• Did you tell your employer when you were first diagnosed?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Did you tell your employer when you were first diagnosed?

    If not, do you plan on telling them and when. If you did tell them how did they react?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • ld_105's Avatar

      Not at first, but before I would be out for surgery. Then there is the required doctor's note with the header stating, NYU cancer center. At the suggestion of a friend I also emailed my direct supervisor. Don't know if I would do the last again. I feel the less that know the better.

      over 5 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar

      I told mine when I found out. They have been totally supportive. That have raised several thousand dollars so far to help with expenses.

      over 5 years ago
    • alimccalli's Avatar

      I was actually just starting 2 weeks of vacation over the holidays when I was diagnosed. Needless to say I was certainly not expecting to spend my vacation the way I did that year! Things moved so fast that I was out on disability before those 2 weeks ended. So yeh, I kind of had to tell them.

      My immediate management and co-workers were very supportive. Upper management - not so much...as soon as my short term disability ran out, I was let go because I was unable to return to work full time. I transitioned over to Long Term Disability...but bottom line was I did not have a job to go back to.

      over 5 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar

      I'm the only employee so kinda had to. My boss also has cancer. We talk about his medical stuff much more than mine. lol

      over 5 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      I had emergency surgery so I kind of had to tell them. My boss from my one job came to the hospital. He has been very supportive & accommodating. My boss from my other job has been more supportive than I would have guessed - since I only work there 1000 per year, I have no protection (don't qualify for FMLA, no benefits etc.). I expected them to can me & HR was ready to do so after 30 days, but my boss kept me on even though I have barely worked. Just when I was starting to work, I got hospitalized AGAIN! Dan still says he will work with me.

      over 5 years ago
    • schweetieangel's Avatar

      I had emergency surgery as well and my brother was the one to tell a friend of mine who i work with and she called my boss in tears to tell her it was Cancer. She has been supportive she lost her husband to cancer last year so she has been through it and is there if i need her. She started the disability rolling for me as soon as she knew.

      over 5 years ago
    • Joeyb's Avatar

      Yes I did because everything happen so fast from diagnosis to surgery. My boss got my FMLA paperwork and got things started for me and has been supportive.

      over 5 years ago
    • LadyLion's Avatar

      After my tumor was removed and I was told it was stage 3, and chemo and radiation would be next, I told my immediate supervisor and she said I should go to HR, 1st thing out of HR's mouth was you do not qualify for FMLA , I was told I had to use all my Paid Time Off and the company gives you 160 hours of job protected leave when you run out of them after 3 incidents you will be terminated. So I had a mindset on how to get by with what little I had (which after hearing some stories I had a lot more to work with than some others) I worked 81/2 weeks going through chemo and radiation, and by that time was over I had 76 hours left, I chose to take them and recuperate from the radiation burns that were severe, this past Wednesday HR called to remind me once again I needed to be back to work at 12:30 Friday(yesterday) and to tell me that I had no time left, then they asked how I was feeling! HA ...........I was back to work yesterday, I also made a point of making all my appointments late on the days I need to be there in order not to have incidents. I have a CT Pelvic Scan with contrast scheduled for 12/2 in order to see if I am cancer free, and appointments almost every week with 3 different Dr.'s until then. Keeping my fingers crossed nothing comes up between now and February 10, 2014. Also the Americans with Disabilities Act and the EEOC has a lot of useful information for Cancer patients, even for those who do not qualify for FMLA. Wishing You All Wellness and Love.

      over 5 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar

      I was a high school teacher at the time, so I let my supervisor and co-teacher know right away, since I knew there would be at least time off for surgery. As treatment decisions came up, like chemo, I kept them informed, since it impacted my job performance, especially being around tons of students.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      Yes; in fact, it was at work that I found out I had breast cancer, and I started to cry in front of my co-workers. I did work in a very unconventional and non-corporate office, so I had some freedom to be myself. I was a part-timer (25 hours a week). My boss was wonderful; he assured me that I could take as much time off as I needed, and I'd get paid (as it turned out, I needed to be absent only a few days altogether). I even felt comfortable enough while at work to remove my wig the minute I got there and not don it until I left the place.

      over 5 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar

      Yes I did and they were very supportive. Recently had a major setback and went in and told my bosses. They were wonderful told me to take my vacation and spend some time with my family and remember they are my work family and are here for me.

      over 5 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      First person I called was my boss- to tell her that I wouldn’t be able to get back in the office that day because they were keeping me for more and more testing! She was extremely supportive and immediately got the whole office involved with helping me out, food, rides, you name it....they even changed the company policy for me so that I could be gone on disability for 3 years and also kept on the companies medical policy until Medicare kicked in....so I have no complaints, I was very lucky to work for such a wonderful organization and I am still close to my old boss and co-workers.

      over 5 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar

      Yep, told my boss (a breast cancer survivor) right away and her boss the same day. No putting it off since I was scheduled to go to the home office in Texas and be away for a week and that conflicted with all my scans, testing and the start of chemo. The rest of the office organized nightly meals for us and sent flowers monthly (until I told them to please stop - the scent was bothering me after chemo). I love my coworkers.

