Stephanie R. on January 13, 2022
I am in the process of interviewing for a position at an international human rights organization in which a friend serves in a senior board-level position. Prior to the pandemic (and my diagnosis), she contacted me about the opening thinking it might be a good fit. Several weeks later, she said that they had had to shelve the position during the pandemic, but that it may come up again. Recently, I heard from the organization's recruiter and began interviewing for a different position in the organization, however, the recruiter also asked about my interest in the original job about which my friend originally contacted me. The process seems to be going well, and I recently contacted my friend to check-in. She sounded enthused and we are supposed to have a related conversation soon.
In the meantime, since our original exchange at the outset of the pandemic, I was both diagnosed with cancer, treated for 8 months, and very recently experienced a very unexpected metastasis after thinking I was in remission. I have been adjusting to both the emotional changes and a new medical treatment routine which has resulted in new and more difficult side effects in some cases. I expect to receive some form of treatment for the rest of my life and do not yet know how I will be feeling as the process moves forward.
I feel that it will be important to my sense of purpose and overall wellbeing to begin working again if at all possible and am encouraged that an opportunity seems to be developing. I am also struggling with whether or not it would be appropriate to let my friend know that I am managing a cancer diagnosis when we speak soon. I don't want to put her in a compromising position or decrease my chances of getting the job. At the same time, there is so much uncertainty associated with my current treatment that I don't know when my energy levels will increase on a regular basis, or whether I will be feeling badly on the day we speak to the extent that some explanation might be required. Would appreciate any help you can provide sorting out the personal and professional ethics associated with this issue.