I’d been tidying up the last few things at work in the days leading up to my surgery. Luckily I didn’t have any large bids or projects that I was involved in and there was no stress or pressure in finishing up my outstanding pieces of work.
To say it felt strange was a complete understatement. Usually when you’re getting everything into order before you go off on leave, it’s because you’re going on holiday – be that spending time at home or jetting off to somewhere warm and sunny. But I wasn’t going anywhere nice and I certainly wasn’t looking forward to what lay ahead of me. It just all seemed really odd.
A colleague, who had also previously had cancer, had kindly given up his time to purposely sit with me before I went off to share some tips on how to emotionally deal with what was coming up. I was touched that he’d taken the time to give me this support – it was greatly appreciated.
We’d had our monthly department meeting that day and I was surprised to have won the award for ‘Support person of the month’. They read out some complimentary comments that my colleagues had said about me (which always makes me blush!) and I received a trophy and a voucher for £100. It felt nice to be recognised and valued for my contributions.
It was my birthday the following week and my team had kindly given me a gift bag to open on the day. A few days earlier the team I used to work directly for had also given me a card that they’d all signed with their best wishes. They’d also bought me a lovely bag that had VW campervans on it (so sweet as they obviously knew I am a bit of a campervan fanatic!). I’d had to take it home to open as I knew I’d end up crying in the office!
I felt guilty leaving my team mate who I work most closely with. He’s a dear friend and such a good egg and since my diagnosis had been great at keeping me positive in his uniquely humorous way. I knew he’d be picking up work from me and just hoped it wasn’t going to get too stressful for him. After a quick hug I packed my things away and trotted out of the office as quickly as possible.
I was so touched by everyone’s thoughtfulness and left work that day feeling lucky to be surrounded by such supportive and caring people.