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Ideas for podcast about work and breast cancer

Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
edited September 2019 in Community news and events
Hello everyone,

We are going to be taping a podcast about work and breast cancer.  We are keen to hear from anyone who was self employed.
What tips would you give others regarding work and any questions you may have for a webcast.

We would love your input into the questions you would have liked to have asked regarding work.  The questions you asked that gave you the most useful information and those questions you didn't even know that you needed to ask. 



  • This is a great idea for a podcast @Giovanna_BCNA. I wasn’t self-employed during surgery, chemo and radiotherapy, but worked as a teacher. Some good ideas for a work related podcast might include income protection, your rights at work - discrimination, setting boundaries in the workplace, work-life balance & fatigue. Perhaps you could have a focus on younger and older workers, single vs married, casual vs permanent, or self employed. Issues for CALD workers, or people with disability would also be interesting. 

    I wasn’t prepared for the hidden discrimination post cancer treatment, and the inflexibility in terms of working hours. Also, when you question anything in the workplace the implication is  that you might not be coping, might have cancer back (I’ve been asked that by a manager), or that you have had too many days off for medical appointments. There’s an assumption that you should be better now that active treatment has finished.

    As I’ve mentioned on this forum, work has been my rock, my income and my social support. It has also been incredibly difficult to balance the demands of work and treatment, appointments and the associated fatigue. Another issue was the isolation of working during treatment as a lot of support services are offered during working hours when I was working, including physical rehab options.I look forward to the podcast and hearing from self-employed people and other people who had to work through treatment. 
  • One more thing that would be good for a podcast is the role of online support for people working during and after active treatment. 
  • jintiejintie MelbourneMember Posts: 114
    It’d be good to cover ongoing side effects from treatment that a workplace would need to know, including fatigue.
  • nikkidnikkid Member Posts: 1,761
    I was self-employed and what has saved my life (and house) was Income Protection. So a section on Risk Mitigation is very useful. Also navigating the attitudes of the insurance companies - they would much rather not pay, than pay...so you've got to steel yourself for a long fight knowing what your rights and entitlements are etc.

    Also, managing return to work - managing the side effects of the medications, managing expectations of clients, managing your expectations of yourself.

    Be kind to yourself.

    I have only told a few clients about my BC story...most I keep to myself because I don't want the head tilted sympathy and lack of belief about whether or not I can do what I did previously.

    The value of networking and collaboration for support when you get back into it.
  • Michele BMichele B Member Posts: 136
    I also work as a teacher 4 years post diagnosis, on arimidex and have found that, like others, the expectation that we should be back to pre diagnosis health, stamina etc.  Ongoing fatigue is my constant companion. My workplace has applied for wxtra sick days for me when i have run out due to appointments etc, so have been very supportive in that way. I just feel that most people assume that when active treatment is over we should just bounce right back to our old selves.
  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello everyone, 
    Thank you so much for your feedback which has been passed onto Kirsten.  We will, very shortly,  be recording the last of 3 podcasts regarding work which will be posted on the BCNA website as part of the Upfront about breast cancer series.
    Thanks again, kind regards
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