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Cancer and Careers Guest Blogger on September 16, 2010
Continued from Jennifer's previous blog on Sept 9th, 2010.
Several weeks elapsed between diagnosis and surgery. I thought I had enough answers so I could start telling my most active clients. My message was simple: “I have breast cancer, but the good news is that's it's curable. I have an XX month treatment plan ahead of me, and the doctors expect me to be able to perform most of the time at the same level. And if I'm unavailable, I have a colleague who will be working with me...” I thought my i's were dotted and t's were crossed. Members of my family even planned on taking turns to fly into town for every treatment.
Cancer can force you to be flexible if nothing else. Once I had the lumpectomy and there was node involvement, the treatment plan changed. While the disease was still curable, there would be at least 12 months of more rigorous treatment including chemo, radiation and more surgeries.
I launched into chemo expecting to sail through. Then one complication cropped up after another. Infection, blood transfusion, doctors appointments, a seemingly continuous circle of events. My body's reaction to the treatment became less predictable. I didn't want my clients to be affected.
In the end, I chose to put work on hold and temporarily relocate to my hometown to be closer to family and one of the nation's top cancer centers, where I could focus on my recovery and return to work that much faster. I'm nearing the end of radiation and starting to think about my next steps. My decision to temporarily step away from work was the best one for me at the time, yet I also understand everyone has a different situation.
I never would have believed that my background in communications would become so valuable following a cancer diagnosis.
Jennifer Moire is a public relations consultant from the Washington, D.C./St. Louis area, and currently blogs about her experiences with cancer at www.TheBigCandMe.com.
Read more of Jennifer's story on her next blog on 9/27!