Having a long-term condition such as CML can bring challenges if you work.1 You’re not alone. Many people have long term conditions, and these may affect their employment prospects.1 For most people with CML, the condition is a long-term one they live with,2 so stopping or reducing working hours may not be practical or necessary.
Before you talk about CML at work, it might help to think about what the best outcome for you would be right now.
Getting the right information from your doctor can also help you make plans:
You might want to spend time talking to friends and family about your thoughts and feelings, or to a professional counsellor, especially if you need to make a big decision about work.
It may help to tell your employer or colleagues about your CML. If you’re self-employed you may decide to tell your customers. Remember, you don’t have to tell everyone everything – you can decide who you tell and how much information you give them.
Think in advance about who you want to tell, and where/when you want to tell them. If this feels daunting it may help to rehearse beforehand how to bring it up, and what you want to say.
Expect the unexpected: your news may come as a surprise to the person you’re telling. The person you tell will probably be supportive, but it’s also possible they will have some worries. Everybody is different, and some people don’t say the right things! You may want to offer the person some time to digest the news and set up another meeting to discuss the next steps. You could offer to have regular “catch-up” meetings with your employer if you both think that would be helpful.
Keep track of agreements: it’s a good idea to keep a record of emails or letters requesting support or about your performance.
If you have or have had cancer, you are protected by law against discrimination in the workplace. You can find out more about workplace law on the Macmillan website.3
European Chronic Disease Alliance & Members of EU Health Policy Platform (2017). Joint statement on “Improving the employment of people with chronic diseases in Europe”. Accessed: May 2018.
Macmillan. Protection against discrimination. Accessed: May 2018.