James B. on February 26, 2016
Good Morning/Afternoon all! Happy Friday!
I wrote a few months back and am now preparing for job interviews. My situation - the abridged version - is this:
- I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in early Nov.
- Had surgery to excise rest of the growth + Sentinel Node Biopsy in early Jan. Primary site is in the middle of my forehead.
- Results from surgery/pathology reports excellent: margins on forehead clear; no spread of melanoma; zero node involvement; chest X-Ray (lungs) clear. Probability of recurrence of this particular cancer "essentially zero" according to medical team.
Any issues I have at the moment are purely cosmetic, as we had anticipated:
- Scars on the neck, although this is improving with time
- 2"x2.5" defect on my forehead, down to the skull. Short-term graft is applied, but this wound is difficult to look at. We anticipated this. This will get better, but is a reminder of what this disease can do.
- Plan is for forehead skin expansion 14-Mar. Surgeon hesitant to estimate duration of that process.
- When complete, he'll close up the defect.
My question is: does anyone have suggestions on how to handle this situation in an interview setting?
- I will arrive at the interview with a large "Band-Aid" - flesh-toned bandage. I'm not concerned about the neck scars.
- With skin expansion, my forehead is going to grow over the next weeks such that I'll look like a neanderthal or the Incredible Hulk. We need ample skin to close the defect so forehead will expand with the expanders.
- Hence, I need a collection of hats and a good sense of humor. I'm OK - my situation is good. I am fortunate.
- I haven't said a word to interviewers about arriving with the bandage, nor have I shared diagnosis, prognosis, skin expansion, etc.
I'll be compelled to explain my appearance. I will say:
- I needed to stop my job search in November because of a health issue that demanded my time and focus.
- I verifiably have a clean bill of health. I am looking forward to working and am confident that I will be quite successful.
- I have many references who will attest to my skills and accomplishments. They already are on LinkedIn.
My appearance at the interview(s) - 2 scheduled - is one thing and I believe I can speak to that.
My future appearance for the next two months, possibly, is quite another. I don't believe I can or should duck that issue.
Finally, I'm ready to work now. I don't believe I'm "disabled", but the cosmetic issue is considerable. Could an attorney verify that my understanding is correct.
I'll appreciate any advice you can provide. Thanks for all you do. Blessings and best wishes to you and those you support.