Dealing with practical issues after cancer

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Life can feel as if it’s on hold during cancer treatment. When treatment ends, you may find yourself having to deal with different practical issues. For example:

Financial issues 

Our booklet Managing the Financial Impact of Cancer can help you and your family if you are worried about money. The booklet has information on:

Benefits you may be entitled to from the Department of Social Protection and the Health Service Executive (HSE). 

  • Tax relief and waivers.
  • How to appeal social welfare decisions.
  • What to do if you are in financial difficulty.
Managing the Financial Impact of Cancer booklet
Managing the Financial Impact of Cancer - A guide for patients and their families booklet
The Irish Cancer Society operates a free information service for patients who need to know what supports are available. This information is available in a booklet called Managing the Financial Impact of Cancer.

There are also other organisations that can help you through this stressful time:

  • Citizens' Information: Their staff can give very clear information about what you may be entitled to and advise you. They have offices located all around the country and can be contacted at 0761 07 4000. They also have a helpful website
  • MABS: The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is also a very useful service if you find yourself in serious financial trouble and need help to budget and sort out your finances.  MABS will meet you to help you make a financial plan. They can be contacted at 0761 07 2000 or by email: helpline@mabs.ie. Visit their website.

Returning to work after cancer treatment

When you have finished cancer treatment, you may expect to go back to your old way of life and return to work straight away. But everyone reacts differently and some people can feel tired for a year or more after their treatment ends.

It is important to be realistic about what you can manage and to look after yourself at this time. Do not pretend that you are fine if really you are not. 

Cancer can also have a powerful emotional effect. If you have strong emotions, you might need to take a few months after your treatment has finished to adjust to what has happened. For more information, see our section on emotional effects.

Many people are keen to get back to work as soon as possible because it means they are getting back to ‘normal’ and that they are over their cancer. If you can, plan to return to work gradually.

Most employers will help you to start back to work part-time and build up to full-time hours. 

Possible challenges you may face if you go back to work:

Fatigue (tiredness) 

If you find that going back to work is making you feel very tired, it can help to talk to your employer or human resource manager. Some people find that tiredness is mild and does not interfere with their work. Others find it has a greater impact. For example, you may find it hard to concentrate or make decisions. This can affect the quality of your work.

Our booklet Coping with Fatigue has useful tips on managing fatigue in the workplace. You can also call  our Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 to ask for a print copy. 

Coping with Fatigue booklet
Coping with Fatigue booklet
This booklet has been written to help you find ways to cope with fatigue. It is designed for people with a cancer diagnosis.

Other people’s reactions

You may find that your colleagues will have different reactions to you when you go back to work. Some people may have no idea what to say and may act like nothing has happened to you. Others may be afraid of hurting you so they will avoid saying anything at all.

For more information

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Phone

1800 200 700

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Email