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With all the news about Steve Jobs and the speculation of why he chose to resign now, we got to chatting at Cancer and Careers about how every day we hear from people making the very difficult decisions about how to balance work and treatment. Unfortunately, there is no one answer for everyone. Some people are compelled to step out of the workforce immediately and stay out through their treatment and recovery. Others work as long as is feasible and then step away for only as long as absolutely necessary. While still others work the whole way through.

The bottom line is whether you are taking time off or permanently leaving the workforce this decision is one that should be made after collecting a lot of information, from your healthcare team, your employer and your family. You will want to know how you (and your work) will be impacted by your treatment plan; you will want to know what options you have at work-- from sick leave to how to use COBRA to maintain benefits; you will want to think about how work is connected to your sense of purpose, identity and overall well-being; you will want to think about the financial ramifications; and so on. All of these challenges are addressed throughout the Cancer and Careers website and I encourage you to read as much as possible to help make the right choices for you.

I think we can safely assume Mr. Jobs could have stepped down long ago and been able to comfortably support himself and maintain his insurance. So I would like to thank him for being a quiet but shining example of what Cancer and Careers sees in survivors every day… work is about so much more than just a paycheck.

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  • Molly M.

    Molly M. on Aug 29, 2011

    Check out the services The Pink Fund provides to women in treatment for breast cancer who are too ill to work and need some financial support. www.thepinkfund.org

    We also work with The Cancer Legal Resource Center, www.clrc.org to help navigate our applicants and their families through the web of ensuring their employment and legal rights are not violated.

    Thank you for your wonderful work on behalf of people, like myself, for whom a cancer diagnosis can detour a career for a brief period of time.

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