Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Lor M. on June 2, 2009
I was Diagnosed with:
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Date of Diagnosis:
May 7, 2009
Employment Status:
Type and Description of Treatments:
16-20 Weeks of Chemotherapy Mastectomy and reconstructive surgery 6 weeks of radiation treatment
How do you feel today?

Tired and sad

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

My entire life has been turned upside down. My husband and I moved into a new home in March to start a family. We had just started parenting classes. We are/were in the process of adopting a 3-6 year old from the foster care system in our state. This of course has been put on hold.

What is going well for you right now?

My friends and family have been very supportive and loving.

What is not going well for you right now?

It is stressful at times with my husband. It is all so new right now. I am on an emotional roller coaster.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

The diagnosis is a month old. I am going to have my second treatment tomorrow. The side-effects have been difficult. It's also hard not knowing how I will feel from day to day.

When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?

I realize I need to join a support group where I can speak to women who are going through what I am.

How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?

I still hope to start a family. I am trying to be positive about my future.

What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?

My employer is flexible with me and only expects 24 hours of work per week. I am quickly burning through my PTO and Vacation. My employer will allow me to go into the "hole" but I will have to pay it back (the hours) which seems overwhelming at times.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?

I manage a department. My employees aren't working as hard as they could as there isn't the same level of accountability if I am not there.

I am still trying to figure out if I can handle an 8-hour day or if I should be working 1/2 days. Right now I find I am wiped out the day after I work 8 full hours. I am trying to arrange to do some work from home.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

To stay busy, productive, interactive with others and keep my mind off of myself and condition.

What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?

Stay positive.....use all of the resources offered to you.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

It has been rough. I have tried to follow the doctors recommendations for managing them. I do not let days go by without addressing them. The minute a side-effect arises that I am instructed to tell the doctor about, I call her.

If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?

Stay body aware. You know your body - talk to your doctor if you don't feel well. If you aren't happy with any of your current doctors shop around until you find the right one. My doctors have all been awesome.