Be the Boss Over Cancer

I was diagnosed with early stage papillary thyroid cancer last January, and have since had my thryoidectomy and RAI treatment. All in all, things are ok and I'm plugging along with adjusting to the new normal--- adjusting to thyroid medication and its various little side effects, feeling more anxiety than I've been used to pre-cancer, etc. My situation is that since diagnosis, I've been able to keep busy with various part-time jobs, internships (I was attempting a career transition and would still like to transition), and some freelancing at my old company. I was interviewing for a while (before the holidays), but still no offers. I've been on COBRA for my health insurance, but it will be ending in mid-Feb. I know I can obtain individual health insurance under HIPPA but that it'll be pricey. I'm feeling a certain pressure to get a new job to have benefits, but I'm feeling anxiety over what type of jobs I should be applying for/pursuing. I used to be in a high-stress job (in advertising), but now I just don't want the stress (I just want to be happy!); but yet my experience all points towards advertising. My old company is aware of my situation and offered my job back (at 30 hrs instead of 40 hrs), but I'm hesitant about going back. I had quit for a reason (I didn't feel like I was learning and I didn't like the stress), and feel that going back would back bring stress and unhappiness. I've been able to freelance there the past couple of months (at 20-25 hrs) and that's been manageable because I know I'm just freelancing. Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what my question is, but I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions on my circumstance. Thank you, Jeannie


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  • Alice McKenney

    Alice McKenney on Jan 3, 2011

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Jeannie,

    I have forwarded your question along to one of our career coaches. In the meantime when it comes to your insurance woes, I recommend contacting the Cancer Legal Resource Center. They can help you determine if you have any other insurance options available to you besides HIPAA. Their contact info is below.


    Toll Free: (866) THE-CLRC or (866) 843-2572

    Phone: (213) 736-1455

    TDD: (213) 736-8310

    Fax: (213) 736-1428




  • Jeannie C.

    Jeannie C. on Jan 3, 2011

    Thanks for your quick response Alice. I look forward to hearing from one of your career coaches.

    I've already contacted the CLRC and they were a great resource! Unfortunately HIPPA at this point is my only option-- besides a new job or course...

  • Rosalind Joffe

    Rosalind Joffe on Jan 5, 2011

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Jeannie,

    I love that you finished by saying you don't know what your question is because I had been wondering that myself. My hunch is that writing might have been a way to get this "out there" for yourself.

    It sounds like you're thinking and doing all the "right" things -- meaning you're considering the short and long term, your needs and your wants and you're also taking some risks. You seem to be someone who has access to what you want -you don't want to go back permanently to your old job, not because of fear of stress but you don't like it and want to be happy.

    My hunch is that next steps will continue to become clear to you if you continue to listen inside. One think you might consider is asking yourself if there's some other middle ground you can create for yourself regarding what you think you want or need. If, in fact, you have done so,then trust yourself to know what's the best move when the time comes.



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