Be the Boss Over Cancer

Hello, my name is Bryan. I am 31yrs old, and I am a cancer survivor of Head and Neck Cancer since 2004. Unfortunately, the treatment effect my body in negative as well. My voice has been effected, it can be very difficult to understand me when I talk, especially over the phone. In person its bad but if you pay attention to me talking you can make out what I am saying. Also, I eat via feeding tube, which is inserted in my abdomen, its not noticeable at all when I am dressed, its flat up against my body. However, I need to eat via the feeding tube every 3-4 hours, but i need 5-10 minutes of privacy to eat. Its very embarrassing to lift my shirt up and pull out this tube, open a can of meal supplement and start eating in front of everyone in the cafeteria, you know?  Honestly, at my last job I use to sit on the toilet bowl to eat, it was very nasty and not we kept, trying to not touch anything around me while I eat and at the same time had people banding on the door needing to use the bathroom. It became to much so i quit my job.  I need to get back to work, its been 3-4 years and I am going crazy. At my last 2 jobs I sold products online via the companies websites and or eBay, Amazon,, google, etc. Thats what I enjoy doing, the majority of that work doesnt consist of talking on the phone to customers, which is what I like.  Trying to find a job, with the restrictions that I have and requirements that I need is becoming highly difficult.  Do you have any, and I mean any advice, information, resources, websites, etc that could help me out?  I dont know if thats something I should mention on my resume or my cover letter.   I would appreciate as much info as possible.  Thanks and sorry for the long message 


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  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Sep 12, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Bryan -

    You are a very impressive guy!  I'm in awe of your spirit.

    I will have some suggestions for you. First, I need to do a little research and will get back to you next week.  In the meantime, I have a few questions.  

    What would you list as 3-4 of your top skills relative to the type of work you can do?

    How would you describe your computer proficiency?

    Do you know Sign Language?  If not,  would you be willing to learn?

    Do you currently collect a Disability benefit, individual or even Social Security?  Is your desire to work driven primarily by financial needs or to remain stimulated and engaged?

    What state do you live in?

    This information will be helpful to me in providing you with some ideas and resources to explore.


  • Bryan H.

    Bryan H. on Sep 12, 2013

    Hello Ms Larson

    Thank you for taking the time and reading my post. I will answer your questions:

    1. - I type 50-60 wpm. - Knowledge of MS Word and Excel. -eCommerce experience. - Product sourcing. I can mention a few more but being that I haven't done a resume in over 6yrs I forget exactly what skills I did have while at work, if that makes sense.

    2. my computer proficiency is very good, I am on my laptop everyday looking for work, surfing the web, etc. I am very internet and computer savvy. I have knowledge of MS word, Excel and some Access. Overall I think am pretty good with what I do on a computer

    3. I do not know sign language but I would love for to learn.

    4. I currently receive SSD checks monthly, not much at all. That is the only help I receive from the government. I have always enjoyed working, I started working when I was 12 yrs old with my dad, I would rather work than be home all day. I am looking for a job for fnancial reasons as well, my wife is the only one with a job and I feel I have to do my part as well, living pay check to check is not good especially nowadays. I understand that I probably won't make much if and when I start working, that's ok, as long as I know I am accomplishing something and having a purpose, I can manage.

    5. I live in Brooklyn, NY 

    If there is any other information you need please let me know. 

    Thank u sooo much

  • Bryan H.

    Bryan H. on Sep 12, 2013

    Ms Larson

    I apologize but I also wanted to let you know that I am currently learning SEO (search engine optimization) , PPC (pay per click), Google Adwords and Bing Ads. Its only been about  weeks but I am doing my best to learn these very useful skills because every online retail store / eCommerce website is in need of someone to do this work for them to help attract more customers to there website. 

    Thanks again


  • Sarah Goodell

    Sarah Goodell on Sep 12, 2013

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Bryan,

    As we wait for Margot to give you more information, I just wanted to let you know that we have a free Resume Review service for patients and survivors. You can submit your resume for for reveiw by one of our career coaches here:

    I hope that this helpful!


    Sarah, Cancer and Careers Program Coordinator

  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Sep 17, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Bryan –

    Here are some resources
    I have found for you, so far.You may already
    be aware of some of these. It’s just a
    start. You will need to explore these further.  I'll keep looking for more resources.I will also check with some of my Human Resource colleagues for good ideas.

    Sources for learning Sign Language

     American Sign Language Classes in NYC - A
    List of Resources
    › ...

     American Sign Language - Brooklyn Brainery!

     Here’s something else you might want
    to explore:  
    Talking keyboards


    York City Human Resources Administration -The New York City Human Resources
    Administration/Department of Social Services
     (HRA/DSS) is a Mayoral Agency of the New York
     government in charge of the majority of the city’s social services programs.
    HRA helps New Yorkers in need through a variety of services that promote
    employment and personal responsibility while providing temporary assistance and
    work supports. The current Commissioner of HRA is Robert
    , who was appointed to the position on January 8, 2007 by Mayor Michael
    . HRA is the largest city social services agency in the United
    . It has a budget of $9.4 billion in 2012 with a planned budget of
    $9.3 billion in 2013, employs 15,000 people, and serves over 3 million New

     Employment Services

    Employment Services, a part of the Family Independence Administration, connects
    HRA clients with employment and training opportunities in the private and
    public sector. Many employment services programs combine subsidized work and
    on-the-job training with guided job hunting and workshops on resume writing and
    interviewing skills. is a private sector initiative helping to close
    the employment participation gap for people with disabilities while helping
    employers meet the challenge of finding qualified workers.  It is the
    largest national employment and networking portal connecting talented job
    seekers who happen to have disabilities, employers and jobs, agencies providing
    services to the community of people with disabilities, college and university
    disability and career services departments, veterans groups and disability
    advocacy groups.  

     Google potential jobs using some keywords such as:  Online data entry jobs, Online customer service jobs.

    You are probably already doing this:  Check "Careers" "Job Boards" of certain online Companies that are of interest to you, as well as part time and contract boards and agencies. 

    I'll keep looking; in the meantime this may give you a few more ideas.


  • Margot Larson

    Margot Larson on Sep 19, 2013

    Career Coach Comment:

    Bryan –

    In talking to some
    of my Human Resource colleagues, Wednesday, I have gathered a few more ideas
    for you. 

    A former employee
    of Six Flags indicated that they do have employees with restricted speech. They
    support hiring individuals with disabilities. Conduct a search of what
    companies close who recruit individuals with disabilities.

     A former instructor for the military indicated
    that you consider positions at Military bases, in particular, positions such as
    Systems Analyst. It would be contract position worth $50,000 for 5-6 months

    Before applying for
    any such position however, you should get obtain a MsOffice certification. You
    should also consider increasing proficiency in Access, Adobe and PeopleSoft.
    All of these skills/certifications would make you an attractive candidate. 

    It was mentioned
    that you might qualify for a Scholarship to gain this knowledge/certifications.

    Another area of
    expertise you might explore is accounting skills. Tax firms need auditors. 


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