Topic: How does anybody get any work done during this?

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues — Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2021 12:17PM

Posted on: Feb 25, 2021 12:17PM

nola70115 wrote:

Since being diagnosed with a recurrence, I can barely pay attention to work for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm constantly following posts here, thinking up something else I want to research, checking the patient portal at the hospital... this is all my mind wants to think about right now! However I really need, and WANT, to keep working.

My office wants to be supportive but it's a very small company and they have NO policies in place for major illnesses of employees.

What do YOU do to keep working during treatment?

Age 40 at first diagnosis, 47 now. I've got an autistic teenager and a toddler to live for. See my 2014 blog at snarkforthecure.wordpress.com. Dx 4/15/2014, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy 6/20/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/22/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 1, 2021 06:59PM moth wrote:

I don't want to be a debbie downer but if anyone wants to see the survival charts for the various hormone profiles and location of mets ... Figure 3 of this 2019 article is based on SEER database 2010-2015. https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.11...

I have just spoken to a few too many people recently who really thought they had years and years and years...based on the unicorns in our community. We all hope to be outliers but at the same time, some have said a more realistic probability of how this will play out helped them finetune how they wanted to spend their time. So there's that. I feel like sometimes we're not honest enough about this.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 Other
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Mar 2, 2021 03:41AM sondraf wrote:

I think that is fair, moth, though I don't necessarily think those stats aren't out of mind at any time for most of us. I agree its foolhardy to singularly believe just because someone else got years and years that I will too, but at the same time just having the balancing weight of "going to work" every day right now is helping to keep me from going completely insane with the shortened lifespan knowledge, and I can sort out what I need to do to stick the landing at the end of life. There will come a time when work will no longer serve its purpose and I will know when that is. Besides, with the pandemic it beats staring at the walls all day long!

"The closer we come to the negative, to death, the more we blossom" - Montgomery Clift Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery 11/28/2021 Lymph node removal (Right): Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Right) Targeted Therapy 3/1/2022 translation missing: en.treatments.targeted_therapy.targeted_therapy_medicine.short_options.lynparza
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Mar 2, 2021 11:13AM nola70115 wrote:

I just had a brutal, brutal meeting (by zoom) with my boss where the first half was him wanting to know what my goals are for what I want to accomplish before I die, then he turned around to a performance review and laid into me for being behind on work the past few weeks. He made me cry, and I NEVER cry. I'm completely in shock that he a) thinks its appropriate to be asking me about personal end of life stuff and b) suggested I was putting the entire business at risk by not keeping up with office routines for a few weeks. I'm completely stunned by the whole thing. Like I really need my BOSS pressuring me for details on my medical prognosis, when I don't even know myself?

I have to put a cap on this whole like of questioning from him. It's totally inappropriate, and I've been too insecure to tell him when his "coaching" has overstepped into being intrusive. But it's gone way too far this time.

Age 40 at first diagnosis, 47 now. I've got an autistic teenager and a toddler to live for. See my 2014 blog at snarkforthecure.wordpress.com. Dx 4/15/2014, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy 6/20/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/22/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 2, 2021 12:07PM sadiesservant wrote:

Nola. I'm so sorry you were subjected to that. You are right - that is totally inappropriate and you need to give it to him with both barrels. Perhaps in writing? I find that is frequently the best approach as it provides a record of your concerns. I wish I had better advice regarding your current job. You're in a tough position right now and need time to wrap your head around treatment plans etc. As you said, the last thing you need is someone pressuring you for answers you don't have.

Moth, I totally understand where you are coming from with your post. Trust me, I am a pure realist and a planner so am prone to mapping out the trajectory, making decisions based on this. I know that my timelines just got a heck of a lot shorter with my recent progression. However, it's a struggle to know where we fit with imperfect and often incomplete information - we are not data points. It's tough to use the "science" when we don't know if we will be in the 80% that succumb or the 20% that carry on longer. It's particularly challenging with new treatments coming on line all the time. While, progress is not as quick as we would like, progress is being made. As an example, that study uses data up to a decade old, long before the release of the CDK inhibitors which have been shown to have a positive impact on OS (and will likely be on the list for Nola's early treatment given her HR+ status). Ultimately I feel the best we can do is to continue to carry out internal "gut checks" to assess how we are feeling and where our priorities lie at any given time.

