Be the Boss Over Cancer

I had been working as an OR nurse. When I started to take chemotherapy in pill form I also had the side effect of hand foot syndrome. My hands were so swollen and tender. And the moisture from frequent hand washing in the OR only made things worse. So I took leave, short term disability, to hopefully manage the side effects during this course of chemo. My tumor markers when down, then up, then down again. We kept decreasing the dose to control the side effects. My oncologist consulted a doctor another doctor. I also went to get a second opinion. Ultimately, they all agreed to continue the chemo at a lower dose would be theraputic and control side effects. But now my short term leave has ended. I've had one cycle of the new dose that I've tolerated well. So I could possibly go back to work. During this time I've had a surrogate pregnancy. And we're due in mid November, or sooner. If I hadn't gone out on disablity, I would have worked until the baby comes and taken maternity leave. The goal would have been to find a job to work from home or weekends when my husband, who is a teacher, would be home. I've paid into this long term disability program for the last three years. This job in the OR is at an outpatient surgery center, Monday through Friday and day time, and it's not the job I wanted to keep after the baby comes. If I know that I would not return to the job because of the baby, can I still apply for the long term disability insurance? Sorry it took so long to ask the question.

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  • Alice McKenney

    Alice McKenney on Oct 13, 2010

    Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:

    Hi Kelly,

    I have sent your question along to one of our career coaches, however in the meantime I 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 on when you should use your long-term disability insurance. We work very closely with them and their info is below.


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

    Phone: (213) 736-1455

    TDD: (213) 736-8310

    Fax: (213) 736-1428




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