Cath on work and cancer

Cath reads a Macmillan booklet with her manager at her workplace. The booklet is about her rights at work.
Cath reads a Macmillan booklet with her manager at her workplace. The booklet is about her rights at work.

Approaching your workplace with news of your diagnosis can be daunting. When Cath found out she had bowel cancer she contacted Macmillan, who sent her a booklet about workplace rights, which helped her feel more informed before speaking to her employer about her diagnosis.



Cath on work and cancer

I received a parcel and thought, hmm, I haven’t ordered anything. When I opened it, it was loads of booklets Macmillan had sent me. It wasn’t a generic pack, it was specifically put together for me because it had the financial, the work information, and then it had all about bowel cancer and another booklet on what to eat. There was even a recipe book! I thought, this is amazing, somebody has sorted out these booklets specific to my financial situation and illness. After this I went into work to have a chat with the manager, to bring him up to speed of what was happening. And luckily Macmillan had sent me a workplace rights book, made specifically for the employer. In the package I received there was a book that I could take into show my manager, explaining my rights, their rights and the company’s rights. But my employer turned out to be totally amazing. They’ve told me my job is there, ready for me, when I’m well enough to go back. There’s no need to rush.

I’ve now been off sick for over a year, and it’s such a relief to know the company isn’t pressuring me to come back to work. Instead they’re supporting me. I don’t think I could get another job at my age, to be honest with you and I have an amazing team of colleagues who have taken care of me from day one. They look after me, they make sure I eat, they send me messages, they send me flowers, they’re the kindest, warmest people you’ll ever meet.

I can’t wait to get back to work. I don’t know how I’ll feel on that first morning - very nervous probably. I’ll feel like the new girl again! But I know that when I go back, it’ll be just like putting old slippers on again. It makes you feel so comfortable.

Cath seated in her home.

Watch: all about Cath's experiences

Watch: all about Cath's experiences