I am the sole provider for my family and was working as a 1099 employee as an Infusion nurse in the specialty of Infectious Disease. I was diagnosed with IDC stage 3 due to my tumor size on 08/01/16. I started chemo on 08/30/2016 and was unable to work due to neutrapenia and other side effects of the chemo. My tumor was not responding and proceeded to grow and I had a lumpectomy on 11/22/16. I resumed 12 more weeks of chemo on 12/20/16 and am due to complete on 03/07/17 and 4 weeks of radiation pending the month of April. I attempted to return to work as I have had no income since September of last year. I had no benefits and no STD or LTD. Unfortunately, my job did not make accommodations for me and being a 1099 I am not covered by the ADA. I am attempting to find a job, it has been challenging as the fatigue is growing with the weeks of chemo. I only have 5 more treatments remaining of Taxol and look forward to my life returning to “normal”. My infusion center throughout my treatment has given me a lot of guidance about what to expect. I go to a small campus and it is a really nice healing environment. I’m in the best place I could be. My two children has brought me the most joy during this time. My advice to newly diagnosed patients is to use your resources: nurses, physicians, social workers, organizations like BCCA. After receiving the financial assistance from BCCA, it is the first time in 6 months I haven’t been stressed out. I feel very fortunate in my experience that I have people and support. I am more fortunate than some because even though my tumor was large the margins were clean. Before my cancer I was looking for a new specialty and I found it from my own diagnosis.
Josie ‘s Story
About the Author: Randy LeJeune
I'm me. I'm short.