Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Carmen F. on June 23, 2009
I was Diagnosed with:
DCIS
Date of Diagnosis:
June 10, 2008
Employment Status:
Employed
Age:
48
Type and Description of Treatments:
2 Lumpectomies/30 sessions of radiation and am currently on tamoxifen for the next 5 years.
How do you feel today?

I feel great! All my tests have come back negative!!
Today, June 23, 2009, is my ONE year anniversary that I am cancer free! A SURVIVOR!! What a glorious day!!

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

I enjoy my life. I don't let the little things stress me out. I am keeping in touch with my family and friends and I am a part of their lives and they are a part of mine, where in the past we would just take for granted that we will always be there!! I'm thankful to be in their lives and they are thankful that I am still in their lives.

What is going well for you right now?

All is going well! I've had minor side affects from the Tamoxifen. I've gone back to the gym and walking more. I've changed positions at my job and the transition was minimal.

What is not going well for you right now?

Finances

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

Keeping a positive attitude and not letting doubt seep in and try to take my confidence away. I won't let myself think that it will come back.

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

God is my support system. I can share my thoughts and concerns with my family, my church family and friends!

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

I now want to accomplish all those things I've put on a list that I never got to do. I want to learn to ride a motorcycle, I want to go skydiving. I want to travel to Europe and all over the country.

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

I still work 9-5. There are days when I work later.

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

Not much. I schedule my appointments for during the day or after work.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

The will to LIVE! To let everyone see the positive side of Cancer. It's not a word anyone wants to hear but it is one that opens your eyes! I appreciate my job, I want to make sure that my employer knows that I like to work for them and work 110%.

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

It's a long road but the road does have an end. Share with your employers where you are in your treatments and keep them informed about what you are going through. Yes, this is a private situation but you spend many hours a day with them. They are your work family.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

Thankfully no.

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

Smile more. Laugh more! Love more! Make sure everyone you love knows that you truly love them by expressing that love to them. Appreciate more and never ever take anything for granted no matter how small.