My Ovacome
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Question re Work

Ok so here I am looking to apply for new job. Love the work I currently do but like a lot of places things change over time and Im fed up with the negativity, the 'lets blame it on you' culture thats creeping in. My problem is how and when do I broach the subject of my health with any prospective employer. ive always stayed in jobs for a long time , 12 years (left to start family), 16 years, (left due to moving) 8+years currently and have never failed at interview. This time I'm not sure Id even be considered given my Cancer. Partly I want to leave my present job because the I dont need the stress that it brings and because of the lack of support I have ( you've had enough support in the past was what was said to me upon my return to work 2 years ago lol) . I suppose I could give up work but I like the 'normality' it affords me. Any thoughts would be welcome. Kathy xx

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You don't have to raise the fact you have this disease at all. (Legally, I mean.) Then you could be judged on your own merits. The new employer will ask for periods of absence and my friend was asked in a phone call after she was offered the job 'subject to references' what her absences were for.

Personally, I'd struggle not to say but it's a hard one, isn't it? A person wants to be judged on what they can do and bring to the job and not on living with this. You have a good working history on your side which is a very positive thing.

Good luck Kathy. Xx



There is guidance on your employment rights (current or new) given towards the end of the Target Ovarian Cancer download guide. Basically you cannot be discriminated against because of your condition, and if applying for a job the employer would have to have another good reason not to offer you the job, and you could appeal against that decision.

Some larger companies and councils have 2 ticks symbols which means they positively encourage people with "disabilities" to apply and can commonly be interviewed in advance of people without disability, but this is providing they reach the min up requirements of the Job Description and Person Spec.

Hope this helps and good luck in your search.


If you fancy a change, go for it. I've been self-employed since my early twenties, so not much help, but do believe having a goal keeps your mind and body healthy.

Good luck, here's to 2016

LA xx


Thanks Lily-anne. hope your doing ok xx


I'd set about finding jobs to apply for that look like what you want.

If they interview you and you still like the look of the job and they like the look of you, it's a more manageable bit of information to pass on. You're already living and working with OC. So what would be different about a new environment?

It's the job that's important, not the cancer.

I agree with everyone else's points too.

Were we all always non-sleepers/early risers or is this something to do with OC? I always was, but I've just been tickled this morning at the number of friends who've clearly been up with lark too.....Is this a new marker? xx


I think its to do with the OC I cant seem to get past 6.00 am :(

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5am for me this morning!


I wake up early too but I spend long hours awake at night as well. .xx


I found myself in a similar position.

My workplace was great... Until a change of management. Harassment doesn't even begin to sum it up, I ended up getting the union involved on numerous occasions.

Then the new manager decided that she'd outsource my section, and told everyone involved it was because I was sick, and she couldn't be expected to cover my sick leave.

This was announced to me via a group email, with all of three lines in it, which didn't even have a thank you for your 5 years of service. They're currently refusing to pay out my entitlements (and the entitlements of a 66 y/o lady who has worked for them for just shy of 10 years).

I was pushing through the union to get my money... But frankly, it just became one to many things to battle and it just wasn't worth the stress and the toxic nature of the boss.

However, I got in touch with the company she decided to outsource to (she had told me if I didn't got to the meetings she RESCHEDULED to clash with my surgery,) that I wouldn't be able to apply for my old job back... And low and behold, the new company has been outstanding.

I've been brutally honest about my cancer, and some of the issues surrounding the lack of support from my old employer.

They looked at my work record, and reputation (outside of the manager) and decided I was worth the "risk," and drew me up a contract to start work with them after my chemo is finished, with the option of moving the start date back if I so need.

While I'm planning on asking to be transferred at the earliest convenience of the new company, because I'm pretty sure when I'm well enough I'll be pretty ready to punch the manager... The company was very happy to take me on, has been really supportive, and I've even had emailed from the HR team wishing me well.

The horrible behaviour of my boss has actually turned out to be a good thing in the end, I'll even be getting more money for less hours worked.

So it can work out, it's just on more hurdle to cross during the interview.

Good luck :)


My goodness and I thought Id had a rough time! i had total support until unfortunately my boss died after a short illness (cancer) two years ago now its just rubbish where I work. heres hoping I can maybe find that understanding elsewhere. Its not like I take time off randomly. take the cancer out of the equation and my sickness record is good (no time off at all in the last two years since ive been back ).


I've actually found cancer to be a really good screening tool for "Are these the kind of people I want to spend significant time with?"

I also have severe endometriosis, so I've always looked for a positive work environment because getting there is hard enough, if it's a negative environment I just won't have the motivation to get there.

The new company was "mysteriously" given access to my work attendance records by my manager... It back fired massively. It showed that even though I've had 6 surgeries in my five years there (all within 2.5 years) and am now off having chemo, I STILL have a better attendance rate than the person who used to have my job, my 2IC, and half of their employees.

From what I've noticed with the employees under me (13 of them, mix of ages, sex, and health) it's the ones that have some health struggles that really commit to work.

We need the distraction, and we're more likely to find a job we WANT to be doing.

Plus, we're tough as nails, and an assess to any company ;)

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