thanks for sharing your story. How could people be so insensitive? “You’re lucky to have breast cancer?!?!?!” I would have probably lost it and punched my boss on the face having been told that! 😤😤😤
When I was diagnosed with my breast
cancer I thought my hostile work environment played a part in it. I was feeling depressed coming to work and not getting fulfilled with what I used to passionately love doing. I know it’s a myth to say that stress causes breast cancer. But I’m sure it indirectly contributed.
I decided to be my own boss and started my own business from scratch. I haven’t looked back. I have made the brave choice to change myself and my beliefs and enjoy time and financial freedom with my loved ones.
All the best with your treatment.
Lots of hugs to you
I am sorry to read this has been your experience in your current role.
If you ever felt like chatting about your diagnosis to someone who understands, you can reach our team on freephone 0808 800 6000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm; Sat, 9am-1pm) - we'll always be happy to chat.
Regarding your challenges at work, did you know that Macmillan Cancer Support have a work support team on their helpline? You can call them on freephone 0808 808 00 00 (every day, 8am-8pm). You can find more information about what they can help with here: www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/organising/work-and-cancer/information-for-employees/yo...
Sending you all our love
Dreadful ignorant comments! Yes I agree if possible find other employment.It sounds as if she will continue to be a nightmare.What a stupid woman! She'll eat her words if it's ever her! Sounds like you could do with some time off anyway, you've been working extremely hard seeing as you've been through so much.I started a new job six months after op and was straight with the manager and he has been great.
I’ve finished, thank god. Last chemo was end of April (apart from returns for the zometa infusion), last radiotherapy 18 June. Then endocrine therapy (anastrozole for 10 years) and a long wait for an MRI and I’m back for my annual torment next month (half a mammogram!). It’s stolen a whole year of my life but it’s been an interesting experience overall. I’ve certainly changed. But I still don’t know how you keep working. Paclitaxel flattened me. I was lucky to avoid ‘numb’ but I still have the nerve damage of PN and the neuropathic pain, which needs medication (which in itself causes problems). Basically my nervous system and my brain are still struggling to adjust to the surgical, chemical and radiation onslaught! It’ll all sort itself out eventually. Don’t be alarmed - it’s all manageable and quite normal - but it does show something your boss needs to know: it ain’t over till the proverbial lady sings, how long is a piece of string, what does eventually mean etc etc etc? Don’t let her think you’ll be fine once the treatment is finished. That’s just the start of another phase...
Oh to be the bearer of some good news! It’s not all doom and gloom but it’s a lot to handle mentally and emotionally, never mind the practicalities, so be prepared to make changes if something goes awry. Your boss needs lessons in fair play, basic humanity, empathy and employment law! Good luck with that.
Hi Jan, I'm having weekly paclitaxel too and so far it hasn't been too bad. I've had 4 of 12 sessions but have had to have a break due to some numbness in my feet but due to restart this Friday. When I had it on a Tuesday it usually hit me by the weekend when everything hurt, so I just had to take it easy for a couple of days. I have had bc before, but I had a different regime of chemotherapy drugs last time. Once this is done I need further surgery and then radiotherapy so I've a way to go yet. What stage of your treatment are you at? x
Well Dawn, all I can say is I am astounded by your sticking power. Chemo flattened me and even the weekly paclitaxel, which I was told was easier to tolerate, was a minefield. Plus the emotional turmoil of diagnosis/surgery and the uncertainty around the decisions still to be made. How can she say bc doesn’t spread when your consultant is presenting you with these options!! Are you having radiotherapy after? Some people are flattened by fatigue. I can understand your wish to keep working as a focus and diversion but I have no idea how you manage it - and in such miserable circumstances too. I take my beanie off to you.
