How I Managed My Work and Cancer: A Personal Perspective
‘I was 35 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I was still building on my HR career. I was gaining more exposure and experience which I felt I needed to be able to step up. I couldn’t be knocked down with an illness.
So, it took a while before I got my lump checked out. I knew it was there for some time but I thought it was another benign cyst. I had been checked out twice before and diagnosed with fibroadenomas so I didn’t think this was anything serious. Maybe I was really busy at work; maybe I was too engrossed in gaining as much experience as possible in my new job that I didn’t make a doctor’s appointment for ages. The doctor referred me to the hospital and I remember that when I got a call from the hospital with an appointment within two weeks, I said I wasn’t available and was there any other time! I had important work commitments I didn’t want to miss.’
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(Esther To helps support cancer survivors with work and career-related issues by sharing her own personal experiences. Esther is an experienced HR professional where her experience has involved supporting and coaching managers with health-related issues at work. Esther currently works for the NHS in an HR capacity, giving something back in return for the great support she received from the NHS during her difficult times.)