Changing the conversation about work and cancer

Working with Advanced or Metastatic Cancer

This year Working With Cancer is working to raise awareness of this issue and have invited those with advanced or metastatic cancer, and who are still working, to contribute their stories and photos.

Here is one story by Neil Walker, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer at the age of 49.

It was July 3rd 2018 when I went to Northampton General Hospital for, what I assumed to be a routine MRI scan to get to the bottom of what had been causing me severe back pain for a couple of months. It had got to the point where I had taken more than a week off work for the first time in 30 years of work.  I was a local authority accountant, and in stereotypical fashion, I would spend hours hunched up over a laptop in the least ergonomic positions possible.  There was no doubt this was to blame, I thought.

I knew something was wrong the minute I came out of the MRI machine. The technician had been sent to find a consultant, and within minutes, the consultant had demanded I be taken into A&E without delay, as from an initial view of the scan, it appeared my back might fracture at any minute. I was subjected to further observations, scans and tests overnight, and by the next morning, the news was relayed.  At the ridiculously premature age of 49, I had been diagnosed with Stage 4 – terminal – prostate cancer.

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