When you feel up to it and your blood counts have returned to normal, talk with your doctor about going back to work. It can take 9 to 12 months for the immune system to fully recover after a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. For some people recovery may take longer. Doctors recommend people not to return to work until after the first year.
If your work is physically demanding or puts you at higher risk for infection (such as construction work or working with animals), you may need to wait longer before returning. Or you may need to think about finding a different kind of job, at least for a while.
If you experience ups and downs in your energy level, it is best to return gradually, working part time if possible, before taking on the demands of full-time work. You can gradually increase your hours as you are able.
Make sure you understand your disability benefits. You may be able to return to work on a trial basis without losing benefits.
It is important that your health insurance coverage does not lapse. If you lose coverage, it can be hard to get new insurance. If you face losing insurance coverage through your employer because of the long absence from work, look into:
- Adding yourself to your spouse's insurance policy.
- Continuing insurance benefits through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). COBRA gives people the right to keep their health plan for a certain amount of time after leaving a job. COBRA payments may seem high, but the cost of losing insurance would be higher.
- Joining a state risk-pool program. Some states have risk pools that serve people who have trouble getting insurance because of a pre-existing health condition or other reasons.