It can be hard to judge the best time to go back to work. Your return is likely to depend on your job and the type of work you do and how much your income is affected.

For most patients this will differ from patient to patient depending on:

  • On-going immunosuppressants and the risk of infection.
  • On-going issues causing you to feel unwell.
  • The type of work you did before your transplant. For more strenuous manual labour employment it may take you longer to return to work than if you are office-based.

It is important that you feel ready.

Giving your boss regular updates can be beneficial as most people are unaware of what is involved after a transplant. You could ask your nurse specialist to contact them if you feel this would be useful. Most employers are very understanding and supportive.

As someone who has been diagnosed with cancer you are protected by the Equality Act 2010 in law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society. This means that you have certain rights and that your employer has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the workplace so you are not at a disadvantage.  Under this act having cancer is now considered a disability and employers cannot discriminate against people with cancer and need to make reasonable adjustments appropriate to their organisation’s size and structure.

Please go to the Home Office website for more information:

Some transplant patients find it beneficial to return on reduced hours and others need a complete change of career. Contacting your local job centre can be useful regarding retraining. If you feel that you cannot go back to your old job because it is too strenuous you can contact a disability advisor at your local job centre and make an appointment for their advice.

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