Chemotherapy Keeping Your Job

Once a person has been diagnosed with cancer, they may have to learn to live with the side effects of chemotherapy treatment for a while. After the initial shock and the whirlwind of tests and consultations has passed, it's time to cope with the consequences of chemotherapy treatment. One such effect is undoubtedly the decision of whether or not to continue with their job. There are several dynamics at work here. A lot depends on whether the person is married or has a partner who can support them, or whether children are involved.  There are considerations other than financial ones. In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of keeping your job while undergoing chemotherapy and what can be done to work with it.

Reasons why you might want to consider quitting your job

Scheduling problems

Chemotherapy has a demanding schedule. Treatment is almost always given according to cycles. Cycles are successive rounds of therapy over a period of time with some time between each set of rounds. So you can have cycles every week or more. The specifics depend on the type of treatment you receive. Given this extensive regimen, it may be impossible for you to carry on with your job, especially if you're in a time bound project.

Some jobs can give you the luxury of carrying on and a lot depends on your boss as well. We'll look at the options you are guaranteed by law a bit later.

Effectiveness at work

Depending on the type of treatment you undergo, you might not be upto your job requirements. Physical side effects combined with the mental struggle and possible loss of hair may hamper your working ability to the extent that you may have to quit work.

Reasons to keep your job

Health Insurance

One of the main reasons to keep your job is health insurance. This might be the time when you need it most and losing your job will make it extremely difficult to cope with medical expenditures. True, you still have protection under COBRA, but paying premiums might just be too much without a regular salary.

Keeping your self confidence

The loss of self confidence might be debilitating during chemotherapy if you lose your hair and face other side effects. In such circumstances, working at a regular job can be a life saver as it gives you a semblance of normalcy. Interacting with co workers and colleagues can also help reduce the effects of depression.

Legal Options

Next week, we take a look at legal options you have when you need to take a break from work as well as how to manage the relationship with your boss when you need to ask for time off from work due to chemo.

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"Thank you for expediting the wig for my wife Marianne H.  I called on Tuesday, you shipped on Wednesday, and we received on Friday. The wig is beautiful and my wife loves it.  It will meet a real need in her life, since most of her hair has fallen out from only one chemo treatment.Thank you again for your special help with our special situation."

- JH