Be the Boss Over Cancer

I knew the diagnosis before I ever met with my doctor. His assistant called to ask me into the office to discuss the results...that afternoon. Just like in the movies, it's never a good sign.

Once my breast cancer diagnosis was confirmed, my immediate concern was for my business—a burgeoning public relations practice. After all, I was an otherwise healthy, vibrant, young single girl living in the nation's capital. I was a long-time runner, Pilates enthusiast and had even biked around Ireland the summer before. I knew many survivors so I assumed I'd be fine.

I peppered my doctor with questions about my individual insurance plan. My friends and I researched doctors. We even joked about the parallels with Samantha Jones in “Sex and the City.” I could get a wig for every occasion! We could laugh about the side effects over wine! I could be the poster child for being fabulous and living with cancer.

My consultancy was small by design and nimble. I had the flexibility to collaborate when I needed specific expertise. I operated in a fast-paced environment and was adept at working large public events.

One of the first organizations I contacted was Cancer and Careers. Their online coaching was a valuable first step in helping me realize my options (see Jennifer's career coaching advice).

I also spoke with a few trusted friends in my industry to get some objective advice and realized my situation wasn't that much different from a PR crisis. What would I tell a client to do?

Jennifer Moire is a public relations consultant from the Washington, D.C./St. Louis area, and currently blogs about her experiences with cancer at

Read more of Jennifer's story on our next blog on 9/16!


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