Question re secondaries and working

I have had secondaries since November 2009 and am lucky in that I’ve continued to feel fairly well and so have carried on working as before. However my job has got quite a bit more stressful this year due to cuts and reorganisation and I am increasingly wondering if I want to carry on working full time. I’ve put off doing anything about it as I’m on my second hormonal treatment and the next step when this one fails is likely to be chemo, which I may not be able to work through. but I have now organised to have a chat with Occupational Health about my condition. I have not previously told Occupational Health or HR about my secondary cancer as I had a bad experience with insensitive treatment by HR during a different primary cancer 5 years ago and I’m quite cynical about my organisation’s attitude to sickness despite them being a large public sector organisation. I have only told my immediate managers who have pretty much carried on treating me as normal.
I’m wondering if it is actually a good move to talk to Occupational Health before I have to, or if they are more there to help get rid of people who are ill. I do need to work for as long as I can as I don’t have any other financial support so I don’t want to put my job in danger but I am interested in exploring the possibility of working a bit less so that I can feel that I have a better work/life balance which feels important right now as because I am in my 40s I won’t get the chance to retire via ill health retirement until I’m too ill to enjoy myself.
Has anyone got any experience of going part time at work and if so was it difficult to persuade your employer?
Best wishes,

Hello Tournesol, This is not really the answer to your question above but wanted to tell you in case it helps you. I found I had bone mets when I was 49 and working in a new job. I gave up work. I applied for Disaliblity Living Allowance much later ( I did not know that it existed). My OH decided to retire on ill-health at the same time so that we could spend our last few years together. Both our employers were very supportive. I worked in a Bank and my OH in the NHS. Just to tell you it was the best thing I ever did and I do not regret it at all. If you want to PM me about any questions that arise please do. I know your name from previous years. I hope you get to do the part-time job you wish to do and that it all works out for you. Perhaps if you rang the helpline they may be abe to advise or call McMillan for advice or the CAB ( or whatever it is called now) before you speak to your employers so you have all the knowledge you need before you proceed. Wishing you all the best, Love Val

Hi Tournesol

I have put for you below the link to BCC Employ Charter which you may find helpful. I’ve also put the link to the publication that’s aimed at employers, hope this helps

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Hi Tournesol,
I worked full time for the NHS, when diagnosed with bc in 2010 1 carried on fulltime until I had double mx in aug 2011 when i dropped my hrs to 24 a week.Now I actually enjoy going to work as i get valuable time off in the week too.My boss was great,letting me do the 24hrs whatever days i wish,i hope you get as good support too.

Dear All

It has been brought to my attention that Breast Cancer Care’s EMPLOY resources are now out of date and we are referring people to Macmillan’s resources on work and cancer which are very comprehensive and up to date. Here is the link:

Very best wishes


BCC Moderator

Thanks everyone. The Occupational Health nurse was OK and they have someone I can arrange to see for support when I am feeling stressed at work, but she said it’s completely up to my manager whether I can change or reduce my hours so the next step is for me to have a meeting with him.