During July's Ask The Experts teleconference a number of questions came up regarding how to handle treatment side effects at work. From a lack of energy to dealing with chemo brain, below is one of these questions and what our team of experts had to say in response. Of course, these issues have many facets to them, practically and legally speaking, so remember to seek professional help for any problems you may be having. (Lastly, don't forget, we have one more Ask The Experts teleconference this year - register now!).
Caller: I am 24 years old, and I was diagnosed with cancer, I am right now a contractor for my company, and I've been working through treatment and as a part-time or as many hours as I can and I'm about to begin radiation. And I wanted to know if there's any tools or what suggestions you have for someone like me - I want to sharpen my skills, especially with chemo brain, I don't want to lose any of the skills that I have with radiation coming up.
Julie Jansen, Career Coach: Taking courses or webinars online would be a great idea to keep your skills sharp. Another suggestion might be to see if you can find somebody within your company or in your LinkedIn network who might have a little bit more work experience and ask them if they can sort of mentor you and sort of help you keep up to date on what's going on specifically in your very niche industry, just talk through different problems and issues and challenges and business ideas and connect with someone professionally and keep connected to them while you're going through your treatment.
Cancer and Careers: And on the Cancer and Careers website we have a whole section on chemo brain and what to do at work and ways you can maintain focus as well as a new how-to video on maintaining focus at work and kind of working through that side effect. So, I would make sure to check that out in addition to all of Julie's great suggestions.
Joanna Morales, Esq.: And I just also want to add something. You might also want to talk with your health care team about any sort of side effects you might be experiencing related to memory, or cognitive impairment because they might also be able to connect you with research studies that are going on, or a lot of institutions have memory institutes that can provide you with actual exercises that you can do from a medical standpoint to help you through some of those issues.
Please note that the above information is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that the experts are not engaged in rendering any legal or professional services either during the teleconference or in any transcript reprinting. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for professional services.