Chris Proby on returning to work after cancer

We’re delighted to welcome Chris Proby back to Happy Magazine today to share the details of his first days back at work after his cancer experience. After three years away, Chris’s return to work has helped him realise just how far he’s come.

I’m a working man again, finally.

I am now finished my second scheduled “week” in work and I couldn’t be happier with being back. My first week last week was literally just one day, followed by 1.5 days this week, and I have a couple of 2 day weeks next. It’s great being back, I was so excited going in last Wednesday, excited, happy, relieved, motivated. I was definitely pleasantly surprised at the fact that I didn’t feel nervous or anxious about the situation at all, it just felt right.

There is quite a big recruitment process going on in my workplace at the moment meaning there are a lot of new faces so I really just mingled back in with the crowd with very little fuss which was great, although I did find it slightly awkward when other new recruits started asking questions when they realised I had worked there before as people were coming up to me welcoming me back, but I side stepped what I have been doing during the course of the last 3 years as best I could.

I had a good chat with my manager and team leader on the first morning and they couldn’t have been more reassuring about my return and making it as easy as possible for me until I get up to speed, my team leader said something to me from the offset which really made me happy and it put me at total ease. My workplace have been brilliant throughout the last few years, very supportive, and just made the whole process of my return as stress free as possible.

There are still a few people on my team which I worked with when I joined the company which is great, and they are being more than obliging with my reintegration, it’s certainly nice to see some familiar faces. The days have definitely been very tiring in there which is really emphasising the importance of being phased in slowly, one thing I will say is that I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve had such a deep and long sleep like I am having on the nights after work, I absolutely conk out which just shows the impact my return to work is having on my body, but I’m loving the good sleeps!

So far I’ve really just been getting set up on the systems again and going through a bit of refresher training, oh and sifting through the 5,600 emails I had waiting for me, not that I deleted the bulk of them or anything. It was actually weird seeing emails that were sent to me on the afternoon I left work early to go to the GP for my MRI results back in August 2015, and never returned. Little did I know that day would change my life forever.

As for next week I’ll just be sitting in with my team and getting up to speed on everything. We have a Christmas party next month and I’m really looking forward to that because it will give me a better opportunity to catch up with my work friends outside of the working environment. I’m just so happy to be integrating with people again on a more regular basis, chatting about work stuff, football stuff, the weather, just the normal day-to-day chatter, it’s something I have missed severely over the last few years.

Otherwise, my goal is to try and get to Christmas without going out sick, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about that, if I get sick I get sick and that’s it, I would just really love to make it to the Christmas holidays without picking up anything. I have my hand sanitiser and antiseptic wipes in my drawer at my computer and that’s about as much as I can do, along with attempting to stay away from anyone who has a cold, or more worryingly the flu, but at the end of the day we all know what it’s like in an office during the winter when everything starts spreading, it’s hard to avoid it.

As for the traffic, I don’t know what has gone on in the last 3 years but the traffic has gone crazy, it took me an hour for the 9km drive in to work, that’s Dublin for you, but it’s definitely gotten so much worse over the last few years. It took me 18 minutes to drive home from work on my half day on Wednesday compared to the hour it took me to get in. I originally moved to Dublin in 2015 because I couldn’t handle commuting from Gorey anymore, so instead of driving close to 200kms a day I am only driving about 20kms, yet the time frame is not too different now. My temporary solution is to leave earlier and have breakfast in work which will save time on the road hopefully so I’ll see how that goes.

As always, my girlfriend Niamh likes to surprise me with a little celebration for these special occasions

I’m just so happy that I have officially made it back, I’ve been waiting a long time for it, and now I’ll just cross my fingers and see if I can make it to the Christmas holidays without picking anything up. It’s another step in the right direction anyway. Someone commented on a recent post of mine mentioning how I should be very proud to have made it back to work at all considering what I’ve been through, and when I sat back and thought about what they said, it made me realise just how far I’ve come.

Chris has shared the full details of his cancer story here on Happy Magazine in this post and has also shared his feelings about life after cancer in this post. Thanks Chris for sharing this post with us today! For more from Chris, be sure to check out his website, 

1 Comment

  1. Celine
    12 November, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    Thanks Chris, thanks Holly, Chris congratulations on returning to work this post could not have come at a better time as I return to work myself next week, I’m very excited and a little anxious. It’s great that you were able to “conk” out that is fantastic God i haven’t heard that term in such a long time … And I really will welcome a night’s sleep 🌝

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