Be the Boss Over Cancer

I finally found a job.  I started looking for a job 3 months after chemo and radiation.  That was over a year ago.  I was finally hired.  When and how much do I tell this new employer.  The only accommodation I feel I need is for the follow up appointments.  My doctor thinks the chemo treatments may have started Menopause early.  I have the hot flashes and mood swings.  Should I mention this also or just keep it to myself.  This is not my dream job but at least I will feel I am a productive member of society and not feel like a non productive member.

I was a tax preparer something I was very good at but I want to do something I am passionate about.  I am lucky I know want to be a pastry chef.  Pastry school is very expensive so I need this job to help me get to Pastry school.

Thank you,



Leave a comment
  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Oct 3, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:


    Congratulations!  You
    are being very smart by getting a job to fund the path to your idea job. 

     If you do not anticipate needing more time than anyone else
    who sees a doctor regularly, then I would not raise the issue of cancer or any
    other illness.  After all, you may have
    new co-workers who also have health issues requiring doctor’s visits.  Your specific health condition may not be
    pertinent.  It also depends on the
    frequency of your doctor’s appointments. It also depends on the flexibility of
    your work schedule, that is, can you take a couple of hours off, maybe around
    lunch time for your appointment and then work a longer day?

     As to your probable menopause, welcome to the club.  Look into natural products that can help you
    with the symptoms, nutrition that might impact the symptoms negatively or
    positively and perhaps some lifestyle changes that would counter the
    symptoms.  Again, this is not something
    you need to disclose to your employer. 
    Many women experience this.

     Do the very best job you can to prove yourself to be a
    highly valuable employee which in turn may result in more flexibility by your
    employer.  If you require more time off
    than would appear normal to the employer, then provide minimal information such
    as you have a health issue that requires periodic  monitoring to keep it in check and that you
    are more than willing to make up the time.

     Are you comfortable with this approach?


  • Judi Swedek

    Judi Swedek on Oct 3, 2012

    Career Coach Comment:

    Hi Maia,

    Congratulations on your new job and working toward your goal as a pastry chef! As you said, it is a means to an end and it's great that you know what you want to do with your life.

    My suggestion is that your employer doesn't need to know anything about your medical history, now should they. Since the only accommodation is the need to attend follow-up appointments, you have no need to say anything further. We all have periodic doctor appointments, and companies antcipate and understand this. How does this feel for you?

    As for the menopause symptons, here, too, keep the information to yourself. It's something we all have encountered and doesn't need to be highlighted for an employer. I'd suggest looking at some natural herbs to help combat some of the symptons. Talk with your doctor about it and see what s/he suggests.

    As you said, this isn't your ideal job, but it IS a means to an end. Do the best possible job keeping that goal in mind and you will find attainment of that goal com,ming sooner than you thought.

    Warm wishes for every success,


Post a Comment

Please sign in to post a comment