Advice about self isolation. Cancer long gone.

It’s been over 10 years since I had breast cancer and chemotherapy. On the whole it’s a distant memory and I know I am one of the lucky ones. My immune system was never the same though - I tended to get every cough and cold going- in fact I was hospitalised several years ago as I just couldn’t fight infection. Sadly after I was released from hospital my husband had a heart attack and died so I have been on my own since. I work full time but every year I have sick leave due to a chest infection. I am really poorly for a few days so I self certify and usually go back to work. At the start of all this Corona Virus - I was called in and told to go home - my work place is a prison - so not the healthiest of places. I phoned a helpline and they said I should treat myself like the over 70s and isolate as much as possible for 12 weeks. I feel guilty doing this but I know it’s best to stay home so the NHS have one less to worry about. I am worried that because I won’t get a letter as vulnerable - nor should I - that if work starts again before the 12 week period I have not get the evidence about my immune system as I have not really been to the doctors for several years. Sorry if I am rambling . Have I really been at risk or have I panicked.


I wouldn’t worry, if your work sent you home they obviously think you are high risk. I think the amount of chest infections you get puts you in that bracket.

If you are isolating then you cannot be penalised for it.

Hope that helps a bit.

Stay safe

Joemic x

Hi girl

Love the name. I think you answered part of your own question by saying you are reducing the numbers the NHS are having to deal with as the figures soar. It’s a social responsibility we all have and your employers sent you home because they identified you as at risk from the confined environment. I am NHS identified, though my chemo finished a year ago. I can only think it’s because my GP is currently looking into chemo-damage to my immune system although I haven’t caught any coughs or viruses - touch wood. Anyway. I’m on the list. I can’t see any benefits but I’m under house arrest for another 11 weeks and 1 day. However, the benefit is as much to the NHS as it is to me. Isolation will mean one less sick patient, one more ICU bed and that could mean lives saved that might have been lost. It’s a long chain and we’re a small but essential link they are removing for now.

I know you are in a protected job but, apart from that, your situation is no different from those laid off as their shops and businesses have closed. Rather than worry about it for the duration, I would contacted HR and discuss it with them now, while the crisis is real and we haven’t grown smug about it again, as I fear we may (as a nation, not us). Meantime, there is a government website where you can register as a vulnerable person or see if you can at least. It’s worth a try. The stumbling block may lie in the ‘extremely.’ There are also guidelines as to what to do if you believe you should be registered as vulnerable, again worth trying.

Hope that helps. A strong element of this crisis, as with when you had breast cancer, is emotional health. You need to look after that carefully but again that may be grounds for HR to agree to your continued absence. No one knows what the situation will be in 12 weeks do they? Take care, Jan x

I finished my cancer treatment just after last Christmas and then got very painful shingles which has still not completely gone away so my immune system is not what it should be. I didn’t realise that the cancer treatnent, in my case, a lumpectomy then radiotherapy and Anastrazole would have such long-lasting efects. I also have asthma so feel I wouldn’t fare well if I caught the virus.

I also am not counted among the most vulnerable but fortunately I am retired so I feel for you regarding work. My husband died a year last February after 4 years of battling prostate cancer so things have been hard as you will have discovered.

My daughters have told me not to go out and my youngest is doing my shopping. Understandably they are fearful for me, having so recently lost their Dad so I am careful.

I wish you all the best.