Putting things into perspective after cancer

Started by anonymous, November 01, 2015
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anonymous

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Posted on
November 01, 2015
I was in the banking industry for 34 years and 49 years old. I had just moved to a new state and started a new job when I was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer, which had spread to my sentinel lymph nodes. I was told I had a grade 3 tumor, which is aggressive. I was overwhelmed with being new to the area, new to the job and then a scary diagnoses. At first everyone at my job was supportive and wonderful but then it seemed to wear off. I had aggressive treatment and I think the longer I was being treated, the less support I got from these new co-workers. On the days I decided to go to work, I felt like no matter how hard I tried get things done, I always got attitude from my boss and peers who I suppose felt tired of picking up my slack? I don't know. I tried to talk to them all about how I felt but they no longer seemed to care. The people who reported to me remained wonderful, but they didn't impact decisions about how I would be perceived in the workplace. Honestly, I was getting tired of my treatment too, but I was fighting for my life. My boss and the other supervisors didn't seem to care. After a while, my boss STOPPED TALKING TO ME. She treated me badly in front of my staff as well. Great, not only am I fighting for my life, but now I'm left in a position where a passive aggressive person makes decisions about me. I tried many times to speak to her to see what I could do to make things better, but she denied anything was wrong and said I was doing a great job. It got to the point where I was HOPING she would fire me, but honestly, she had nothing to base it on and I think in her twisted mind, she couldn't fire me and was hoping I would quit (which I eventually did). I never had any issues or problems in my career. I was kind of a big deal back in my home state. Although I know I was not the same person going to work during treatment, I also know I have enough experience and professionalism to do the best I can, even when I'm not feeling up to par. I even ran an entire project for the bank that went extremely well, even though I was not feeling well and I was exhausted. My experience at this job was awful on top of the worst experience of my life of having cancer. As this all was happening, I also felt like I was changing. Having cancer puts things in perspective. I started to realize that these kinds of things were not important in the scheme of what I was dealing with. Who cares about banking, it has no meaning! Who cares what others think of me, I'm a warrior! I slowly determined that I could not spend another minute in that place and I eventually resigned. I am now back in college finishing up my degree and my goal is to eventually get into the health care industry, hopefully helping other cancer patients in some way. I know I am fortunate enough to be able to do this at this stage of my life and I know there are many who can't. I just want anyone who might be reading this that it is easy to feel defeated and trapped when there is little human decency in the place we spend the most time. It is also the most frustrating feeling because "we" (cancer patients) understand that when you are in the biggest fight of your life, this other stuff is so insignificant. If I could impart anything to others going through a cancer battle it would be to say that if you don't have to work and can be on disability during your treatments, then do that. Let yourself heal and rest and let your soul do the same. Who needs all the other extraneous stress? I know I didn't. To those who cannot stay out of work, I say don't let this stuff get under your skin, you don't need the stress. Try to meditate (I was skeptical, but it works!), do some gentle yoga and try not to take the stress on yourself, it won't help your healing. The ironic thing about my story is that I am now thankful to my boss and peers for their mistreatment during my battle because without that, I might still be in a job which has no meaning, no purpose and no joy for me because I was in my comfort-zone. I was forced to re-examine what is important to me and what I want to do until I am able to retire. It was a gift in disguise. This additional, albeit sometimes stressful, part of my journey has made me a better person.
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Bunnyslippers

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Posted on
November 01, 2015
I was in the banking industry for 34 years and 49 years old. I had just moved to a new state and started a new job when I was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer, which had spread to my sentinel lymph nodes. I was told I had a grade 3 tumor, which is aggressive. I was overwhelmed with being new to the area, new to the job and then a scary diagnoses. At first everyone at my job was supportive and wonderful but then it seemed to wear off. I had aggressive treatment and I think the longer I was being treated, the less support I got from these new co-workers. On the days I decided to go to work, I felt like no matter how hard I tried get things done, I always got attitude from my boss and peers who I suppose felt tired of picking up my slack? I don't know. I tried to talk to them all about how I felt but they no longer seemed to care. The people who reported to me remained wonderful, but they didn't impact decisions about how I would be perceived in the workplace. Honestly, I was getting tired of my treatment too, but I was fighting for my life. My boss and the other supervisors didn't seem to care. After a while, my boss STOPPED TALKING TO ME. She treated me badly in front of my staff as well. Great, not only am I fighting for my life, but now I'm left in a position where a passive aggressive person makes decisions about me. I tried many times to speak to her to see what I could do to make things better, but she denied anything was wrong and said I was doing a great job. It got to the point where I was HOPING she would fire me, but honestly, she had nothing to base it on and I think in her twisted mind, she couldn't fire me and was hoping I would quit (which I eventually did). I never had any issues or problems in my career. I was kind of a big deal back in my home state. Although I know I was not the same person going to work during treatment, I also know I have enough experience and professionalism to do the best I can, even when I'm not feeling up to par. I even ran an entire project for the bank that went extremely well, even though I was not feeling well and I was exhausted. My experience at this job was awful on top of the worst experience of my life of having cancer. As this all was happening, I also felt like I was changing. Having cancer puts things in perspective. I started to realize that these kinds of things were not important in the scheme of what I was dealing with. Who cares about banking, it has no meaning! Who cares what others think of me, I'm a warrior! I slowly determined that I could not spend another minute in that place and I eventually resigned. I am now back in college finishing up my degree and my goal is to eventually get into the health care industry, hopefully helping other cancer patients in some way. I know I am fortunate enough to be able to do this at this stage of my life and I know there are many who can't. I just want anyone who might be reading this that it is easy to feel defeated and trapped when there is little human decency in the place we spend the most time. It is also the most frustrating feeling because "we" (cancer patients) understand that when you are in the biggest fight of your life, this other stuff is so insignificant. If I could impart anything to others going through a cancer battle it would be to say that if you don't have to work and can be on disability during your treatments, then do that. Let yourself heal and rest and let your soul do the same. Who needs all the other extraneous stress? I know I didn't. To those who cannot stay out of work, I say don't let this stuff get under your skin, you don't need the stress. Try to meditate (I was skeptical, but it works!), do some gentle yoga and try not to take the stress on yourself, it won't help your healing. The ironic thing about my story is that I am now thankful to my boss and peers for their mistreatment during my battle because without that, I might still be in a job which has no meaning, no purpose and no joy for me because I was in my comfort-zone. I was forced to re-examine what is important to me and what I want to do until I am able to retire. It was a gift in disguise. This additional, albeit sometimes stressful, part of my journey has made me a better person.
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