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I'm almost three weeks post op. I had a bilateral mastectomy w/recon. In my buisness I do not have health ins provided, nor do I have sick leave or any compensation.I'm due to start chemotherapy in two weeks, I know that  my immune system will be low during treatment, so my question is.....will I be able to work so closely to the public? I'm also wondering how i'm going to survive finacially? No work, no pay!Any suggestions?

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  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Apr 2, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Angie -

     I am pleased to hear you are beyond surgery and it sounds as though
    you are recuperating well.  Is that
    right?

     As to how you will feel while on chemo is hard to
    determine.  It depends on what chemo you will receive as well as the dosage, and each of us responds differently to chemo.  Some are very sick; others get by with minor
    side effects.  You are correct, however, in
    anticipating that your white blood count will probably drop.  They may give you boosters to help with
    that. 

     One thing I have personally changed since my diagnosis is to
    be very cautious and avoid exposure to people who could share germs because I
    am now more vulnerable than the average person. 
    When a cancer patient gets a virus or infection, it can be very serious
    and even life threatening.

     A few thoughts for you: 
    Assuming that there are other barbers or stylist who works with you,
    perhaps, if they want to help, they could switch clients by taking on your client
    who comes in with a cold. This would help limit your exposure. You can increase
    the frequency.  You also want to wash
    your hands frequently and you may want to consider, if it is possible, to wear
    gloves and change them often.

     Since you are heading down this path with cancer, I would
    also suggest that you explore whether there might be a better career path for
    you that would provide you with insurance benefits and a career that would not
    exposure you, as much, with the general public. 
    By the way, when you enroll into an employer sponsored health insurance
    program, it is generally “guaranteed issue” and doesn’t dependent on medical
    information. Ideally, you want to be working for an employer with more than 50
    employees.  Such employers must comply
    with federal laws relative to health insurance.

     I am sure that with a little more knowledge of your
    background, our coaches can help you with ideas of the types of positions that
    you might want to explore.

     I hope this is helpful for you.

     Margot

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