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Rajesh Royal
Rajesh Royal

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Sharing my experiences with cancer in the workplace

Header Note: The post is on blind App shared by an anonymous person who works at the apple.

sharing my experience so someone here might feel less daunted.

-it was not rough. at worst, it was a tremendous inconvenience, even considering I started a brand new job just before radiation started and could not take days from work.
-was told to expect mood swings, after some thought I gave a heads-up at work without mentioning the c-word.
-supportive environment makes all the difference!
mine was an early-stage diagnosis. I found no reason to panic. treatment protocols are well defined. almost like assembly line production.

—mammogram, 2 biopsies to confirm. biopsies can be painful but definitely tolerable. my pain threshold is very low, so it is probably easier for the average person.
—2 surgeries - a small portion of the breast removed in the first one, lumpectomy. 2nd one checking to see if cancer had spread to lymph nodes.

one week rest at home for the first surgery, not lifting anything heavy for a few weeks.

for the second surgery, I was up and about in 3 days.

—radiation - I started a brand new job a couple of weeks before radiation started. I went to work during radiation.

I had to leave work mid-day for an hour to get radiation and get back. I also could not stay late but caught up with work easily after a couple of hours’ rest. no one could tell.

upon radiation ending, I was asked to expect mood swings for a couple of days. this was tricky! I did not share the diagnosis but clearly communicated my mood may be “off” for a couple of days due to unspecified treatment, requested them to please bear with me and not hold any change in behaviour against me. they were understanding.

to add, soon after radiation I started treatment for freezing eggs. it had to be done before I start cancer medication. again I was asked to expect mood swings.

it was scary knowing my work and relationships could get jeopardized but except for snapping at a co-worker (the heads-up came in handy here and my apology was accepted), it was fine.

I over-compensated so met and for a couple, even beat deadlines.

emotionally, the diagnosis had little impact on me. helps that I experienced a lot of turmoil on several fronts earlier on in life. not having family responsibilities, knowing I'm not leaving behind dependents helped. having a supportive environment - close family and friends helped!

hope this helps! it's not all gloom and doom!

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Top comments (1)

kileyzavala profile image
KileyZavala • Edited

It's good to have well-crafted treatment protocols, specialists prepared for everything, and your reaction of "okay, get radiation and get back." It's fantastic. Cold-bloodedness always conquers fear. But if you had a mammogram and had surgery to check WHERE the cancer is spreading (in case the lymph nodes are affected), you probably had an mc38 tumor model analysis. Probably so. But the treatment process for freezing eggs is a medical breakthrough that gives hope for the future (if you work at Apple). I think you made it through because you didn't have to worry about who the kids would stay with. You don't have any kids. you have nothing to lose... (sarcasm)

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