Dx 4/2001, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+ Surgery 5/11/2001 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 6/7/2001 CEF Radiation Therapy 12/17/2001 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2007 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/3/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/27/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 4/20/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 10/12/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to other Chemotherapy 10/21/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 11/15/2017 External Local Metastases 11/15/2017 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 1/19/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/2/2018 External Local Metastases 8/2/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 11/5/2018 External Local Metastases 11/5/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Verzenio Radiation Therapy 11/3/2020 External Local Metastases 11/3/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Dx 1/22/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/4/2021 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Chemotherapy 1/7/2022 Other
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Mar 2, 2021 01:33PM moth wrote:

Nola, I'm sorry to hear of your awful morning with your boss. Totally out of line. I wish I could be there so I could give him a good old dressing down.

I hope you can reestablish an appropriate working relationship with good boundaries while you go through treatments.

One thing I'd advise now - keep notes, detailed notes of events, what you communicated and what he said. I have heard enough stories from US friends about how things like this have sometimes ended up needing legal intervention. Nobody wants a legal battle on top of cancer treatment, but otoh if you find yourself being discriminated against etc, it's good to be prepared.
so yeah, I'd document, document, document. Maybe he's just being an overprotective freakout "man's man" and will settle & thinks this is an extension of business coaching but it's out of line. Hopefully he'll see it

also BCO has some general tips on work & cancer treatments BCO has some general info here https://www.breastcancer.org/tips/your_job


I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 Other
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Mar 2, 2021 01:53PM pesky904 wrote:

Nola, I'm so sorry to hear what your boss said to you, and it looks like you just got your IV dx on 2/22 so it's still all very new. If your company has an HR department, I would be in there so fast your boss's head would spin. What he said to you was out of line and he needs to be reported for it.

​dx 6/17 stage III TNBC 6cm tumor Taxol 7-8/17 tumor grew to 10cm AC 9-10/17 tumor shrunk to 3cm DMX 11/17 expanders placed Rads 33 doses + cisplatin 1/18 Cisplatin discontinued due to SEs Xeloda 4-10/2018 Exch surgery 11/18
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Mar 2, 2021 03:02PM nola70115 wrote:

OMG my boss just presented me with a proposed exit plan to be effective at the end of the month. He gave me this three hours after I told him about my prognosis. I've already left a message with an employment attorney. My company is too small to have HR and most of the employment laws won't apply, but ADA might. We are lawyers. I'm just shocked he thinks this is okay. Like he couldn't have waited a few days after I told him I have a terminal disease?

I'm so fucking pissed I will find another job anyway, but I'm not making it easy for him.

Age 40 at first diagnosis, 47 now. I've got an autistic teenager and a toddler to live for. See my 2014 blog at snarkforthecure.wordpress.com. Dx 4/15/2014, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2014 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Chemotherapy 6/20/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/22/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 2, 2021 04:23PM sadiesservant wrote:

OMG Nola. That's unbelievable. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I agree... don't make it easy for him! Unconscionable.

Dx 4/2001, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+ Surgery 5/11/2001 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 6/7/2001 CEF Radiation Therapy 12/17/2001 Whole breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2007 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/3/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/27/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 4/20/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 10/12/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to other Chemotherapy 10/21/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 11/15/2017 External Local Metastases 11/15/2017 Radiation therapy: Bone Hormonal Therapy 1/19/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/2/2018 External Local Metastases 8/2/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Radiation Therapy 11/5/2018 External Local Metastases 11/5/2018 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 10/10/2019 Verzenio Radiation Therapy 11/3/2020 External Local Metastases 11/3/2020 Radiation therapy: Bone Dx 1/22/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/4/2021 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Chemotherapy 1/7/2022 Other
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Mar 2, 2021 05:21PM moth wrote:

Nola, I'm livid on your behalf. What an awful situation.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External Local Metastases 3/3/2021 Radiation therapy: Bone Targeted Therapy 1/1/2022 Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) Chemotherapy 6/1/2022 Other
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Mar 2, 2021 08:25PM buttonsmachine wrote:

Nola, wow. Just wow. People can be such jerks.

I hope on your behalf that this comes back to bite him!

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences one year later, probably due to needle seeding at inital biopsy. Now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 12/1/2017 AC Surgery 4/1/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 5/1/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy 7/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2019 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/30/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 1/2021, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs Chemotherapy 1/15/2021 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)

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