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Stopping Work after Cancer

Posted 12/18/2014

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  I have written several times before about returning to work after cancer. Many people take a temporary medical leave during treatment and then return to the job when they feel able to do so. This is a challenge in many ways, both physical and psychological, but a decision not to return to work brings equally difficult issues.

  Many of us love our jobs, perhaps even define ourselves in major ways around our professional identities. Most of us need our jobs, depend on the paycheck and the benefits--and the structure and the socialization and the feeling about being "in the world". Making a decision to retire is always difficult, even when the best of circumstances allow an anticipated retirement move or plan that sounds totally pleasurable. What about a forced retirement because of cancer?

  Some people try to go back to work and then realize it is impossible. Others can't even try because their physical health or cognitive losses are obvious barriers. Some people have to leave work because their cancer is progressing, and that reality is even more painful. Whatever the reasons, this decision brings a number of practical and financial questions that must be addressed.

  This is a very good article from Cancer Net about this situation. I give you the beginning and a link to read more:

Stopping Work After Cancer Treatment

Key Messages:
Some people with cancer are unable to work during treatment and may not be able to return to work when their
treatment is finished.
If you are having difficulties returning to your previous type of work or work schedule, talk with a social worker and your insurance company to discuss whether you qualify for short-term or long-term disability payments or other resources.
Needing to stop work can be a challenge to cope with, and it may help to speak with someone – a spouse, partner, child, close friend – about your feelings regarding quitting work.


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