Returning to Work
Many women have questions and concerns about their work lives during and immediately after cancer treatment. There is certainly no single solution as everyone's situation is different, and there are many variables about work demands and cultures. For example, I remember a woman who worked as a union carpenter on the Big Dig. Although her (mostly) male colleagues were very supportive, she decided that she physically could not continue to work through chemotherapy. Women who are teachers often make this same decision because of all the exposure to "little germ factories" and the demands of the classroom. Alternately, some women have the flexibility to work sometimes from home, to alter their work hours, and feel better about their lives and themselves by continuing with their jobs. There is always the financial issue! If you are fortunate enough to have short term disability, you may have options that otherwise would elude you.
This is an article from Coping magazine about work. Here is the introduction and then a link:
T his past decade has witnessed dramatic breakthroughs in the detection and treatment of cancer. Innovative methods of managing side effects of cancer treatments have made it possible for more individuals with cancer to work while receiving cancer treatment.
Many studies show that returning to work may contribute to cancer survivors' emotional and financial well-being. Besides income, it provides satisfaction, social support, and the opportunity to interact with coworkers and colleagues. Continuing to work productively can be vital to your sense of well-being, as it is a reminder that you do have a life apart from cancer. Being a valued employee or trusted coworker may be a helpful distraction from the rigors of cancer treatments and follow-up appointments.