Back to the future

Yay I survived my first day at work since the stupid cancer! I’m shattered now but in a good way.

It was such a fantastic feeling walking into BBC TV Centre. Almost as soon as got to the correspondents’ desk I was handed a story – it was great to be back. Yesterday made me realise just how important work is to my identity. It felt like a part of me that was missing had returned.

Seeing everyone again was brilliant. I haven’t done that much talking and hugging for a long time. I’m sure it was all much easier because of this blog. People knew that I had cancer but gave it a good kicking; now I’m healthy and happy.

It was such a warm welcome, like a celebration. And of course, there was cake.

My correspondent colleagues were very good to me. Fetching me as much coffee as I wanted. I could get used to this!

There were times when I was exhausted. Just getting into work was hard. There are two flights of steps from the reception to the newsroom. Before I’d hardly noticed them, yesterday they left me totally breathless.

I felt so relieved to be back. It seemed just the same but also at times very different.

Thankfully it wasn’t a manic day. I managed to delete a few emails. Some were invitations to events that had taken place ages ago. I was erasing part of my life that never happened.

Back in March I went from being diagnosed with cancer to having the operation very quickly. It meant that my next shift after getting the bad news became my last shift. On that day I felt such fear for the future. I didn’t know for sure that I’d be able to return.

But I made it.

To be back at the BBC without any of these worries was incredible.

To be there without any hair wasn’t a problem at all. My new wig was as comfortable as it could have been although that’s not saying much. At times it was hot and kept my cheeks rosy red. I had lots of comments about looking well. I was glowing in more ways than one.

I needed to get a new ID pass as mine wasn’t working. For this I had to get my photo taken. In the picture I appear healthy with shiny hair. Now, every time I use my new pass it will remind me of my first day back.

10 thoughts on “Back to the future

  1. I feel as though I’m there with you with BIG smiles. Enjoy being back at work but take it as easy as you can. xoxo

  2. Hey Helen, welcome back!
    Hope to work with you soon!!!
    My mom is recovering remarkably well from the same villain, reading your great blog helps me talk with her about it a good deal! Thanks for that.


  3. Brilliant! Hoping to bump into you somewhere in TVC or NBH. If it’s on the stairs I’ll give you a push! And how good to hear someone say their work is a big part of their identity; I feel it’s been almost unfashionable to say that lately, but of course our work should be important to us, especially in a place like the BBC. We don’t get to be world-class by employing people who just amble along keeping out of trouble. There ought to be something of a calling about it. Good for you!

  4. Great news – you being back in the news (business). :) Looking forward to looking at your pieces and hearing your voice on TV and Internet again. :) Take it easy, though and take care! :*

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