I've been working part time through out cancer treatment and about to have my last chemo followed by radiotherapy. However I've seen a job that I'd like to apply for with the same very large employer I work for but in a different department.
I'm wondering whether it's too soon as it seems a good job opportunity, close to home (local jobs that I'd like and likely to get are hard to come by), pays very slightly less but has more promotional/progression opportunities. But the issues are whether the new department would allow a part time arrangement (I will enquire about that this week as part of the job enquiries) and needing to sign a health declaration (I am trying to get hold of that to see what it contains) which may lead to a medical depending on what I put on it I guess and whether I should disclose having recently had cancer and treatment. Also if the job isn't part time where I'd stand if I found full time too difficult to do at this stage.
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Teach, I agree that school teachers become teachers for the vocation and so forth. It's certainly not a well paid job by any means so no one would be in it for the $$$.
Although it would be very satisfying teaching is also a very hard occupation. My sister in law is a teacher and the hours she has to do during term time are horrendous. And it seems to be getting worse and worse as support staff continue to be reduced and also having to pick up some parenting tasks with parents also both needing to work longer and longer hours. Yet the media will focus on how teachers apparently get school holidays off inspite of some of that time being used to tie up loose ends from the previous term and prepare and even attempt to get ahead for the next term. And the media forgets about the extra hours even during term time with lesson preparation and marking of assignments.
Also whenver something goes wrong with education it's always the poor teachers that are blamed instead of being appreciated for the hard job that they need to do and the real reasons being sought and looked into. I'm sure all of that other stuff as well as the intensity and hours is what burns teachers out.
It's certainly not an occupation I would pick given the flack teachers have to put up with.
Anyhow wishing everyone luck in deciding on their new vocations.
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Hi Cats, love the picture of your cat as well. A real tabby and very cuddly looking. My cat is called Millie and is a female, around 10 years old, got her from the pound just before she turned 6 and she is very affectionate and very eccentric. She has a whole lot of varying miaows from greetings (she always miaows a greeting when we come into the room), purry happy miaows to loud indignant ones usually when one finally has to push her off our laps to get up.
I have no kids as well so Millie is like our child.
My hair is slowly starting to grow back inspite of 2 weeks left of taxol chemo to go (less strong but weekly), it's fluff as well but pretty much spread over but to my horror is looking grey and white so I will be semi permanently dying it soon especially as a guy I worked with had his hair cut shorter than what mine is so I want to show him and compare hair lengths. But yes it is hard when it falls out even when it starts to. I agree if it's doing that to our hair and appearance may it be permanently killing the cancer cells.
When do you finish chemo? Do you have radiotherapy? I'm starting that 3 weeks after chemo finishes (nice to have a little break)
Anyhow cheers for now and take care Deejjay
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I'm currently on taxol and herceptin and have found over the past few weeks my blood pressure has dropped from around 125/75-80 to as low as 100-90/60 (this week 105/70 after a long walk from the car plus a skinny latte but then was). I raised this with the oncologist and he felt it wasn't low enough to be of concern and he reminded me I would be having a gated heart scan in early May.
Does anyone know if chemo drugs drop BP and whether this is permanent. I don't mind 110/60-70 but no lower.
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Joyhoney that was a shame that you had a similiar experience with the young BC patient who you seemed to connect with. Glad to see that your penfriends were of help to you. I keep up email contact with someone I met on line in the UK, it's great.
I did feel that the issue was also needing to initiate something outside of chemo too soon rather than have it just develop as before the day was changed we would have had 6 chemo sessions together so no rush (seeing that we weren't always going to discuss feelings, more comfortable about doing so). From the same conversation I think it was also not wanting to become involved with another cancer patient, but again no ongoing contact to explain my prognosis, BC patients can last several years even with metastic cancer and for me being a very recent diagnosis with my first and only treatment round, I have no reoccurence (hopefully never will)
Anyhow on the positive side it was a chance for me to apply what I'd learnt as this counsellor said be like a scientist and gather the evidence then test it out, ie the invitation, before making asumptions and a conclusion, possibly not interested. And I left the door open by suggesting to get back to me when free to meet up.
Simply discussing the friendship topic has been helpful already and feeling more hopeful.
Take care Deejjay
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That is rough that you have few friends and family at a time when you need that support.
Do you have treatment with others? Sit in a waiting room to see oncologists etc where there's others? Maybe you'll meet a couple of friends that way. Are there cancer support groups near where you live as that's another option. What about through your religion?
Anyhow I'm sure you'll meet some people on these boards as well.
Take care Deejjay
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I know what you mean by not wanting to ask due to not wanting to impose on people, especially when we've just heard how busy and stressed that person is. When I had the counselling I found that I had stopped initiating things because I felt I was "imposing" simply by suggesting a meet up due to busyness and was encouraged to start initiating things which would also help test if that person was interested in making a new friend. The counsellor also encouraged me to say "I'd like to suggest we get together to do X but I get the impression you are very busy so haven't done so, is that the case" But it is quite challenging and exposes one to knockbacks.
