Be the Boss Over Cancer

Hi there,

I'm currently working for a disability services place and I adore my job but I've only just been diagnosed with MM (Multiple Myeloma) which is very unusual for my age.

I'm nervous about it because I don't want to stop working!

What can I/do I do?


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  • Rebecca Nellis

    Rebecca Nellis on Dec 6, 2012

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks so much for posting, it would be helpful to have a little more information.  How long have you been at your job?  Is it full time?  Do you have benefits?  Do you have an employee manual?  Have you told them about your diagnosis, or are you trying to decide whether you should tell them?  Have you asked your healthcare team if they think it is reasonable for you to work throughout your treatment? 

    The other immediate suggestion I would give you is to seek some legal advice, not because anything bad is going to happen but because it is helpful to know all your options, from laws that protect you to dealing with your health insurance to how the Affordable Care Act might be useful in your situation.  I would start by checking out these two resources:

    I look forward to hearing back from you.


    Rebecca V. Nellis
    VP, Programs and Strategy
    Cancer and Careers

  • Ashley M.

    Ashley M. on Dec 10, 2012

    Hi Rebecca,

    I've been here just over a month now and I'm working five days a week in a showroom selling disability based living aids. But I don't think I have any benefits?

    I've told my employer and they're very unsure of how to react, but they say they just want to be in the know about my treatment plan.

    My doctor says as long as I feel up to it then he's happy for me to work.

    Thanks, Ashley

  • Rebecca Nellis

    Rebecca Nellis on Dec 19, 2012

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Ashley,

    Based on what you shared, I definitely think it would be wise for you to seek some legal information just so you can be sure of what your rights are given your individual situation. When you say you don't have benefits does that mean you get your health insurance through your parents?  Did they give you any paperwork when you started?  Or any sort of employee manual that showed you the company's policies?  Is it a big company?


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