Juggling treatment and work

When should you tell everyone at work? Does everyone need to know? Will you be able to continue working?

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding your professional life when it comes to your treatment. The best advice is to not mention anything until you’re ready to answer questions from your coworkers.

It’s hard to make a plan until you figure out how your treatment will affect you. Sometimes you’ll be too tired to work and you’ll build stress because things aren’t getting done. Other times you’ll be thankful for the routine of work in a chaotic new schedule. Only you can decide what’s best for you.

Talk to your boss or supervisor once you are ready. They should know the options available to you with your health plan and then you can work out a schedule that will work best for you. Will you try to stay on and see how you feel? Can your schedule be flexible with the time-sensitive projects reassigned?

Let them know you’re not sure how this experience will affect you and you need this time to heal. A better recovery means a better employee in the long run. Keep them in the loop about your appointments so they’ll know when they should hold back new assignments and tasks. Being willing to work something out will show how dedicated you are to your job.

If you think you won’t want to work at all, arrange for a leave of absence so you won’t have to worry about any commitments.

When it comes to telling your colleagues, it’s really only important to inform those you collaborate with and any others who would be genuinely interested in your wellbeing. After they express their sympathy, they’ll interpret your mood when it comes to how they will act around you thereafter. If you act down and depressed, they’re going to express concern. However, if you show them your treatment is just a new part of your life, they’ll move on from thinking of you as a cancer patient to wishing you well.