CANCER AND CAREER
Santa Fe New Mexican
If you are working through cancer, you need to clearly ask for what you need from your employer and co-workers, and focus on your own well-being. Consider how you can set limits at work so you can prioritize your health. You are not required to tell anyone about your diagnosis. Reflection of your role • Tell your doctor exactly what your job is and any unique circumstances you’ll be coping with during treatment. • Ask for general ideas of how your diagnosis, medication or treatment could affect your job. • See if you can be flexible with the time you take your medications in order to minimize any side effects at work. • Check into any employee assistance program if you’re interested in seeking counseling. Items to keep at work to help with chemo brain • Take short breaks during your day or shift to help your energy. • Use lists and alarms to remember meetings or tasks. • A recording app or digital recorder could support your memory. • If you’re coping with chemo brain, consider asking to work in a soundproof environment or from home (if feasible for you) to decrease distractions and improve your concentration. Chemo brain is a diagnosable condition, and your employer needs to make accommodations for you. National resource: For information and free brochures about living and working with cancer as well as looking for employment, visit www.cancerandcareers.org.