Kate G
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Diary of a "Fake" Cancer Patient - Breaking the Camel's Back

Kate G
Posted by
08 Jul 2014

The last few days have been really rubbish – last Tuesday, we got letters at work to say that we were potentially in scope for a TUPE transfer to yet another employer wef 1st April 2015. As an old-hand at TUPE transfers (I think this will be number 5 if it goes ahead), I’m fairly relaxed about the process itself, it’s just that I dread the whole disclosure bit about my health & the associated hassle. During those times, it feels like I’ve reverted to the days before I “came out” about my cancer, & when I wasn’t sure who knew what. Once you know for sure whether you are transferring, which for me will be early 2015, part of the TUPE process requires that you meet representatives of the new Company, have 1-1s, & let them get to know me etc & at some undetermined point I know that I will have to tell them that I have this condition which necessitates regular hospital checks & 6-weekly visits to a psychologist. This all adds an extra level of stress to the situation at a time when I’m used to people knowing & largely disregarding my cancer which is how I like to live.

That in itself was bad enough, but then on Wed my little cat went missing & a week later has not yet come home & this I’m afraid was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Over the weekend I went to pieces, couldn’t sleep, didn’t want to eat & I honestly don’t think I’ve cried like that for years. In my calmer moments over the weekend, I started thinking that my apparent (over) reaction was quite extreme given what I deal with daily in respect of my cancer, but when I really thought about it, I supposed that living in the state of high alert that I’ve blogged about before, it doesn’t take much to knock my fragile state of equilibrium. At the time of writing this, I’ve done everything I can to find Sooty the errant cat including ringing vets, knocking doors, walking & driving around & tonight Dan & I will make a poster if he doesn’t come home - I will report in my next blog if I have an update. I’ve always been a real animal lover & my pets are not animals in my eyes but are people. Our family feels unbalanced without our cheeky cat & I’m feeling the pressure to keep on top of my emotions around Dan because he is understandably very upset too.

Luckily, I was due for my regular visit at the Cancer Psychology Unit at my local hospital yesterday & it helped immeasurably to get everything off my chest.  I think that one of mistakes I make is to try to be as strong & positive as possible & not to bore/burden others with my nagging fears when as a cancer patient, I already live in the shadow of constant worry aside of the usual job, money, kids & now pet worries. High levels of constant stress are exhausting anyway but it really doesn’t sit well with cancer related fatigue so it’s very important to have an outlet for that stress & that’s where psychological support is so important. Talking to my psychologist yesterday, I said I worry that I’m taking up an appointment that someone far needier than me could use & she reminded me that each time we have extended the “gap” between appointments my mood has dipped.

So what happens to those who don’t have access to this sort of help?? ….



Hi Kate,

Forgive my ignorance but what is a TUPE transfer? Whatever it is (I'm guessing it is some kind of job-related transfer), I hope it went well and it wasn't too difficult having to tell people AGAIN about your condition.

Really, really sorry to hear about your cat, too. I really hope your cat turns up and will read the update with interest.

All the best and thanks so much for yet another great blog - one of the highlights of my week.


Hey Andy,

Great to hear from you & really hope all is well with you at the moment? Only because you mentioned it, TUPE is a piece of legislation that protects your existing Ts & Cs when you compulsorily transfer to a new employer which I've done on many many occasions over the past years with the possibility of yet another one early next year :( The BIG worry is having to start up the conversation again about my health which I hate doing. Hope all is going well with the 30 before 30? Take care,