Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Paula S. on June 17, 2012
I was Diagnosed with:
Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Date of Diagnosis:
July 1, 2011
Employment Status:
Full Time
Type and Description of Treatments:
I've had 6-cycles of ABVD, then 20 days of Radiotherapy. Treatment is still on going. I just finished my 3rd cycle of second line protocol, ICE.
How do you feel today?

I feel fine at the moment. I am now on ICE protocol and I feel like I have more energy for daily tasks compared when I was having ABVD. When I was on ABVD, I felt so tired and would be sleeping most of the time for a week after chemotherapy session.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

Since diagnosis, I had to file for LOA from work to undergo treatments. No work, means no income. It's quite tough, most especially that you have an illness that adds up to your expenses.

I don't let myself get stressed out anymore like how I did/was in the past.

What is going well for you right now?

The help and support of my family and friends while I'm undergoing treatment.

What is not going well for you right now?

I'm still under treatment. After I've gone through ABVD for 7 months, I was hoping to be cancer-free. But then I needed to do 20 days of radiotherapy, and I was hoping that should do it. But then I had to undergo another chemotherapy. It's quite frustrating - makes you anxious and wonder will it ever end?

I am now half-way my 6-cycle ICE chemotherapy. I can only pray this will be the last.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

The most challenging for me is the fear of being discriminated/stereotyped, most especially at workplace or when looking for another job.

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

I hold onto my family for support. I also pray a lot.

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

I used to be so worrisome about the future. When I had cancer, I realized that the only time I have is now.

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

I have filed for LOA. My employer has been kind enough to give me time off for treatment. I have been away from office for 11 months now.

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

I will find out when I return to office. I worry if I can still handle the travel (work is 2 hours away from home) and the 8-hour full time shift.

Now, I am looking for work from home opportunities. Much better if I can find one to do full time.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

The need to earn a living and pay for the bills.

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

I don't know how it's possible to have to travel to work everyday while having chemo. If you can't handle it, be honest and tell your employer. If you can find work from home, do it on the days that you feel better.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

For vomiting, take Plasil every 8 hours for 3 days and Ranitidine 300mg once a day, every bed time.

Hair loss can't be helped. Just wear a wig, a hat or a bandana.

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

Hang in there. God is good and He has a plan for you. Always keep the faith.