Recurrence: Seeking Work
Having a recurrence of colorectal cancer while seeking work adds a traumatic event to an already stressful endeavor.
You may be tempted to speed up medical decisions such as which doctor(s) and which treatments. However, both of these decisions are important to your long term health and should not be rushed. In fact, as you will see in our document about your medical care, it is advisable to take the time to get a second opinion from a different cancer specialist before starting treatment.
If you will undergo surgery, consider at least getting treatment out of the way before continuing the job search. With surgery, you will likely need full days recuperating while physically not up to par. Your mental ability may be cloudy because of the anesthesia and pain medications.
If you will undergo chemotherapy and/or radiation, ask about how much time off would generally be required if you were working and how treatment would affect you while working. If there will be a major impact, consider getting those treatments out of the way as well before continuing your job search.
With respect to the job you are seeking, keep the following in mind. Additional information about each of the following subjects, including how to act during the job interview, is in the documents in "To Learn More."
- If you have health insurance:
- Do not do anything that would affect your health insurance coverage for your existing situation. For example, do not let it lapse until you have health insurance, and are past any waiting period for coverage.
- If a new employer offers health insurance: Thanks to a federal law known as HIPAA, if the gap in coverage between your existing or former health insurance that is not greater than 62 days, then the amount of time you had coverage is credited against a new waiting period. A waiting period is the period of time during which you would not be covered for a pre-existing health condition. If you had your insurance long enough, there is no waiting period for coverage for your situation.”
- If you do not have health insurance:
- One of the options to get coverage is to look for an employer with health insurance which covers a pre-existing health condition such as yours with no waiting period or only a short one.
- The larger the employer, the more likely to have such coverage. For example, a government entity.
- Physically, the only question about work is whether you can do the work now. What may happen to you in the future is not relevant.
- A prospective employer cannot ask about your health condition thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act and similar laws.
- Experts counsel against disclosing your health condition until you are offered a job. Whether to share your diagnosis after accepting the job is up to you. There may not be a choice if you will need an accommodation at work to allow you to take treatments or to do your job.
To Learn More
More InformationPatient Advocate Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Surgery 101 Health Insurance: How To Obtain HIPAA Work: Starting At A New Employer - A Primer Tips For Acing The Job Interview Work: The Job Interview Work: Seeking New Employment How To Choose A Doctor For A Second Opinion Second Opinion 101
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