Be the Boss Over Cancer

I was displaced from my job after my employer decided to move their headquarters to another city/state. During the time of my job loss ( Feb '09 ) I was recuperating from my 3rd battle with breast cancer. I paid the premiums on my disability income policy for 6 months in advance. After their review, I received a one time payment from the insurance company based on my doctor's evaluation of my return to work date, which was approx 2 months ( Apr 27, 09 ) after the job end date. I am currently receiving weekly unemployment benefits. The insurance company has sent me a bill for the next six months premium. I am not sure if I should pay it or not, basically because I don't have the funds and not sure when I will return to work. Presently, I am actively seeking employment, but there are some health issues I am very concerned about. For instance, the fatigue is a major concern, along with lymphodema ( swelling ) in my left arm and both feet and legs. Also, there are episodes of anxiety and panic attacks. Sometimes I doubt if I will be able to maintain and perform the duties of the type of job I previously held. ( I was formerly in Management, 1st Vice-President ). Lately, I have focused my job searches on lower level positions. Can you provide some insights to help me make an informed decision? I am 58 years old.


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  • Rebecca Nellis

    Rebecca Nellis on Oct 22, 2009

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Annie,

    I am the Director of Programs for Cancer and Careers and I wanted to suggest that you speak with someone at the Cancer Legal Resource Center, they are a nonprofit that provides pro-bono counseling on legal and insurance issues and they might have some advice about what to do about your insurance and benefits. We work very closely with them and their info is below. I would also suggest speaking to an oncology social worker or nurse about the anxiety and panic attacks.

    I will alert our coaches to your question for additional thoughts on the job search element.


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

    Phone: (213) 736-1455

    TDD: (213) 736-8310

    Fax: (213) 736-1428




  • Judith F.

    Judith F. on May 23, 2010

    I understand how you feel. I am 43 and when completely healthy I was earning a great salary. I am exhausted and worried and thankful for unemployment though it is not enough -so I know the feeling. I say restructure things at home if you can and call your doctors and ask their advice. You may need to accept a less salaried position just to have benefits and take care of your health. Figure out how much you really need to live and remember none of this will matter if you are too sick. With that said you are important to yourself and those that love you may be able to help you in some ways but you need doctors care. I do too. I am finally willing to readjust and try to manage on less. You will be suprised there are ways to make it. Good Luck to you.

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