Have not worked full time since Feb 2005

Hello everyone. I was hoping to get your thoughts on working/not working. I Feb 2005
I was diagnosed with ALL. I do not know if it was T or B cell. I had two years of chemo.
Six months of intense chemo, no work was allowed. During the 18 months of maintence chemo I was allowed to return to work part time as a Cardiac Sonographer. The treatment ended in FEB 07. I picked up second part time job during my 11 month remission. The only thing remarkable about the first treatment was a ruptured colon that required a colostomy bag, and a 15lb loss of muscle from cancer cachexia. The cancer returned in Jan 08. This time it required a BMT. I was in the hospital for over 5 months as they had a tough time getting me into remission. They used the new mTOR inhibitor drugs that completely stop protein synthesis. I lost over 60 lbs of muscle tissue. A total of 75 lbs were lost. I was not allowed to go out in public for over a year. I was allowed to go back into society in June of 09. The big side effect was the wasting and a return to the hospital in aug 08 for kidney failure. I have struggled with wasting issues and fatigue over the last 4 years. However since sept 2011 I have built up 20 to 25lbs. I feel that I can return to work now a least part time. I have been out of work for over 7 years now and have lost an estimated half million in wages. I have had issues with people berating me for not working. I was not expecting this and has been very toxic at times. I had and still contend with eye issues that have prevented me from returning to work as a sonographer. Was hired recently by the YMCA with a goal of being a certified cancer fitness trainer. Have I been out of work too long? Your opinion would be welcome.

Comments

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  • you've never been out of work too long, IMO. however, with the current job market there's a lot of discrimination going on where many employers will not hire unless you are already employed. Sucks bad.

    As for people berating you for not working, don't be afraid to pull the cancer card. Lay the guilt on thick and make them feel terrible for giving you a hard time. That shit is unacceptable, and I have no tolerance for it. You could say it's nunya (business) to them, but that won't stop the crap. People have given me a hard time from time to time since my diagnosis for one thing or another and I whip that cancer card out like a weapon.

    Had a confrontation with a guy who was being a jerk and I called him out on it. He started threatening me so I pulled up my shirt so he could see my port and asked him if he would feel like a big man for beating on a cancer patient. He was still belligerent, but he took a few steps back at that point.

    I've been post-treatment since November of 09 and I still fight with concentration and sleep issues. It's tough, but I'm hardly going to give up on it at this point.
  • billjrbilljr Community Member
    Thanks for the imput mtbikernate!

    Your right unemployment much higher than 8.2% reported by main stream media. 11% in RI. I am over 50, been unemployed for 4 plus years, 7 if you count only full time work, with a disability. It took six months of trying to get into the YMCA. This was with a back to work specialist help.
    I read on another post a young girl was called a leach on the system and give up! Really? Despite you showing a port they guy almost attacked you? WTF! My brother tossed me around my fathers kitchen a few months ago, over a dispute over my dad house. I guess I am not alone in this hostility towards survivors.
  • billjr;6962 said:
    Thanks for the imput mtbikernate!

    Your right unemployment much higher than 8.2% reported by main stream media. 11% in RI. I am over 50, been unemployed for 4 plus years, 7 if you count only full time work, with a disability. It took six months of trying to get into the YMCA. This was with a back to work specialist help.
    I read on another post a young girl was called a leach on the system and give up! Really? Despite you showing a port they guy almost attacked you? WTF! My brother tossed me around my fathers kitchen a few months ago, over a dispute over my dad house. I guess I am not alone in this hostility towards survivors.

    it was a really stupid situation in my case. my wife was driving and she is a cautious driver. guy was a complete jerk on the road, and I flipped him the bird for it. I'm not afraid to call someone out for being an idiot. he GETS OUT OF HIS CAR and starts knocking on my wife's window. we try to ignore him at first, but he gets increasingly agitated. I step out of the car (keeping the car between him and myself, I'm no idiot. I know I cannot handle a physical altercation in my condition) to get his attention off of my wife. I pulled the cancer card when he began to come around the car towards me and my options started running out. he completely tuned out his wife, who was trying to remove him from the situation. mine was trying to get me to back down, too...but I wasn't about to turn my back on him at that point. HE came after US. It took a nearby store manager threatening to call the police for him to back off. I am not afraid to stand my ground.

    I have seen how rough the job market is for older folks. My wife's father is a victim of that garbage. He's in his 50's and lost his job right as the economy began to tank almost 10yrs ago. He has not been able to get anything more than contract term work since. He is in Michigan where stuff is really hard now. Right now, it seems the market is unfriendly if you are tied to a specific location. It seems if you're willing to pack up and relocate, the market has just enough life that you should be able to find something. The more flexibility the better. Problem with the unemployment rates reported is that they're only counting the number of people collecting unemployment benefits and using unemployment services. They're not counting the people who have given up or who have been jobless for so long that they don't qualify for benefits. There's really no good way to count those people.

    As for being treated poorly by family, that's terrible. I'm seeing a lot of that for many different reasons. Unfortunately a lot of people fail to value their family highly enough. I see it in my own family at times. I haven't had an altercation like that with anyone in my family lately, but I have had severe disagreements over how family members have treated me in the past. I'm ornery, I don't put up with it. Maybe that's why I haven't had any issues for awhile, I dunno.