It sucks to receive a diagnosis of cancer. And while this can be terrible news, it can also be a relief to know what is wrong within your own body. After the seemingly endless scans, biopsies, surgeries, chemo, and radiation, you may feel sick and tired of this barrage of tests. But what about the thing that comes next? Now that you’ve been through all that, and come out on the other side, it might be time to catch your breath and think about what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Attitude helps! It may be that you absolutely loved your job and what you were doing before your diagnosis. If that is you, then you may be looking to resume your life from where you left off. That means it is time to contact your boss about returning. Maybe you need some accommodations for a period of time. It can be scary, but a positive attitude can help to get you through, and it will help your co-workers know how you prefer to be treated.
Remember that support groups and/or individual counselling can help you to determine if or when you are ready to return to the working world. Sometimes it just helps to have another person validate your fears, concerns or thoughts, or to help steer you back on the right track to move forward with your life.
On the other hand, if you didn’t love your old job and what you were doing before your diagnosis, then now may be the perfect time for a change. If you don’t already have an idea about what that job/career changes you would want to make, now would be the perfect time to seriously think about what would make you happy (and make you some money at the same time….) It may be that you would want to return to school for further training/certification or a new degree in a different field. If you haven’t already checked out cancerandcareers.org and triagecancer.org, then now would be a good time. They both have information on returning to work after a cancer diagnosis, resume’ writing, your legal rights in the work place, tools for managing treatment side effects, as well as information on helpful conferences and webinars.
And remember, attitude helps!