Careers and Cancer

We talk about working or not working through cancer.

  • The diagnosis process is generally awful at work

  • You don’t have to be open about cancer--if you are open, you can help the next generation of patients

  • Tell fewer rather than more--you can ALWAYS tell more people, and you can’t tell FEWER people

  • Working will (likely) be your main issue if you work through cancer treatment

  • If you can ramp down your job to 20 hours a week, do that

  • Be gentle with yourself

  • Everyone should have disability insurance

  • Disability doesn’t pay out at 100%--it pays out from 40% to 80% generally

  • Know yourself and your job and communicate clearly to coworkers about that

  • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else--your experience can be totally different

  • There will (might) be guilt of shame, whatever choice you made about working

  • You might cry all the time for awhile, working or not

  • You don’t need to apologize--this is not your fault, and Thanks, Cancer! absolves you

  • Online resources can help with the process or resume critique (

  • Use your newfound perspective (in job and in life) when you inevitably get through to the other side