Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Lesley L. on April 4, 2011
I was Diagnosed with:
Date of Diagnosis:
June 15, 2008
Employment Status:
Type and Description of Treatments:
Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma Stage 4. Currently undergoing chemo. Just had my first 3 sessions consisting of 6 hours on 1st day then 3 hrs and 3 hrs on 2nd and 3rd day.
How do you feel today?

Better than yesterday but still very tired. My body hurts, my eyes won't focus and I can't taste anything. Energy - what energy?

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

With this continual chemo going until almost Labor Day, how I can I ever get a job? The time alone it takes going and returning but then afterward I have no ability to function for days afterward.

What is going well for you right now?

I still have my home and I have many friends who care. I still have my hair.

What is not going well for you right now?

Money. It is dwindling fast. What will I do? I'm trying to get a housemate but that's not going too well. If no housemate, the house will have to go up for sale. That could take a while. Then where will I go with my pets?

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

Staying positive and not worrying about the what-if's.

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

To my pets. I know, that sounds weird.

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

My goal was to retire at 55 with a sizable 401K; work part-time and do more traveling with my husband. Since diagnosis, husband has left, I haven't been able to work (cancer and other ailments), savings running dangerously low. My goal now is to just survive this cancer.

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

I am unemployed right now.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

Sense of humor. Do as much as I can. Try not to put too much pressure on me but that's hard for a control freak. Nausea meds helps a lot.

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

You think you can be prepared but you cannot. Don't worry about things that may or may not be an issue. If they become an issue, deal with them. Stay positive, rest when you need to. Be good to yourself. Let others help when they offer. Pray. Trust in your Doctor but make sure he / she warrants that trust.