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Topic: When to tell your boss?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Sep 27, 2019 01:18PM

Eigna wrote:

So I’m scheduled for a lumpectomy on October 10th. And I have asked for a week off from work to recover frsomehow before I return back to work. At this point I haven’t told my boss yet what is going on. She knows that something is up and that I will talk to her when I’m ready. I was planning on getting my final pathology results back first and having a treatment plan in place ( don’t know if I will need chemo or just radiation therapy). Do I make sense? Or is it better to tell my boss before I go into surgery?

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Sep 27, 2019 01:31PM edj3 wrote:

I think it depends on you, your relationship with your manager and the culture at work.

In my case, my company is exceptionally supportive of people who have cancer (one of the founders died of cancer, they established a huge foundation around cancer treatment/survival). And my manager is also quite supportive and had navigated this before at a different company (having a direct report have cancer).

So I told her as soon as I had the dx, and then shared the treatment plan and dates. She was the one who urged me to take a full week with the lumpectomy and I'm glad I did. I wasn't in a lot of pain but I've never done well with general anesthesia and this time was no different.

She was also very supportive of me working from home as needed during radiation when the fatigue got to be a bit much. She's continued being supportive with all the follow up appointments I've had.

She also took my lead when I said I really didn't want this being company wide news (I'm pretty private) and she respected my timeline for sharing with her manager (my VP) and others in the company. The only thing she asked me to do was look into FMLA on the off chance I would need it. So I did, I filed the paperwork and never needed it.

So here's hoping you have a similarly supportive manager!

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/5/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 27, 2019 02:06PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Eigna,

Great post from edj above! We also thought it might be helpful to share this page from the main site with you on Telling your Boss and Co-workers About Your Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Hopefully that will offer some helpful tips!

--The Mods

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Dec 4, 2019 04:28AM squatchmama wrote:

edj3 I tried to file FMLA paperwork on the advice of my HR dept. My doctor's nurse wouldnt fill it out until we have the surgery date. My HR dept said to do it dated today to cover appts that may be needed prior to surgery. I am already throwing my hands up. Is this how it is going to be....a fight to get things organized? Frustrated already. But trying to be positive. Lol

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