Practical issues

Share experiences and advice on practical issues when living with cancer, such as money, work, benefits, transport, food and drink, organising support at home, or getting specialist equipment.

Compassionate leave

Posted by

Hi there,

Was wondering if anyone can give me some advice about caring for my partner. He was diagnosed in October '18 with stage 4 lung cancer, also in lymph nodes and bronchial tube. I used up all my holiday to care for him prior to xmas but I'm now wondering what to do about work. He has improved a lot but i make all his meals, do all household chores and walk the dog. If i go back to work i worry he won't manage. He can't walk very far and i fear he wouldn't eat.

He had one cycle of chemo but it was stopped after getting a severe chest infection, we don't know if he will be given any more. His oncologist has talked about months left but how long is a piece of string?

I myself had stage 4 breast cancer and have only just finished 12 months of hereptin after chemo and radiotherapy. I struggle physically and emotionally every day.

It feels like a constant ticking time bomb and on top of all that i need to find somewhere to live when it goes off as we live in my partners house which is being left to his i need to keep working to pay for a mortgage. But the work/ home, finance/care dilemma is so hard. Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by


I'm glad to hear that your partner has improved a lot recently but it can still be difficult to know what to do as his carer.

You do have rights at work if you're the carer for a person with cancer and you might find this information from Macmillan about working whilst a carer useful to read. You could also be entitled to a carer's allowance. Again, click on the link to read Macmillan's information.

I'd also recommend that you give the Macmillan Support Line a call on 0808 808 0000 to talk through the various options with their welfare rights and work support officers. It's free to call and available daily from 8am to 8pm but click on the link to see if the opening hours are different over the New Year holiday,

I hope that you can sort everything out so that you're able to give your partner the support you want to.


 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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