      over 5 years ago
    • VSB's Avatar

      I told my immediate boss and the two others on the senior management team. When I had better answers, I told the entire staff. We're a very small (16 employees) non-profit and I'm the only one in my department. I knew if I had chemo and/or surgery, I would need a lot of help covering my job. I made a list of the important things that had to have daily/weekly/monthly coverage and who I thought could best handle those duties. I now have backup on several projects that can't wait until I return should I be out for more than a few days. I can actually take some vacation time! Or I can after the auditors do their thing next month.

      over 5 years ago
    • Noureen's Avatar

      I got the "you have breast cancer" call while I was at work. I had no choice but to tell them. I was a mess! I would've told them regardless. My boss, co workers and company as a whole have been so supportive.

      over 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I'm a freelancer and told my clients after I got my diagnosis, in case we had to go to a Plan B. One of my contacts is also a breast cancer survivor -- she offered to be a resource and that company sent me flowers. I work out of my home on flex time -- treatment has slowed me down a bit, but so far, so good. In fact, I'm working this weekend.

      over 5 years ago
    • Shanny's Avatar

      Yes I did and my supervisor at the time I was diagnosed was awesome.

      over 5 years ago
    • Myturn's Avatar

      My boss and I have been buddies for 16+ years, since I started. When I was diagnosed I had hesitated to establish an estate plan. I got started on that and needed a successor trustee. Who better than my boss? "Hey Mike, I have cancer and need someone to take care of things if I die real quick. Would you mind?"? Everyone has been very understanding. He is still the trustee. Job security the hard way.

      over 5 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      Yes, as soon as I got home from getting the results of my biopsy.

      over 5 years ago
    • Beeps' Avatar

      Yes- I didn't have an option. I was the church music director, went to the ER Saturday night... Surgery etc... I was gone for a couple of months. Very thankfully, I have a good friend with my same musical, leadership skills, etc. who filled in for me. I got back to work for a few months when the church was assigned a new pastor. (Methodist Policy) - the new guy ousted me... I'd been there for five years. It was and still is very painful to even think about.
      I've done a little fill in work since- but after decades of being a working musician- I'm feeling done!
      Now, I paint!!

      over 5 years ago
    • Julie061's Avatar

      I told them right away. I was fortunate enough to work for a very supportive and accommodating company. I worked there for seven years after my initial diagnosis. During that time, I had 3 surgeries, 3 rounds of chemo and one round of radiation with chemo. During the seven years I worked there while living with chronic cancer, I often thought of looking for work with a company that required less physical activity at a comparable wage. Unfortunately with the fear of losing my medical coverage for my chronic cancer, I never accomplished this. When my mind, body and spirit could no longer handle working with my chronic disease, I went on longterm disability and social security disability. Leaving work was bittersweet, but the right decision for me and my family.

      over 5 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      My boss and I always had good communication. I trusted her so she was aware that I was going to doc appointments since before my diagnosis. She knew about the abnormal bleeding because there were a couple of times when I had to excuse myself from the office. She knew I was having medical concerns when I didn't know what was happening to my body. She always assured me that if I needed to take a day off or needed to work only half day to just let her know.

      Once I was diagnosed, I let her know I had to have surgery, and needed treatment. She and human resources helped me by going over my options. I was told about FMLA and we got the paperwork started. Once FMLA ran out and I found out I had to continue treatment I filed for short term disability with the state and my employer was quick to help with any questions or paperwork I had.

      Everyone at work has been so supportive up to this day, two years later. I feel nothing but love and genuine concern and support when I visit my coworkers, managers, etc. They never once made me feel like I was going to lose my job. They just told me to focus on getting better and that I would always have my job whenever I was ready to go back. They would send me get well cards, birthday cards signed by everyone in the department. I feel so thankful and fortunate that I didn't have any added stress in that area.

      over 5 years ago
    • brendan's Avatar

      I had wonderful response totally supportive from everybody, A
      super bunch of people, and a great company.

      over 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      With my first diagnosis, I just told my employer that I was being referred to a surgeon. I wanted to prepare her for the event when I would need to turn over my work to a coworker, allowing her plenty of time to prepare. I kept her updated after I saw the surgeon and when I finally had a surgery date. She seemed to appreciate being kept in the loop because it made it easier for her to redistribute my work to a coworker and also for me to turn over my work with notes for her. This was the main thing I was worried about, but it turned out to be ok.

      over 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Even though I report directly to the VP (and highest ranked person in this office), he is the most laid back boss I've ever had. I found out about the cancer when I was in the recovery room after a hernia repair. Once I got back to my room, I called my best friend, my mom and then my boss. I was able to work through treatment, just taking off for chemo & dr's appt -- only missed 2 other days during those 5 months. He was very supportive -- letting me change cubicals because of a vent directly over my desk, not worrying about missing work, etc. And he's not a really "fuzzy" guy. But I've had a couple other bosses that I'm REALLY glad I didn't have during treatment!

      over 5 years ago

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