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Aug 30, 2019 09:57AM
I had a good relationship with my boss and told her about my biopsy before I got the results. When I told her the results, she cried and hugged me.
At first I asked for a full time leave of absence. I had an extremely stressful "front line" kind of job and knew there was no way I could work and do chemo, surgery and radiation. She agreed, but countered with an offer to reassign me to less immediate and stressful duties and suggested a "let's see how it goes approach".
As it turns out, I took 20 days off for chemo (once a week for 20 weeks), 8 days for surgery and no time for radiation. Although I applied for intermittent FMLA for the legal protection (which every eligible employee in the U.S. should do!), I had enough sick and PTO time to cover my days. Besides, I had been working 60+ hours a week before I got sick and my boss and team actually remembered that and cut me a fair amount of slack.
I also had the flexibility to work from home on days where I was extra tired or when my white blood cell count was low (and was therefore immuno- compromised).
I lost my hair and didn't like wearing a wig, so my cancer became common knowledge quickly, which I was fine with. I had more important things to worry about than whatever office gossip was going on. My team and clients rallied around me, though, and looking back, I'm really quite touched at the response.
For me, work was a welcome distraction. It was also a necessity. I carry our family's health insurance and provide about 60% of household income. Loosing either would have been difficult to say the least.
11/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2-
12/7/2018 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel)
5/28/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
7/17/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall