To sum my situation up in a nutshell, three years ago I was diagnosed with Stage IV bowel cancer. Everything was resected and I've been totally clear. Last July, they found a tiny little blip on my liver which they said they thought had been there all along (it was picked up on a PET scan, I'd never had one before, only CT scans) They just went in there and whipped it out. I was back at work three weeks later.
My oncologist said I could do some optional chemo-lite (as I called it) just to clean up an cells left behind. Its entirely optional seeing as we weren't actually treating anything, I was all clear again and every looks good. I decided to do the 6 month fortnightly treatments just to be sure.
Yesterday, I was offered what can only be described as my dream job, the kind of job I've been working towards all my life. The issue is, that by the time I've some my notice period, I'd have two cycles of chemo remaining. For the chemo I have it every second Monday, which I take off (I find it makes me sleepy) and then I work for the Tuesday and the wednesday morning I go in early to the hospital, have the bottle taken off and go into work and get on with my week.
I'm scared to tell my new employer whats going on. Someone said I'm not obliged to tell them anything just say to them that I have two mondays in March booked off already and thats that. It feels like lying to me. I don't know whether just to be upfront with them and give them this "3 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. On the advice of my treating oncologist, I'm having a booster shot of chemo just to keep things down. I have two cycles left before I finish. After I finsh that should be it for me and its business as usual"
I don't want to turn this dream job down. I've worked so damn hard to get where I am, and I've had such a tough three years coping with everything, I need change in my life. I want to move on so desperately and start a new chapter in my life, filled with excitement, passion, creativity and newness. If anyone can give me any advice on how to handle this situation I'd so very much appreciate it. thank you, Rachel
Hi Rachel, I don't really know what you're going through (my husband had cancer), but I do think it would be a shame not to take this job. It obviously excites you, so I reckon you should go for it! Maybe you could address the issue in stages- say you need this time off, then if asked why say you have medical appointments. Objectively speaking, the details are irrelevant to your employer, as long as you can do the job.
How much your employers should know about you depends on what type of field you are in. Obviously medical type jobs create much more understanding of your situation than something completely unrelated, which may or may not come with misconceptions. You have a responsibility to tell your future employers about anything that will effect your ability to do your job (including not being able to attend the workplace), but nothing further.
I hope this has helped somewhat. love Emily
Cancer Council's 'Workplace Advisory Service' may be able to help you with:
Managing workplace issues before, during and after treatment, including disclosing a diagnosis, managing expectations, coping with side effects at work, taking leave and managing discrimination, bullying and harassment.
They can connect you with an impartial HR/recruitment professional who will help you.
Please call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 to find out more.
Cancer Connections Coordinator
Update: I've had some really bad news. I had a routine scan last week and it showed that there is another tiny spot on my liver again and something which could be a cyst on my ovary. I'm a bit of a mess. Now I really don't know what to do.
I'm probably going to have to tell them and give them a chance to withdraw their offer.
I'm having some more tests this week and will find out what I'm dealing with on Monday. I'm bit of state to be honest, any help here would be really appreciated. 😞
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