Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Mary C. on March 8, 2013
I was Diagnosed with:
non-hodgkins lymphoma large B cell
Date of Diagnosis:
October 5, 2012
Employment Status:
R.N. on short term disability
Type and Description of Treatments:
R-CHOP evey 3 weeks x 6 treatments completed. Went for second opinion , doctor want me to undergo 3 more treatments HYPER CVAD ( part B) hospitalized for at least 3 days every 3 weeks . So that means another 9 weeks out of work, at least.
How do you feel today?

I am feeling ok. Some aches and pains but nothing to stop me in my tracks like before. My biggest concern is the extra treatments - first the toxicity of the drugs, transfusions, new PICC line inserted. I had a clean PET scan on 1/2/2013 after 4 treatments. These new treatments are a precaution because I had aggressive bone involvement (sternum) and even contemplated an alternative doctor.
My job in a large hospital is questionable now. I have been out on disability for 5 months now. I have worked for this institution for 37 years. I've only taken 2 sick days a year till now. Never on disability for over 31 years till now.
I love my job and my coworkers and now I am faced with further treatment or my job, my income. I NEED to work, I don't have the means to stay home. I believe GOD will show me the way. Sorry to say, if I had to do my career over, I would not go into the medical profession. They have no sympathy for long term employees diagnosed with cancer .

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?


What is going well for you right now?

I am feeling good, I have a loving, supportive husband. 2 beautiful daughters and a granddaughter.

What is not going well for you right now?

The thought of losing my job after 37 years at one hospital.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

My life-style change.

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

The thought of being unemployed. I go to my GOD.

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

Don't know when I will be able to return to work.

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

Short term disability.

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

Not working since 10/8/2012.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

I have had little side effects, just loosing my hair.

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

Find a doctor that you trust and can talk to. One who will give you time and answer your questions, return phone calls.