Be the Boss Over Cancer

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in Jan 2008 and since then she had two surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. Due to her breast cancers she has lost her job and for two years now she is at home which with the stress of life has caused her to develop depression. I just want my mom to feel like she no different than any women out there and the she is a strong women who fought a great battle and that she is not any less than any other women. I would like someone to please give me some guidance because I want my mom to be happy again. After seeing this add in self magazine, it really gave me hope that there are people out there like my mom and that she will hopefully get a job. The reason why its hard for my mom to get a job as well is because she does not speak english fluently because she was born Afghanistan and came here 9 years ago. I would like to know if there are any job that she can do from home or workplace that will not require lifting? Please help me help my mom Thanks

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  • Judi Swedek

    Judi Swedek on Oct 19, 2010

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Nagina:

    You are an amazing daughter and your love and caring for your Mom is so special. I am certain you have been a great source of support to her, and it is good you are reaching out for help. I'd like to ask what type of work she was doing previously, and would it be possible for her to go back to doing that type of work, if not too taxing on her. If not, what skills and abilities does she have to offer in the workplace? That will help me offer some more targeted advice as it would be best that she work in an environment where she can use those skills and abilities to feel good about herself.

    I'd also suggest that you help her to find some support for her depression. I'm not a doctor, but I have experienced this feeling personally and know that participating in support groups with other survivors and/or talking with a professional will help immensely in lessening the depression. Once that lesssens, the world of opportunities begins to open up. Encourage her to get out and connect with others.

    Let me know a bit more about your Mom, so perhaps I can come up with some more targetd ideas.

    Give your Mom a hug. Let her know that she is never alone, and she is very much loved by you.

    Judi

  • Nagina K.

    Nagina K. on Oct 19, 2010

    Dear Judi,

    Thank you for the kind words. Previously, she was working at a retail store (TJmaxx) after her first surgery she did go back to TJ maxx, however working there for 5 to 6 months her muscles were sheared from where they had removed some lymph nodes during her surgery so she was out of work for a while. Basically my mom really doesn't have the energy or strength that she had before the cancer treatments to be able to fold clothes, mark clothes, arrange racks and bend a lot (which is what she did at TJ MAXX), her arm is very weak so I don't she will be able to go back there. Before coming to the US my mom was a Farsi/Dari teacher in a high school but we don't know of anywhere that would like to hire her because her english is very limited. My mom loves writing poems (in farsi), cooking and just loves decorating. Is there any jobs that she can be trained for that requires less tasking?

    In term of her job, she is taking medications for it but I just think its not working. I wish she can work in environment that is healthy for her, i think that is what she lacks the most.

    thank you

  • Judi Swedek

    Judi Swedek on Oct 21, 2010

    Career Coach Comment:

    Dear Nagina:

    Thank you for sharing more about your Mom's situation. Perhaps, as a first step, you Mom may want to volunteer helping others in some way. It may be with children, through an organization, or in support of adults. There are a number of volunteer websites usually on a county level and/or through organizations like the American Red Cross. The reason I suggest this is that giving to others takes the focus off ourselves and our own situation and usually helps us feel a sense of accomplishment. If your Mom is affilitated with religious or cultural organizations, that may provide a resource of opportunities as well. Perhaps she would like to help others who have recently relocated to the US...and make use of her language and teaching skills.

    As to careers/jobs, go to the local unemployment bureau in your area. They have career counselors that can help in determining and accessing open positions that may work for her. It's hard for me to do so without knowing her...but an idea could be a job with a catering company may interest her if she likes to cook. Also, there is a website OnetOnline, http://online.onetcenter.org/, where you can input certain skills and find relevant occupations.

    A good resource of local jobs is Snag a Job: http://www.snagajob.com. Look at some of the open positions with your Mom to get an idea of what she might be interested in.

    I hope this helps give you some ideas.

    Kind regards,

    Judi

  • Nagina K.

    Nagina K. on Dec 21, 2010

    Hi all,

    Thank you for all your suggestions. I am sorry I have not commented recently, I have been busy with school but now I will be on break for a month so maybe it will be easier to find a job for my mom. I am taking in everyone's suggestions and so far nothing has come up but still optimistic because it shows how much people care from those who have responded to my mom's story. I just want to say thank you to all of you.

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