move on.

I was a bit nervous about going back but not so much anymore. Yesterday I saw a totally new consultant. There are a few medical things I still need to sort out, problems caused by the treatment. Somehow my notes hadn’t turned up so I had to tell this doctor my entire medical history.

It made me realise that being in the newsroom after so much time off is not nearly as scary as any of that awfulness.

Also it made me see just how far I’ve come. Like when I was in hospital after the operation and I virtually had to re-learn how to walk. Back then I couldn’t even imagine that I’d ever be well enough to do my job again. I’d wanted to work during my chemo but my consultants advised me not to. Sadly, I knew they were right.

So it’ll be strange being back at BBC TV centre after such a long time away. Strange but lovely. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone. That’s one of the things I’ve missed the most. I’ve been promised plenty of hugs and cake to welcome me back.

I’m going to enjoy getting ready for work. My day will have a purpose and structure which doesn’t involve anything medical or daytime telly.

At the same time, it’ll be a test for my immune system. I’ll be armed with anti-bacteria wipes and hand gel. What I’m most worried about though is how I’ll cope physically. I’m having a phased return to work which will make it much easier to deal with the tiredness.

I hope that no-one will find it awkward knowing what to say. Do you mention the C word or not??  I don’t mind either way.

After everything I’ve been through, I think that people may be surprised at how well I look. Appearances can be deceptive. Even when I was in intensive care I didn’t look that ill at all.

Today I won’t be blonde. Raquel and Babarella will stay home. I’ve decided that I’m going to wear my new wig. The darker one with no name. The wig that’s the most like my old hair. In many ways I’ll look like nothing happened. And that’s just fine by me.

13 thoughts on “Returning to work

  1. This is the best possible news I could have read this morning, Helen. Very well done! And seeing how well two dear friends of mine have coped with their own post-cancer returns to work, I just know that you’ll smash it – like everything else!

  2. Have a great day back at work. I love how you help others to feel at ease with what you have been through; just remember looking as if nothing has happened is fab, just be careful, emotionally you are still fragile. Saying that it must be an awesome feeling to be back to what normailty, whatever that is. Sending you love and strength to get you through your day xx

  3. Helen, welcome back hopefully now you’re here things can return back to normal again. Your blog has been moving. Take it easy and of course look after yourself


  4. The very best of luck! Take it easy and listen to the ‘inner you’………….by the way, I think you should call your new wig Diana after Diana of Themyscira AKA wonderwoman!
    Keep smiling
    Lots of love

  5. Excellent news!!!
    Back just in time to report on the snow?
    Glad the Beeb are a good employer allowing a ‘phased’ return to work. Makes sense.

  6. Wow congrats :) I too am battling cancer for a 3rd time – now in my second session of chemo. First session in 2010 of A/C chemo and now 11 days ago started T/C chemo. Only difference this time around for me is they give me Benadryl beforehand which makes me very sleepy as well but due to the steroids I can’t fall asleep :P I had a couple wigs the first time in 2010 but much prefer the doo-rags so much more comfortable for me and its not like they don’t know I’m bald..and just when I got my hair to shoulder length without any of that chemo curl left in it I’m gonna lose it again – Oh well perhaps this time it will grow back super thick, shiny and rich feeling :) yeah ok maybe not but we can dream :)
    Good luck to you on your journey….

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