I have just joined the forums to gain an insight into how everyone feels and copes with having what you all call ‘bc’
I am an Office Manager, and one of my ‘girls’ was diagnosed 5 weeks ago and has just had her 2nd dose of chemotherapy. I am trying to give her the support she needs to get her through what must be a terrifying experience, I think being a member of this forum will help me enormously
What shines through the forum is your resilience, your willingness to share your thoughts and feelings and your sheer determination to beat the disease.
I will be returning on a regular basis to get ideas on how to help with ‘our Angie’
Best wishes to you all
As a resident OH may I congratulate you on seeking information and ways of supporting your colleague, I sincerely wish my wife’s employers had been as caring as you.
I’m sure there will be plenty of fine advice forthcoming from the wonderful people here on the forum as well as messages of support and ideas to help.
I think as an employer, and what you are doing is great. I wasn’t employed at the time I was diagnosed (4 years ago) but the only advice really I can give is go with the flow. She is still the same person she always was, go with how she is dealing with it, and adjust accordingly. Everybody puts on a brave face, but sometimes theres the odd crumble moment. Watch and learn and go with the flow really.
My employer now (the NHS) has been very supportive with all my surgeries that ive had for reconstruction and are fully aware of when I have check up dates and are prepared for the odd wobble moment which do still happen, although not very often.
Here is a link to the BCC financial and practical support and EMPLOY publications which you and Angie may find useful to read:
‘this booklet explains the best practice guidance set out in the EMPLOY Charter. It aims to help employers understand the needs of an employee diagnosed with breast cancer and also contains sources of further information and support for both employees and employers.’
Well done for accessing the forum. I worked throughout my treatment, as I found it helped me hugely to do ‘normal’ things. My side effects were well controlled by meds, and with something to distract me I was able to put BC to one side, at least temporarily. I also preferred people to treat me as they normally would and not raise the BC issue - unless I did, or raised any particular concerns.
I never thought of any of this as ‘being brave’ or being in denial, it was just my way of getting through it. Angie’s way may of course be quite different.
For me making a big issue out of BC at work would not have helped. A sensible/practical attitude was always appreciated by me - ‘ok, what next, how can we help’ rather than ‘oh my god how terrible!’
Hi Ellie, Just wanted to say that I think it’s wonderful to see such a caring and considerate employer. Pity they aren’t all like you. I work for a large company and whilst they have continued to pay me (which I’m very grateful for) I have not had a single message from them at any time. NOT ONE!
Your lady will need lots of support and encouragement whilst she and her family are dealing with this horrendous disease and I’m sure you will work out the best way of dealing with it from her own reactions. Good luck to both you and her and well done for being so thoughtful. Please keep in touch and let us know how she gets on.
Lots of love, Dianne x x x
As another resident OH here, I’d like to echo what everyone else has said. I wrote a blog article here: light.ofmylife.org/2010/03/11/return-to-work-an-inspiring-milestone/ that illustrates how not to do it, though you of all people probably don’t need to read it.
I think the biggest problem is lack of attention due to ignorance, and you have already overcome that risk by coming here.
When you have a bit more experience with the situation, I think your story, warts and all, could be really helpful to others.