Change is definite!
This diagnosis will change your life. Those diagnosed with this disease are flooded with different types of emotions, worries, fear, and questions. In my journey, I found questions to ask my oncologist and my surgeon. I think the more information you have is helpful. Being expected to follow advice and ask lucid, informative questions is expecting too much initially. We can imagine the disbelief, fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness which all come from symptoms of grief. This is a life-changing event that forever alters you and puts all your plans on-hold unexpectantly. After getting past the initial grief, you can then move forward. Use these resources.
Those in College
The ADA require accommodations for those with qualifying disabilities, and breast cancer qualifies. There are resources for those in college:
- Start the Accommodations Process by choosing the appropriate contact
- Submit completed documentation
Travel planning should be checked with your doctor. Being a cancer patient poses challenges to getting travel insurance because cancer is seen as a preexisting condition. There are multiple companies that will insure you. Contact:
- The Money Advice Service and British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) have a travel insurance directory. They help people with pre-existing medical conditions find travel insurance.
- Visit BreastCancerNow Forum to see clients’ comments based on their experience of getting coverage and filing a claim.
People can still plan for children based on age, type & stage, and type of treatment used. After cancer treatment is over, many care facilities suggest a 1-2 year waiting period before pregnancy. This gives your effected eggs time to leave the body. Talk to your oncologist and discuss your plans.
Your employment rights are protected under the Equality Act 2010. “Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to help patients continue to work, return to work, have time off for medical appointments or for continued treatment and recovery. This permits leaves of absence while undergoing treatment.” Studies have confirmed that most women take off 6 months average.
The ADA has listed breast cancer as a disability. If you plan to be unable to work for a year or more while going through treatment, you can collect benefits under the SSA.
The diagnosis of breast cancer changes the roles in the family. In my case, I was a stay-at-home mom and the essential caregiver to my son. Due to my husband’s unpredictable work schedule, we needed help with childcare duties. My husband’s family alternated and came to town to help with childcare, cooking, and housekeeping. I was so thankful that I could focus my energy on treatment and rehabbing.
Talk to your family and close friends and tell them your needs.