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Talking about cancer at work

Want to keep working?

Sometimes, continuing work can be helpful as a useful distraction from the stress of having a child with cancer. Some parents see it as a time when they feel more in control. Being at work puts them in a world away from hospital trips and hospital stays.

What to say

At work, it is important to tell people only as much as you want to tell them. Be clear about how much you want to discuss your child’s illness. Some days, at work, and with family and friends, you may only need to say “We are fine”. Other days you may want to go into more detail with certain colleagues. Most people will understand this and respect your right to protect yourself.

Most employers are very understanding of the demands of having a child with cancer and are willing to allow parents to take leave – paid and sometimes unpaid. If you are having difficulty arranging time away from work, or if your employer needs documentation about your child’s condition, please speak to your child’s social worker.

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