Back to Work After Breast Cancer: 3 Tips for Your First Day Back

Going back to work after breast cancer treatment is an important milestone. These tips can help make make this important time easier and more successful. Take Control There’s so much about cancer that’s beyond your control. But remember that you're in charge of how much information you choose to divulge about your experience. Bruce MacDonald, LICSW advises that it’s a good idea to plan ahead so you can handle conversations about your illness on your own terms. “It helps to come up with a short phrase or two that acknowledges someone’s concern and lets them know that you’re doing okay, but that you don’t really want to get into it right now,” he says. You might even consider roleplaying these conversations in advance to improve your confidence level. If a colleague asks about your cancer and you’d prefer not to discuss it, Bruce recommends responding with something like, “Thanks for asking. I feel good and it’s good to be back. Maybe at some point we can chat about it. How are you?” or “All in all, I’m doing pretty well. Right now I’m really trying to focus on getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for asking – let’s grab a coffee sometime.” These responses are polite but keep you in the driver’s seat. Put them in your own words so you feel comfortable when the cancer conversation comes up. MORE: Three easy recipes made with cancer-fighting vegetables  Take Care of Yourself A week or so before you head back to work, try to mimic the new schedule you’ll be keeping. Set your alarm so you get acclimated to waking up on time. If you’ve become accustomed to relaxing in sweat pants or pajamas all morning, make it a point to get dressed early and then take on productive activities that require a similar energy l
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