These are the experiences, ideas and views of each individual person featured here. Your own situation may be different and these ideas may not work for you.
I used to work in finance, but I'm now the spokesperson for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and I do patient advocacy work for them as well.
During my diagnosis and treatment, there were several people who changed our world and gave us critical advice and crucial help. If I can do that for somebody, then I want to be that person for them. I didn't really feel the need to go back to my prior position, but I did feel the need from the day I was diagnosed to help people out in my same situation. That was something I was very, very adamant about from the beginning.
I'm very selfish about my time and making sure that I'm organizing and prioritizing so that my health is paramount. Once I was about a year off from surgery Bonnie J. Addario called and asked if I would be their spokesperson – I felt like I was finally getting to the point where I could give back and begin working again, and accepted the position.
When I counsel patients entering treatment and beginning their lung cancer journey, I encourage them to focus on themselves. Be selfish - this is the time to focus on yourself and your treatment; you have to give it the best chance of working. Once you're done with treatment and cancer free, then you can focus on helping others. You don't have to ignore other patients, but right now you need to spend all your energy on your own treatment and your own health.
Sleep is so important. I would always be in favor of a patient taking care of themselves and taking time off work if they can.
I worked for 20 years in a family business. I was diagnosed while I was still working and it was apparent to me quite early on I couldn't still work there. The stress of owning a business and the pressure was too terrifying for me.
But I was only 45, so I wasn't ready to give up on my working career. I went to work for a non-profit, doing fundraising, and the great thing about that there was no travel.
I'm now retired, but I do volunteer - one or two days a week, but only for three or four hours a day. It really suits my physical make-up a lot better.