Readers respond to the Fall 2013 issue of CURE.
The “Task Force” article made several points that resonated with me as a patient and a professional. As a human resources practitioner who has assisted numerous employees over the years with accommodation needs under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the tables were turned on me after I faced my own cancer diagnosis in 2012. Surgery and chemotherapy to treat early-stage ovarian cancer left me with fatigue, neuropathy and self-consciousness about my hair loss. Being supported by a boss who said, “Just tell me what you need because I won’t really know unless you do,” was a welcome relief. It also allowed me to seek refuge in my work so that I could feel that sense of normalcy many with cancer crave. I am free of disease and trying to close the “cancer chapter” of my life, but the lessons I learned will remain with me as I face employees with many different medical issues. This article reminded me of the importance of work in our lives, not only for those things it affords us from a practical perspective, but also as it serves to define a portion of our identities.
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Thank you for the article on returning to work after cancer treatment and, more importantly to me, referencing the Cancer and Careers website. I was laid off in early 2011. Seven months later I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Over the next year and a half, I had three surgeries, including a colostomy and its subsequent reversal. As I have tried unsuccessfully to find work, I have had many questions about interviewing and how much information to disclose. I could not find answers anywhere that were given with any degree of confidence. I haven’t explored this website in depth yet, but just a quick look told me I might have found my answers. Please continue to publish similar articles.
Name Withheld Upon Request
I look forward to each new issue of CURE magazine, and I am never disappointed by the broad range of topics you manage to cover. The fall issue was no exception. I was especially interested in Kathy LaTour’s “Special Report” on the efforts of the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee. As a breast cancer survivor with no previous family history, I have often wondered if some environmental factor was at least partially responsible. As the mother of an 18-year-old daughter, I also worry not only about her being at risk because of my occurrence, but also potential exposure to shared environmental factors.
June A. Schmidt
Frazier Park, Calif.
CURE is a great source of information and encouragement to those of us who are survivors. It also helped me so much when I was undergoing treatment during two episodes of cutaneous T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and an autologous stem-cell transplantation after the second diagnosis.