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Topic: Calling All Healthcare Workers

Forum: Member Matchup & Local Support Groups —
A place for members to request and respond to requests from women looking for a one-on-one mentor, or to connect with others living in similar geographic areas.

Posted on: Apr 21, 2017 12:03AM

Brneyegrl6608 wrote:

Hello Everyone! I thought it would be nice to have a place where healthcare workers who have/had breast cancer or those who work in the healthcare field with cancer patients could have a place to talk about workplace issues, becoming the "patient", etc.

My experience so far: I was recently diagnosed at the age of 41 with tnbc. I am a nurse on Labor and Delivery with previous experience working in the Emergency Department. I am receiving treatment at my workplace, which is comforting in a way, but also feel a need to keep vigilant about keeping medical privacy.

I find myself researching this disease as if it was a school project. Keeping to the facts and finding good sources helps to keep the emotions in check a little better. I'm driving my doctors a little nuts with my page of written questions at appointments and right now trying to be a good advocate for myself and still not being that annoying nurse.

My oncologist says I will be off work for a year. Hard to digest that information. I love what I do and the financial burden of losing my income is hard on my family. Trying not to stress about where the money is going to come from.

What's your experience? Did you return to your previous position or have to change jobs/careers due to your treatment?

"Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. A little parenthesis in eternity." Dx 3/29/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/40 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left
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Apr 21, 2017 01:12PM gb2115 wrote:

Hello! I also work in healthcare, and was able to keep working through treatment. I took a little over a week off after my lumpectomy (and in hindsight wish I had taken more), but was able to work through radiation though my work days were a little chopped up. I have a supportive clinic-type environment with a flexible work schedule, so that helped me a lot. If I had ended up getting chemo, I would have taken FMLA leave.

I found it hard being the patient. I think we're trained to notice certain things. This became a problem for me when I'd notice something that wasn't quite as it should be. There were certain situations where my patient care (or cleanliness of the facility) wasn't quite up to par, and that was awkward for me.

I also go to doctor's appointments with a written list. You have to...no questions no answers. And they charge insurance a LOT of money for those appointments. The least they can do is give you adequate time!


Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes.
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Apr 21, 2017 02:26PM Brneyegrl6608 wrote:

  • gb2115 I am taking FMLA and short term disability. I'm looking at 6 months of chemo. I'm hoping that I can go back sooner during radiation treatments. I think I'm looking at 35 treatments but we are still working out those details. I'm not doing reconstruction so I can go back sooner. I'm worried about 12 hour shifts in the floor and what kind of shape I will be in after everything is done. I'm exercising now so hopefully I can keep doing that during treatments. I'm so happy for you that they are working around your schedule!
"Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. A little parenthesis in eternity." Dx 3/29/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/40 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left
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Apr 21, 2017 03:39PM melmcbee wrote:

I was iriginally diagnosed about 5 years ago and took fmla through surgeries and some chemo. I worked during radiation. It was the sickest i ever been. Now 5 years later Im trying to work after met duagnosis with taken intermittent fmla and only out for treatment or dr appointments. Its very stressful trying to balance my job responsibilities with taking care of myself. I also get a little ill when patients come to ER for issues that have been going on for a month that they should see there primary doctor for and they complain about how long it takes. Emergencies such as stroke or heart attacks come first. Its also hard when you are sicker then the patient. I hate when people demand you move them from stretcher to table and then an hour later they walk out of Er happy for their pain meds. So I pray that Im a good payient caregiver today and pray for understanding

Melanie. mentor smooth round high profile gel 700 rt 550 lt with fat grafting 5/30/2013 Dx 6/24/2012, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/8/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 8/8/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 8/22/2012 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/8/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 5/29/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/3/2013 Reconstruction (right) Dx 3/29/2017, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-
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Apr 21, 2017 04:46PM Brneyegrl6608 wrote:

Melmcb- I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for you. I would be frustrated with those same type of pts when I worked in the ED and that was before I had cancer. My thoughts are with you and I hope you are granted the patience to do your job.

"Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. A little parenthesis in eternity." Dx 3/29/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/40 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/11/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left

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