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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Milembe found her return to work difficult, as management expectations did not account for the side-effects of the cancer treatment she was still experiencing.


Portrait of MilembeI must say, coming back wasn't easy. In the sense that you come back, I think the expectation was like you will perform your duty fully - they didn’t remember you've been absent for like a year. So, coming back I think that orientation period was badly managed. In my case it was very badly managed.

Because the expectations of your performance did not take into consideration that you are just coming back from a big gap. And in-between things have changed: we had a new manager who had just started. She was doing her management job, but they are detached and I was their subordinate. So they didn't understand where I was coming from, coming back to work. [All] they knew was I'd been working here and this is what I'd been doing. But I think the handling [of my return] was a bit rough. And I think it did set me back a little bit. And then even - I ended up seeing the occupational health again.

Because you're tired, you've got this random fatigue because the radiotherapy takes a long time to come out of your system. Your nails are [still] growing [back], your motor skills are a bit - you can't hold a pen, for example, you randomly drop [it]. So you have those little things. You know, very difficult to quantify. But a lot of little issues.

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