Sorry to hear you had to give up work as it does add a structure to ones life. I also hope that you find some new friendships as well.
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That's great Esther you phoned and chatted with your aunt. I agree that we do get tired of seeing things purely from others' point of view and making excuses for them. If you are still feeling the need for some support from your aunt would you feel comfortable calling her again to ask for what you need. Of course firstly I'd suggest you list firstly what type of support you'd like to have taking into account what would be realistic for her as well. Maybe as you miss her it may mean face to face time with her, yourself and your six year old say a cafe in a park.
Otherwise are there other family or friends who are more available to give support to you that you can ask for it from.
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What do your parents want to do for their 50th anniversary, when do they want to celebrate it and so forth.
Maybe 2 celebrations would be in order, one soon so your father is well enough to really enjoy say an at home party/bar b que which could even be catered for including set up, provision of tables/table ware and afterwards cleaning to save your parents on cooking and preparation. And then another on the actual anniversary to be tailored for your father's health.
Anyhow let us know what you and your parents and others do decide.
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Sometimes I find it hard when I read stories of how much support some people with cancer are receiving from family and friends and others. I read of people who have people really putting themselves out to spend time with them, do housework, come to chemo and appointments with them, deliver meals and so forth.
I feel I'm probably more in the average person's situation and what the cancer council has described happens with friendship ie some of those you expected to be supportive are, some you expect not to be or not to put themselves out don't and others surprise you ie those unexpected are supportive and those expected aren't.
Before I share any feelings I do want to pay appreciation to those who have been supportive, made the effort to visit me in hospital or travelled a fair distance to visit after hospital (so we could spend better quality time at my house/out locally) and so forth and those who keep up regular face to face, phone or email contact. I also want to point out that I do have some friends who I meet regularly with either at half way points or visit each other. And I have met a couple of friends through cancer treatment or support groups. I feel it's important to be mindful of this as we can have a tendency to take our feelings out about those who we feel haven't treated us well on those who have because it's easier to but makes it hard on those who have been there for us.
For me prior to diagnosis in the past few years a lot of friends we used to have living in our area and within say a 10 km radius (ie within 30 mins drive) have moved further away due to various reasons and we've been unable to meet many new local (meaning within 10 km radius) people to replace those friends that we don't see as often. Especially as with some if we want to see them need to travel long distances to those friends convenience (may not be mine ie needing to take time off work rather than on a weekend or non working day) for what could be a short visit rather than meeting at half way points. Thus of course the answer was to meet locals where it's convenient and easy to meet up.
However being my in 40's I've kept coming up against busy lives with no time to admit new friends and so people I've met locally it's become difficult to make common time arrangements (well it's required the level of negotiation skills usually required with middle east relations and with the same success - low) inspite of me suggesting a couple of times/dates, advising good times for me (weekends, days off and evenings) and then saying OK you tell me what suits you so friendships haven't developed. I even sought help through a psychologist but there was little I was doing wrong.
Anyhow now have been diagnosed and thus don't want to have to go to middle east style negotiations or organisational skills to meet up with friends and just want to keep it simple ie when where ok lock in arrangement done style.
A while ago I had met another cancer patient in the waiting room, we seemed to click and chat easily, we were having treatment the same day so I said how good it would be to have someone to sit next to in chemo, we swapped lots of emails then after that person shared some feelings whilst saying she felt bad about doing so as she didn't usually she couldn't cope with hearing about anyone else's so I dealt with that by saying not to feel embarassed as it's needed in this situation and she won't naturally be talking about feelings all the time when we meet up, we'd be talking about lots of non feeling things too and later on kept my side of the chat light. Anyhow after that her chemo day changed but she didn't tell me so I suggested we meet up for a cuppa but she said suddenly she'd become very busy and would get back to me and then I would only hear if something had happened to her so I let it go but hurtful. However on the very positive I've met other cancer patients since where great friendships have developed.
The other issue is that I don't feel I could ask for help other than how about we make it easy to make arrangements and spend time together with you also being prepared to fit around my work let alone talk honestly about my feelings about cancer, I feel I have to make it easy for everyone. I work (my partner has a financially high maintenance family) we do our own cleaning, shopping, cooking. His family don't make much effort to visit let alone help out and the interstate members rarely call although we do really appreciate that they came down whilst I had surgery and stayed for a few days afterwards. And there's also disapointment with those few that I have really put myself out for in the past but haven't reciprocated (ie one friend I'd travel $50 worth of petrol to visit several times a year who doesn't work and gets free travel a couple of times a year but has made no effort to visit even though it would be for purely social/relaxation reasons not to do anything like clean or help out)
With my family my mother had many brothers and sisters and each unit is down to it's great grandchildren so are really their own family units so I have no contact and cousins are not interested in cousin relationships they just want their own siblings and offspring. None even know of my diagnosis.
Again it means making new local friends and breaking down the too busy for new friends barrier I come up against.
Anyhow I do know and keep reminding myself that there are many of us worse off and focus on the positives, for example, I've been well enough to keep working and taking care of daily living. But really just wanted to share my feelings and have others input.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.