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How the heck do you find a radiation Onc.

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I need radiation treatments. Had 2 consultations already at different facilities. Neither accommodate people that work. How do I do this? The company I work for will be livid if I take off. No I can't quit! They hate me already for having this disease...as if I did it on purpose...now I have to shop for RO's that will be open extended hours???!!!!

I hate this whole frickin' process.

I am cut off and adrift and no idea what to do.

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

I just made my appointments as late in the day as possible, or first thing in the morning. If you can find a place close to work, you can be in and out in less than 45 minutes (maybe take it as your lunch hour?). The actual rads process only takes maybe 5 minutes at most. Your company HAS to let you off and not give you flack. If they do, you have grounds for a lawsuit in a BIG WAY. No self-respecting company would DARE intimidate or deny a CANCER patient the ability to get treatment. That's just ASKING for legal action!

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I live in a really big city. Many hospitals, not many radiation centers. In-network vs out-of-network also a huge concern since the insurance change my company recently adopted. Owners of companies don't care about intimidating a cancer patient...only that they get the work done for which I/you/all of us have been hired. If there are some with a human heart beating in their chest then I apologize and humbly bow to you.

Legal action is in my hip pocket if they discharge me. But I can't give them any reasons to do so. You know what I mean?

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I was lucky as I could pick and choose what time I wanted to come. I know some are so busy that you aren't that lucky. I hope you find a place where it will accommodate your choice.

Lex

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

give you trouble....you have the ADA to fall back on. Any attorney worth his salt would jump on a harassment retaliation suit involving a cancer patient. Any company with half a BRAIN would tread VEEEERRRRRYYYYY carefully in that arena. Keep notes. Watch your P's and Q's and don;t give them any reason to sack you. Above all, KEEP NOTES. Who said what, when, where, who was a witness, etc.

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I had not kept notes on this, but I think that I had better. This is awful to have to deal with while facing off with fear of losing ones life.

xoxoxo
Kay

cctiz
Posts: 47
Joined: May 2011

Hi, talk to your surgeon, he/she usually can give you an idea where to go or refer you with collegues, it is a long journey unfortunately and needs lots of patience, I had my rads at the hospital and sometimes the machines were down so there were delays and had to deal with that ocasionally, the treatments are quick every day at the same hour and time goes by fast when you realize you are done and a new life begins, standard treatments for cancer are chemo and rads so people at the office will have to deal with that for a while as well.
Everything will turn out just fine dear! lots of love,
cecilia

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5259
Joined: Oct 2010

totally understand can't quit and boss not liking you...been there...

when I was going through radiation I was told do what you need to do...LIKE wow I was excited..after my 2nd treatment (10AM dialy) I was told I had to start using sick days...I told them that would wipe me out since I needed 8 wks of treatements. (GRRRR and for an hour a day)
I was so luckily my cancer center changed my daily appt to fit my lunch hour. I worked about 10 mins from center so worked out..

I wish you luck fining one with hours you can do. Have you tried local cancer support groups?

Denise

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

They also don't care about the employees only the insurance premiums. If I go in late or leave early I will be in danger of my job. I only get a half hour lunch so that is out.

Doctor sent me to his RO but that facility was not accommodating. Called another facility, same thing. Only one is in network and it is quite a drive...so after work every day a long drive...can't we just see me now? The latest I could find was 6:00 pm (and I don't think that is even late enough!)

I need a glass of brandy.
Kay

PS I need 2 glasses of brandy...or 1 really big stein.

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I get that work (sounds like it's your immediate supervisor) are making things hard for you. My recommendation would be to go as high as you feasibly can in the HR dept, and ask for the paperwork to take an intermittent leave of absence (your company might have a slightly different term for it). This should allow you to come in a little later, take a longer lunch, or leave a little early so that you can get the care you need to survive!

I would also keep the intermittent leave on file for a while after you are done with rads. The effects are cumulative, and the fatigue can be overwhelming. You might need a day off here and there, and the intermittent LOA should also cover that. As someone already mentioned these are legal rights you have. Sadly, sometimes our fight is not just physical and we have other battles to fight as well. Good luck with your battle for the time you need.

I hope this helps.

Hugs,

Linda

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2012

My oncologist set me up with my radiation oncologist.

I know that some area hospitals offer rads early enough that a person could make it to work on time. I just happen to live and work too far away to do that. My RO provided me a written statement I could turn in to my employer to verify my reason for missing time, as that is all my employer required of me.

I have already used up all my paid sick days for the year. I am part of a sick bank, and so I can request extra days. The written statement I already referred to is in my file and covers my request. I will have to make requests a few more times, as there will be follow-up appointments and tests, as well as other things (like catching up on other appointments I had to put off, like the dentist).

ladyg's picture
ladyg
Posts: 1577
Joined: Apr 2010

Below I have copied and pasted the first paragraph of the Department of Labor FMLA laws. Please go online and read up on this. This is what I took when I was in treatment. I was able to leave earlier in the afternoon to go to rads and was able to take days off when needed. This is a nationwide law so they can not say it does not apply to you.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons: 1) birth and care of the eligible employee's child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee; 2) care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or 3) care of the employee's own serious health condition. It also requires that employee's group health benefits be maintained during the leave. The FMLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

Hugs,
Georgia

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I would think that every cancer center would accommodate you, especially since you work. I really don't think this is right or even legal, is it?

My onco set me up with my rads oncologist and I love him and his staff.

I hope you get this worked out soon!

