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I had breast cancer in november, had an op which has removed it and treatment is all done. Iv since started a new job but have found myself struggling. I have anxiety to start with but now its through the roof especially at the thought of going to work. I had a bad day last week where i just cried all day, dont know why and today i have just told work that i cant work there anymore as im struggling. I feel like ive let everyone down which makes me feel worse and a bit hepless. What do i need to do so sort mysel out. Im miserable, low and my confidence is low also. 

  • Hello  ,

    Thank you for sharing this, I am so sorry to hear about your worries about work. My name is Polly, and I am a work support advisor on the Macmillan support line. It is always worth speaking to a health professional such as your GP who can assess your mental health needs and provide treatment.

    It is important to remember that your daily struggle with anxiety does not mean that you are not capable of doing your job and bringing a unique perspective to it. After all you obtained this job because you were the best candidate for the role after a recruitment exercise so the employer must have seen that you are good fit for their organisation. Although you have told work that you are struggling it does not sound like you have resigned.

    I think there are a few things you can do to make it easier and to get back on course. Resigning from a job that you have only just started seems a big step, so we suggest that you think about your options and getting the support you need.

    Please have a look at Access to Work.

    They work with two providers who offer one to one support to those who are struggling with mental health in the workplace. This is a nine-month programme which will hopefully provide you with the strategies to help you deal with your feelings at work.

    You can either contact Access to Work or apply on the providers websites:

    Able Futures


    If you have had long term struggles with mental health the employer also needs to help you. Please have a look at the ACAS website for ideas.

    Another aspect to think about is that as a former cancer patient you continue to have a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 if you live in Northern Ireland. If you continue to suffer the longer-term effects from your cancer treatment, then the employer must make reasonable adjustments to help you at work.

    This can include changing policies and procedures. If you have a heavy caseload or unattainable targets then the employer needs to look at this and find ways to make it easier for you. They can also look at how your breaks are managed and if you would benefit from partnering up with a colleague who can coach you. They also must provide aids or adaptations to help you manage your work. This can include software on your computer or a workstation assessment. Finally, they must look at the location of your job and think about where your desk is or if you would benefit from working from home.

    These are just some of the things they can do and the decisions they make will be based on your personal needs and the requirements of the job. They can seek advice from occupational health who can advise the employer about the support you need to do your job.

    It is important to talk over your feelings. We have a team on the Macmillan support line who can offer emotional support and a listening ear if you need this. Please do not hesitate to contact us.


    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email
  • Hi Polly thanks for the advice, unfortunately i told my job i didnt want to go back as feel im not ready to work until i sort myself out. 

  •  Please give us a ring on the support line so that we can talk in detail about this. 

    The work support team are available Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm on 0808 808 0000- Please select option 1, then option 2 and then option 3.


    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email