Log in
My Ovacome
11,212 members13,607 posts

OC Stage 4 and Seeking Employment

Hi. I have a question about employment.

I have Stage 4 OC (high grade). I currently work overseas and am doing well keeping down a full time leadership position in a school.

My intention before all this burst out had always been to return to the UK and I had been looking for positions at home. Currently I am content to stay where I am as I am very happy and have excellent medical care however i think that I should perhaps consider returning home at some point.

I don't have family and would struggle financially big time without a salary.

How easy would it be to get a new job with OC do you think? Has anyone here ever moved jobs after diagnosis and treatment?

Thank you!

15 Replies

It sounds as though you're keeping pretty well to be able to continue working,and good news too that you have good medical care abroad.

I'd image if you are easy-going about where you relocate in the UK you'll maximise your job seeking possibilities. Having a disability shouldn't affect your job application (cancer is one of only two diseases listed as a disability in the 2010 Equality Act) and you'll be asked to declare this in any equal opportunities monitoring forms but it's not obligatory.

I'd imagine it is also worth getting some advice on benefits if you're unable to work at some ti e in the future.

Having said all this the job market is a bit tough at the moment. Perhaps it's worth contacting a specialist agency for the education sector to ask heat they have available. Xxx

Good luck with it all. Xxxx Annie


Hi Whippit,

Thank you for your reply. One other concern I have is that having been out of the country for 6 years I will not be eligible for medical treatment. In 2011 I was home for a few weeks and was very unwell. The receptionist at my doctor's surgery (I am still registered there - or at least I never unregistered) sent me packing and said I had no right to an appointment.

Kathleen xx


Dear Kathleen, This sounds unbelievably callous. What a terrible experience.

I think I would be talking to the British Embassy where you live to get advice on repatriation and health care. It's also worth contacting Macmillan who have a benefits advice line. I don't qualify for any support at the moment but I was advised to register with the benefits agency now so there's no delay as and when I need more support.

As you see I'm one for planning and working out several scenarios. My husband thinks I'm crazy for 'worrying' as he calls it. I just like to be prepared.

Xxxlove Annie


Hi Kathleen,

GP Receptionists:- brrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

This is ludicrous, even if you were foreign and just here on a visit you would be entitled to a doctors appointment.

I take it that you paid taxes and National Insurance before you left the country? any small amount must count. I wouldn`t have thought 6 yrs away is very long and as you said you never unregistered, what about people who don`t need to see their GP in decades? Sorry I amnot very clued up about these things but it really does not sound right at all, bless you.

I hope you find the answers real soon, I wish I could be more helpful, wishing you very best wishes with a big hug xxx


Hi Tina!

Yes, I paid taxes and NI all through my working life in the UK.

Thank you for your good wishes.

Kathleen xx


Surely, you are entitled to NHS services and/or benefits when you come home whether that be on a visit or to live.

I have not been able to work now for over 10 years due to ill health so I have not been paying NI in a long while + there was a time when I was being housewife and mother. I still get NHS and benefits so why can`t you? The system really is wrong if this is the case darling. You need some expert support and advice with this one darling. You fight for what you must be entitled too hun xxxxxxx


What do you do? I think that will have relevance. If it is something where you can apply your skills to providing advice, help, expertise remotely it may either give you more options or allow you to go in armed with your messages clear for a new employer - it could even give opps for you to "portfolio work" ie do part for an employer and work part for yourself while lessening potential stress of a commute - one thing that has really become a factor is that people are sometimes having to look/ travel a bit more widely for work.


Sue xxx


Hi! Am I right in thinking that you're in a school or college admin role? Would it be worth contacting some of the UK teaching unions to ask for advice on employment? There may be advisory roles or some agencies recruit people who have lots of experience to fill short term vacancies. As for the medical cover you are entitled to, I would contact McM for some advice, or even your old address' area healthcare trust.

All the best

Love Wendy xx


Hi. Thank you for all your replies.

Yes, I am a Vice Principal (Deputy Head) in an international school.

I will certainly follow up on your suggestions.

Kathleen :D


Do you have a UK passport? If you do you can be seen by any GP on the NHS whether you are registered or not, as a visitor to the area. If you do not have a UK passport then you can still see an NHS doctor by request, but have to pay private rate.



Hi Lily-Anne,

Yes, I do have a UK passport and only left the country for this job. I haven't taken up any other citizenship and am effectively working as an ex-pat.


I was just about to ask the same question _ Lily-Anne is right! I hope now you feel as though you may be able to return to the UK, if that`s where you want to be.

Good Luck xxxxx


Hi Kathleen

I have changed jobs a few times since my diagnosis. I have never mentioned my diagnosis up front, as I do not want to be discriminated against. Even though that is illegal it is very difficult to prove that having cancer is why you did not get the job rather than any other reason and so I would rather play it safe.

On a couple of occasions, I have been asked if I have a disability/medical condition that they should be aware of. I have answered 'no' to this question as I do not feel they need to know about this.

It does make me feel a bit 'guilty', as I will at sometime become ill again and worry that I may be asked why I did not divulge that this might happen. My justification for this is that I do not know how far in the future that will be so I have to answer the question based on my current needs. I have no special 'day-to-day' requirements. I have my 3-monthly check ups and have to have my stent changed every 6 months, but I still think my attendance is a lot better than a lot of the staff I work with. The other staff did not mention at the interview that they often get so drunk at the weekends that they cannot to make it to work the next day, or that they take a day off work at the first sign of a cold :)

On a more positive note, I have had a different employer each time I have had to have treatment, which is 3 times now. They have all been very good about it and it has not caused an issue. My current employer lets me work from home on the days I have a hospital appointment, just to make things easier.

I do hope that things go well for you.



Hi everyone.

Thank you all very much for your replies and advice. I am relieved to know that the GP receptionist was out of order although at the time I was quite distressed. Also, with hindsight, I realise that what I was experiencing then was probably the OC but I wasn't aware of it then.

I am looking at everything so that I can cover all eventualities as I don't want to find myself having to make a major, uninformed change or decision at short notice.

God bless you,

Kathleen xxx


I gave up my job two years ago to move back to Manchester to be closer to family and to be treated at The Christie. At the time of giving up work I thought I had a more aggressive form of cancer but since then I have found out that my cancer is low grade so technically could go years without needing treatment. However since my diagnosis I have also battled with depression and other non-cancer related illness.

I get Employment Support Allowance and I'm still in the support group for having cancer and I also got awarded an increase in DLA back in October but that is for the depression.

I'm starting to get to the point that I would also like to return to work but something part time but I'm not really sure what I want to do and I actually quite enjoy being at home. My confidence has taken a bit of a knock as well. I believe that under the Equal Opportunities Act that they are not supposed to ask about any disabilities or health conditions at the interview but many employers now have medical questionnaires that you have to complete once offered a job. I think I would at that stage tell them about the cancer as that is why i left my previous employment so they would find out anyway.

Macmillan have helped with in applying for all my benefits as the forms can be quite confusing and ask question about being able to walk and raise your arms above your head. They are geared towards how the cancer effects you physically and mentally.

Best of luck with your job search. The Shaw trust might also be able to offer some assistance as well.


You may also like...