Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Susan A. on November 26, 2008
I was Diagnosed with:
Breast Cancer Left side
Date of Diagnosis:
October 5, 2003
Employment Status:
Administrative Manager of a Health Insurance Company
Type and Description of Treatments:
Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer Left Side Macectony and Chemotherapy
How do you feel today?

I feel great, I am in the best health I have ever been in.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

a lot, I did not understand it at the time while I was going through treatment and working everyday the only days I took off were for the Chemotherapy day of treatment and when I went in for one of my six surgeries. My now X-Husband got real depressed and said he could not work because I was sick. This made me angry I had to support the whole family him, his father, and my two kids while going through this. After he asked me to leave because i was too difficult to live with my kids and I moved out and started a new life.

What is going well for you right now?

I am healthy, happy, and now have a wonderful man in my life. And I go out to help newly diagnosed patients through the American Cancer Society. I try to give back to people that might not understand who to ask questions like "How sick do you feel when going through the chemo?" Or "how much pain you go through in the reconstruction."

What is not going well for you right now?

I have to say things are good not bad now. Better than before.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

Not thinking there is an end to the bad. I had to be positive to get through it all.

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

I had a person from the American Cancer Society come out and talk with me. I went out seeking people to talk with.

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

Before the cancer I just stayed home watch TV did not do much. Since then I Scuba Dive, Hot Air Balloon, take the Jeep to Moab, UT go on the trails, go riding on the Harley Davison, go rafting down the canyons, snowmobiling in Jackson, WY. I am starting to travel I went to Cozumel, Mexico, and the Florida Keys. I go see my family in California more.

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

During the time I was sick I worked everyday even during the Chemo. What my wonderful boss would do is let me go home when I felt too sick to stay.

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

I work harder I think I have something to prove. That I am smart and can take on any challenge out there.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

The support of my boss and staff. I work for a health insurance company as the Administrative Manager and everyone here treated me as if nothing was wrong with me and that helped me stay positive.

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

Even though it may seem like there is no up you must stay positive. Ask the people at work to treat you as if nothing had happen it will help you get through the day.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

Yes, I now have a problem that was found during that time where my liver holds too much Iron and it has too much fat in it. I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure I joined weight watchers last year and lost 50 pounds and exercise everyday. Now my levels are normal!

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

It is not the end, it is only the beginning of the most wonderful life you ever dreamed of. You will inspire people and be inspired by so many people in your life. You have a lot to give. Just take it one day at a time and all the pain will go away. Just smile and be positive.