Hugs, Leeza

debsweb18
Posts: 190
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm lucky I work for a good company (and boss). I had just started a new job and was there for only 6 weeks when I was diagnosed. I was off for 2 1/2 months (2 surgeries and recovering from resultant back pain while waiting for Oncotype results-no chemo although I was expecting it). I went back to work 1 week after I started radiation treatments. My appointments were for 3 PM and I left work at 2 PM every day. I expected to be paid part-time, but my boss said since I was a salaried person they would pay me full time! They didn't have to follow the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) because I hadn't been there a year yet, but gave me no problems about taking off.

But everyone's right, cancer patients are protected and can't be denied the time away from work for treatments.

Do you have someone you trust that you can talk to at your company? Do they know you need radiation treatments? I hope they're not that heartless and will not give you trouble. You don't need any more stress! Maybe your doctors can help you.

BTW- I found my radiation onc by referral from my breast surgeon. They worked very well together and discussed my treatment plan. They were in agreement, but not in agreement with my MO. I trusted and liked them more. They recommended my new MO after I decided to change. In my opinion, I think it's best to have docs that work together for you on your treatments. It's almost like getting 2nd opinions!

Good Luck!

Deb

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4513
Joined: Aug 2009

they cant help you out for six weeks? that is awful. I found them accomodating where I went in Boston. However the prime slots may not be immediatly available, but as people move on then better times become available. You company should be ashamed. I know how mean people can e as I faced some at work too.

laughs_a_lot's picture
laughs_a_lot
Posts: 1368
Joined: Mar 2011

However, I think the company has to have a certain number of employees before they are required to abide by it. I do not know if the number of employees is 15 or 50. Your doctor can sign your FMLA papers for intermittent leave. If you have the number of employees that the law states at your company they cannot deny you the time off. If you have any trouble with this issue the National Labor Relations Board would be able to steer you in the right direction if they are not the ones to help you with this.

The right to get treatment for a deadly disease is a human right that everyone has. For your employer to deny this is a lot like telling you that you are not allowed to use the restroom. Yes I worked for a company who tried to tell you you had to wait. Like that is so disrepectful to one'd dignity. So if you got the right number of employees you can inisit on your rights and give them H E double toothpicks if they try to deny you this.

laughs_a_lot's picture
laughs_a_lot
Posts: 1368
Joined: Mar 2011

If they have 50 employees. I just looked it up on ther site. And yes there is a provision about a year somewhere in that law. Didn;t find that one but know from personal experience. My company fired my daughter because she needed bedrest while pregnant with the twins and she had not been there a year so they got away with it.

The shame of this is that very few people will work with those who have severe and persistent mental illnesses. They fired one that loved her job. Her fellow employees pointed out the shortsightedness of the one year rule. They hired her back later but she has forever been skeptical of them since.

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

My company is too small for the FMLA. They have under 20 employees. The law is good, but it doesn't have the teeth it needs to protect us. I am waiting to hear back from the facility to schedule my first visit for the "simulation". After I first posted this I had another panic attack and almost quit the whole thing again. But, I was able to calm down and think reasonably. My employer will still get a working, present, and (please God) cognizant employee and I will take care of my health issues quietly. I hope I can do this! There is no mercy in them if I can't!

Kay
PS: The last PM I had from MAJW was a note of "they will get their karma back" and comfort. I will miss her dearly.

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I sure hope you can get this figured out. The actual rad treatment, or mine, only lasted a few minutes. It took me longer to undress than the treatment. The simulation will take awhile, but, that is a one time thing.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Neatso
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

If you do not have a nurse navigator who coordinates your care, speak to your doctor about services. I live in the Boise area and I just started a new job, I too am worried about work. Every time I go to the doctors I try togetthe first/second available appointment in the a.m. or the first/second after lunch. This way I usually get in right away. Hope this helps.

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

It was hard for me to get rads appmt to fit work, but
my colleagues covered for me for 6 wks, then I went back at
night to finish what I didn't get done. I was surprised
at how accommodating my bosses were; the rad center was
not that helpful--rather strange that they don't expect
people to work, but tell you that rads have minimal side
effects! Good luck in getting a time that works!
BTW, the simulation, for me, took the entire afternoon.
Luckily I had taken the day off.

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

Yes, you can do this and there has to be a way for you to still keep your job and get the treatment that you need. Could you do it on your lunch hour or after work? I pray you can find a solution.

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

Just trying to get in touch with a social worker about it. They are off for the weekend, so maybe on Monday. I am going to ask about my rights and also have a back up plan in the event that I am given a difficult time at work. But you know what? They gave me a difficult time when I was going through chemo so I expect it. They worked me harder, and I think it is because they wanted me off of the insurance plan at work. They even kept me late and had me plan and execute company functions- right after chemo treatments. Do you get the idea of the kind of folks I work for? It is frustrating, and stressful.

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm very sorry for all that you're going through now. It doesn't sound like a great place to work for sure. Good luck Monday and let us know what you find out.

Hugs, Jan

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

So sorry you are going through this at work .... the radiation treatments were very short and painless for me last year... except I had to fly to the radiation place every day as it is 4 hrs away ... in Anchorage ... they are planning to get a radiation center finished in our area by this summer... it will surely help many of us ... my Aflac cancer policy paid all transportation thankGod! Your work situation sounds so illegal and stressful but try to think of you and not work ... you are in my prayers! Sue D

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Did you get anyone to help you? I didn't know if you had and are having rad treatments already or not.

Hugs, Leeza

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