Working with Cancer: A Personal Story, Cancerandcareers.org

There are a lot of job boards out there but most of them suck. No it’s true. There are thousands of career niche sites trying to cash in on the unemployed, and for those out there truly needing support during their job search it can be disappointing. As an owner of a job board, and a blogger of all things career & social, it can also be disappointing.

Then comes along a site that reminds you some job sites are really making a difference.cancerandcareers.org homepage

Cancerandcareers.org is doing just that. It’s a job board and community focused on helping women with cancer keep working. The site offers free career coaching, information on insurance and legal rights, as well as advice on how to get healthy while still staying in the professional game. What a great idea huh? The site is founded by Avon and Genentech, and sponsored by a number of big brands such as Bare Essentials, Chanel, and Self Magazine—all pioneers in cancer research fundraising and non-profit work. I got to say…coming across this site made me smile and it made me think.

Now watch out people, I am about to have one of those quintessential blogger moments where I let you in and tell you something very personal and close to my heart. Okay, deep breath…

The reason this site struck a chord with me is that I lost my mother to cancer a little over 9 years ago now. I could ramble on a million stories not relevant to this post, but I’m going to try and stay on target here. My mom was a business woman. Yup, she was a “coffee-chugging, tell-it-as-it-is, I’ll-drop-you-if-you-don’t-get-it-done” type of business woman. And I loved that about her. She was a leader; a manager to over a hundred employees, 90% of which were men, and you know what? She freaking killed it. I used to love watching her get ready for work. There was no dillydallying. She would drink her coffee and read the paper…all the meanwhile gearing up for another day of a job she loved. I remember fondly the smile she wore at company picnics as she introduced her family to all of those co-workers that adored working with her. She was in her element when work and her family collided—it was like bringing two things she loved together for a single moment. Heavenly.

picture of my mom- Virginia LordThen she got cancer. I was 17 when it all happened, and through all the chaos I remember one thing distinctly—she had the hardest time handling cancer and work. So many questions suddenly popped up. Ones that dad and us kids couldn’t help her with, the human resource department couldn’t fix…there were questions that it seemed no one knew the answer to. I watched her struggle everyday to get to work—through radiation, through chemo, through the many doctor visits that cut into her schedule. Then at night I watched her come home with more questions, no energy, and a diminishing spirit.

Even after all of that I remember the worst was when she actually had to admit she couldn’t work anymore. I watched her eyes swell up when she got home from work that last day, and even at my young age, I remember trying to understand what a loss it was to give up what you loved to do—everyday for over 20 years. Damn it.

Needless to say, I wish a community like @cancerandcareer was around back then. I can picture her bookmarking that site, jumping on the computer every night, and possibly finding some comfort in knowing that she wasn’t the only one going through this.

I am so excited to have come across this site, and I will surely be mentioning it a million more times in my life as I cross paths with those that need answers. Cancer touches us all, either directly or indirectly, so won’t you join me in pushing this site around? If introducing a woman who has cancer to the site brings even a few answers to the dark questions that surround cancer…well this might just be the best post I’ve ever written.

 

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And I loved that about her.

And I loved that about her. She was a leader; a manager to over a hundred employees, 90% of which were men, and you know what? She freaking killed it. I used to killtest 70-464 love watching her get ready for work. There was no dillydallying. She would drink her coffee and read the paper…all the meanwhile gearing up for another day of a job she loved. I remember fondly the smile she wore at company picnics as she introduced her family to all of those killtest 642-975 co-workers that adored working with her. killtest 70-460 She was in her element when work and her family collided—it was like bringing two things she loved together for a killtest 70-461 single moment. Heavenly.

I found here some great

I found here some great stories! My uncle needed a colon irrigation and I had to take care of him for two months. I know how hard it is to be patient all that time.

I'm glad that I found this

I'm glad that I found this blog. While selling donper frozen yogurt machines I met a lot of people with relatives affected by this malady. I know how hard is to deal with the real facts and I appreciate your efforts.

It is great for reading

It is great for reading magazines, playing games, and browsing the internet. test

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Well done. Thank you for

Well done. Thank you for sharing this with part of your life with us.

AWESOME POST JOANNA and yes,

AWESOME POST JOANNA and yes, keep spreading the word! Thanks for letting everyone know such a site existed. Who knew?!?

I'll make sure to mention this site to anyone in my life that has the unfortunate need for it. Cancer treatments and working is definitely something I've thought about. You never know who it might strike. A loved one, a co-worker or myself.

One thing that crossed my mind when reading your post is if there's such a site for MEN?

Thanks for the "looking up

Thanks for the "looking up the ceiling" trick Ruud. I am needing that one right about now.

Beautiful post Joanna. My stepfather - of 20 years and like my real dad - just passed away a couple of months ago from cancer. He too continued to work as long as he could. Just days before he went into the hospital - which he never left alive - he was planning on redoing the kitchen floor!

Some people keep on fighting right to the end and provide inspiration to us all. Although I am sad he is gone, I am glad I had the chance to learn from him as a daughter. I too am glad there are sites around like Cancerandcareers.org to help others realize that you can still continue on with life (for at least a little while) if you have cancer.

Joanna, thanks for sharing

Joanna, thanks for sharing your story and about your Mom. This gives us more insight into you, your heart and passions and your work ethic. I feel like I know her now as well.

I'm bookmarking Cancerandcareers.org and appreciate your sharing their fantastic efforts and how they are empowering and support cancer victims.

Casey, thinking of you as well in all this!

Thanks for your post.Nice

Thanks for your post.Nice webdesign.

Great article Joanna and it's

Great article Joanna and it's really a great story behind why you're so driven! :)

I do wonder why thought it's just a site for women. Granted I know a lot more women are affected than men but we are out there. In my case it was small and only stage 1, but for others it may not be. But still a great site to bring to everyone's attention! :)

[looks up at the ceiling as

[looks up at the ceiling as it closes your tear glands]

Pfff, that's solid writing! Thanks Joanna; I feel like I've got to know such an essential part of you in so few words -- amazing. And your mom ... wow... moms rock, don't they?

You captured in a few broad strokes the so terribly unjust and hard battle people fight -- against this and so many other illnesses and afflictions that strike us.

Much respect for your post. Tons for your mom. Walk the road, sis', walk the road.

Thank you for posting this.

Thank you for posting this. My mother also means the world to me. She raised me by herself after we came to this country, and also worked from scratch to have a powerful position at Microsoft. This article really struck a cord with me emotionally.

So sorry for the loss, but I know your mom is proud of you for the work you're carrying on and for supporting a wonderful organization such as this in her name.

I love it, Joanna. Thank you

I love it, Joanna. Thank you so much for such a wonderful post.

That really is an awesome

That really is an awesome site they've got there! I am sure that many will benefit from it. Joanna....thank you for sharing that personal story with us all! You sound just like your mom. She is surely very proud of you lady!

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