Going Back to Work

How are you doing @Hannah97?


Hi just wanted to ask anyone about their experience of returning to work after treatment. I took back my old job but was managed out as I wouldn’t return full time straight away. I know we are supposed to be covered under the discrimination act but I’m finding when I disclose the fact I had AML it puts prospective employers off. Even though I am pretty much back to full fitness now. At one interview the lady interviewing me actually asked how you catch leukaemia. :scream::rofl:


Dear Phil, how do you catch leukemia !!! I wish I could say that comment surprises me but the level of ignorance about blood cancers amongst the general population is quite high. What I would say is that recruitment has changed a lot in recent years with agents and employers using computer programs to sift through what can sometimes be 100s of applications. My husband is 57 and a IT contractor and as he got older it became harder to penetrate the initial part of the process. If your getting to interview that is a good sign and I would suggest you assume there will be a level of ignorance about your aml and come up with a strategy to allay any fears the interviewer might have. People responsible for recruitment have prejudices of all kinds, age, gender, mental health problems etc and it usually stems out of ignorance so unfortunately a certain level of education around your aml journey may be needed. I hope this helps in some way. Best wishes alfie.

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Hi Phil, you really show that some people in the outside world have no conception about blood cancers at all. Initially neither did I and how could I explain to others what I did not understand myself? I was diagnosed in 2003 and I really hoped that employers had moved on since then, especially with the Discrimination and Equal Opportunities acts etc. Perhaps it is up to us to educate employers. I was even employed by a large government organisation, but the first employee ever with a blood cancer. Bloodwise now produce a factsheet for employers on their website. I do not feel my employer of 15 years and I kept communicating. I had never had a day of sick in those 15 years and I was always the reliable one. In retrospect I think my employer got really scared and realised they did not really know what I did (although it produced results). Therefore meetings were held and I was excluded and all the proactive parts of my role were slowly taken away, the service I had been so proud of changed and I was left with a reactive role. Today either human resources departments, Citizens Advice or the McMillan charity might be a source of advice and assistance. I have read different thoughts on disclosing pre-existing conditions, if you are not asked. My reply do not really help you I am afraid but perhaps knits in well with @Alfie reply, which I have just read.


Hello Phil

I’ve just seen this… in this day and age this really should not happen but sadly you’re not the only one. I too lost my job after my diagnosis. I am particularly shocked though that someone thought you could catch leukaemia!
I have found another job now, doing the same thing though it was with a pharmacy that knew more about me than just from an application. I do feel really lucky that I’ve found something.
As you say we are supposed to me covered under the discrimination act but its actually proving the discrimination happened… the law doesn’t go far enough.
How have you been getting on since you posted this comment?

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How are things going @Hannah97

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