It looks like you don't have anything to fall back on as she’s cleverly got you to be self-employed but it might be worth asking your CAB to see if she is in breach of any employment legislation. In normal circumstances you would be entitled to as much sick leave as you require to recover (full pay, then half pay) but these aren’t normal circumstances. If you feel you can’t cope (and I know for certain I could never have worked through chemotherapy) could you suggest she creates a temporary appointment, replacing you for x months? Then your job is still there but the organisation is unaffected by your absence. However, I don’t think I’d be inclined to feel any loyalty to a ‘boss’ who is so openly unsupportive and critical. Get up at the next comment, walk out that door and don’t ever tell her the passwords! Let’s hope she never has the misfortune...
Good luck with the rest of your treatment. Time for a rest, Dawn.
I could have taken them to a tribunal and would probably have won but I was too ill to deal with all of that at the time . I have other health issues now so would probably not have been back at work long before realising it was too much to cope with in the long-term.Broach it with her - please don't jeopardise your health because of this .
I'm honestly shocked by the number of people here who have been sacked because their treatment took too long or they took too long to recover - the last thing we need is to be worrying about work and I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I am technically self-employed (she likes it that way so she doesn't have to pay sick pay or holidays!) so I could just go home today and not come back, but like I said before I'm reluctant to do that. I think I will have to broach it with her, but I'm not holding out much hope that she will listen!
If you've been there 12 years you would hope she would appreciate your value to the company .Maybe now is the time for a very honest discussion with her and say that you have tried to inconvenience her aa little as possible as you appreciate it is difficult for her when you are off but at this point you have to prioritise your health or you will not be well enough to do the job at all and be prepared if she doesn't be more understanding to walk .Im sure you have experience other organisations would value .I worked for a large local authority for 26 years - dragged myself in often so as not to let people down when I became unwell but couldn't recover within a time frame they were happy with they sacked me - all I got was my P45 through the post - not even a good luck card !!! Your health is more important at this point in your life .I hope she listens and is more understanding 🤞🤞
Hi, it's a small charity and she is the owner/charity founder so there is no-one above her. She wouldn't even consider allowing me to work from home (she is a complete control freak) so that's not an option. I'm pretty thick-skinned and up until now I have been able to let her comments go over my head and just put it down to her not being a 'people person', but her comment today about changing days really got to me and I've just about had enough. I've been here 12 years and just expected her to be a little more accommodating under the circumstances.
Im horrified by the way your boss is behaving - please don't let her attitude stop you from making your health a priorty- under no circumstances have a lesser op just to appease her .Is it a very small firm - is there someone above her you can go to - can you negotiate part-time working or working from home during chemo ? I'm with your husband I'd be tempted to escape from such an unreasonable working environment look after my health and look for something else when treatment is over .
I've been left feeling low today after a conversation with my boss. I am currently have weekly chemotherapy and was forced to take a break after the fourth treatment due to peripheral neuropathy in my feet. I would usually have treatment on a Tuesday, which meant I felt pretty rough over the weekend, when I was off. However, my treatment has now been rescheduled for a Friday, meaning I will be feeling at my worst mid-week. When I explained this to my boss, she asked me to ask the hospital if I could revert back to a Tuesday so that I wouldn't have to take any time off work. Whilst I appreciate I am the only person in the office, I can't help feeling utterly defeated by her attitude. I've had 2 lumpectomies so far and only took a minimum amount of time off work; only 2 days following the 2nd op. I still have to make a decision whether to have a further lumpectomy (as they haven't got clear margins) or a mastectomy, but I can't help thinking she isn't going to support me if I need 4-6 weeks off work, so my decision is clearly going to be influenced by her attitude. She keeps making stupid, ill-informed, hurtful comments like how lucky I am to have breast cancer because it's easy to treat, and again I'm lucky it's breast cancer because it doesn't spread, and the best of all, how nobody dies from breast cancer (my aunt did). My husband has told me to quit and find a new job after my treatment is over, but working keeps me going and I don't want to give it up, but she's making an already challenging situation even more difficult. Sorry to rant, just feeling crap today!