When I was diagnosed in 2012, I had been a stay-at-home mother for many years. This time around, I’ve been employed at the same company for almost three years.
My situation is not one I discuss with many people at work. I have a few friends to whom I confide about my health and I am keeping all of my supervisors up to date. I don’t like sharing things like this. This diagnosis, though, has been harder to keep quiet about.
For almost a year, I had been a sales associate, which involves crazy amounts of heavy lifting and walking and climbing. Becoming a sales associate was a physically demanding change, so much so that I knew I couldn’t continue to perform these duties given my recent challenges. I went back to being a cashier. My coworkers have questions about this. I don’t know what to tell them.
I don’t want to be That Lady With Cancer. My reluctance to discuss the change in my job description stems from sheer vanity. I don’t want them to think of me as some sick person. I’m still me. I’m still showing up to work and doing the things I’m supposed to do. I’m embarrassed that I’ve had to ask to be let out of a promotion I begged for. The idea of my coworkers being afraid to talk to me is even more embarrassing.
The tamoxifen doesn’t seem to have the same side effects I noticed at first. In fact, I feel a little better. I wish I had just stayed with it. I’m not having trouble functioning. With my job, I feel a sense of purpose, I guess, that mitigates the mushy-brain feeling.
Next up, I schedule my oophorectomy.