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TOPIC: How do you get work when your cancer won't go away?

How do you get work when your cancer won't go away? 20 Dec 2017 09:21 #5381

  • Paul-UB40
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By Caroline Bullock

David Shutts was a high-achiever - a naval commander who became a champion of British business - until he was diagnosed with cancer. Quickly he discovered employers had little use for him, and the crushing blow set him thinking about a way the talents of people with chronic illnesses could be harnessed.

It began as a niggling back pain. Not enough to trouble the doctor with and easy to dismiss as wear and tear or a pulled muscle, so David Shutts ploughed on as usual, meeting the deadlines that kept coming and pursuing an active social life. But it didn't go away, and in two years the pain became constant, accompanied by unexplained weight loss and night sweats that saw him wake every morning in a pool of perspiration.

"I'm a bloke," he says, explaining why it took him so long to get checked out.

"I just carried on, and it was only when I was unable to operate the garden strimmer because my back was in agony that my wife lost her temper and made me go to the doctor."

I've been a chartered engineer, I'd got an OBE for leadership and now I was none of these things - just someone with cancer, pretty much ignored and on the scrapheap
He was sent for CT scan and when the diagnosis finally came, 10 days after his 50th birthday, it was brutal - a cancerous tumour on the left kidney had spread to the lymph nodes, lungs and bones. It was at stage four on a scale with no more levels, incurable, inoperable and left him, in his own words, "a ticking time bomb".

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