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Mar 13, 2019 02:40AM
I found out about my original breast cancer diagnosis one week after starting a new job and they were absolutely fantastic. My immediate supervisor and the lady I shared an office with at the time are older ladies and became like second/third mums. I had next to no leave saved up but had my surgery's just before Christmas so I didn't need to take too many days off. I worked all through chemo and radiation, I am able to work remotely so still managed to work even when I ended up in hospital with neutropenia a few times. They significantly reduced by workload which I found frustrating but I know their hearts were in the right place.
Not quite a year after finishing treatment I found out I had a brain met and was rushed into surgery with very little notice. Again my workplace was fantastic, I took about 6 weeks off and they paid me the whole time without taking any of my leave. They are very understanding with all the appointments but I also put in lots of extra hours to get my work done. I am doing well at the moment and they have increased by workload a little too much. No one in my office realises that I will most likely die from this, I find people don't know much about metastatic breast cancer unless it has affected someone they know. I am not going to explain to them that my condition is terminal unless I need to.
I have had to change by career aspirations. I used to strive for advancements and promotions but now I feel I need to stick with a job that has income protection and understands my situation. I don't feel I could start with a new employer and have the flexibility I need to attend appointments. I do hope that my current employer will still consider me for promotions but I think it will be unlikely. I'm struggling with when I should consider giving up work, part of me thinks that life is too short to spend behind a desk, however I only have income protection for 2 years and will only be able to cash in my insurance when i'm deemed to have less than 24 months to live, I hope to be around for a few more years yet so will continue working while I feel well. My dr's are surprised that I still work, but having metastatic breast cancer doesn't stop the bills coming in.
Overall people have been lovely and I know I am extremely lucky after reading some of the experiences on here. I do get a lot of unwanted advice about my diet, opinions on what might have caused my cancer, stories about someone they know who had brain tumors and is fine etc etc. I try to just smile and remember that in general people either mean well or just don't know the right thing to say.
11/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIB, metastasized to brain/other, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
12/22/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
6/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/other, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
AC + T (Taxol)