Research & Education
Work and Your Diagnosis and Treatment
Before you approach colleagues, talk to your doctor specifically about how your illness can affect your career. Here are a few helpful tips to smooth the process:
Working Through It
If you plan to continue working while undergoing treatment, you can make the process easier for yourself - as well as your employer and co-workers - through planning, preparation and communication.
Regular communication will help prevent your coworkers and supervisors from questioning your value and productivity as a staff member. Everyone will need reassurance that you're still part of the team. A lack of communication can give rise to confusion and anxiety – or even mistrust and suspicion – whereas clear and constant communication can help build a world of reassurance.
Pointers & Ideas
Keep A Work Diary
Use It To:
Map Out Your Work Week
Keeping careful notes about the way you feel throughout each day and week should reveal important patterns about the effects of your treatments and medications. If your hours are flexible, work during as many of your peak-performance hours as possible. You can also schedule important meetings and presentations for the mornings or afternoons when you know you're likely to feel your best.
Find Optimal Times For Treatments
Your work diary can help you determine whether it makes sense to schedule doctor appointments before work, during your lunch hour or at the end of the day. If you feel exhausted three or four hours after treatments, for example, schedule 2 p.m. appointments, so you'll be off work when that fatigue hits. Or if your body needs a few days to recover from treatment, try to schedule sessions for Friday afternoons.
Document Your Work Schedule
By tracking your hours and reactions to treatment, your notes could prove valuable if problems arise at work. What if your worst-case scenario presents itself and you suspect that your rights are being violated? You'll already have a detailed first-person account, describing your daily and weekly schedules.
The above content was excerpted from Cancer and Careers. This material is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that Cancer and Careers is not engaged in rendering any legal or professional services by its publication or distribution. Although this material was reviewed by a professional, it should not be used as a substitute for professional services. Resources and referrals are provided solely for information and convenience.
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