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What to do.. I hate my Job and the Stress

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

First.. I am Mike I have been on this site for over two years. Have at times posted, but not much. I do appreciate that there is a site like this. It has helped tremendously reading how
others are handling/dealing this type of cancer.

Just a quick note about my cancer. I am stage 4 colon cancer. I had surgery in Jan 08 after learning I had colon cancer from my first colonscopy at 52. At the time, the cancer had gotten outside the colon wall and was up against a vein. There was no spreading to the lymp nodes or other organs(at least they thought). On a followup Catscan after my colonscopy showed a small tumor on my left kidney. My colon cancer was on the right side. The cancers were not related.
They staged my kidney cancer at stage 1a and my colon cancer at 2a after I had surgeries
for both. The oncologist felt no follow up chemo was needed. Not sure about that decision.
I had my right side of colon removed along with 10 percent of my left kidney.
Sept 08, a Catscan showed lesions on my liver. I had 12 chemo treatments prior to liver
resection surgery that took place in Jan 09 with 8 chemo treatments since.
I am currently cancer free. Just going from CatScan to Catscan hoping things stay clean.

Now to why I am posting. I hate my job! Its gotten so between the stress of the job itself
and the stress I feel because I hate doing it anymore, I am concerned the stress may
cause the cancer to come back. I can feel the stress constantly eating at me.
I do have the option to retire. If I do, I would still need to find a parttime job to make
up the difference to just make ends meet each month. I would be able to keep my health
insurance, but if the cancer comes back, It would be a financial issue. My health insurance
only picks up 80 percent.

My kids who are all grown, would like me to retire cause they know the stress isnt good and they want me around for a long time. I have 3 daughters and 5 grandkids and divorced.
I work for a very large company and for years they have been training others in other countries to do the work that I do and most of my coworkers I have worked with for over 35 years. Each quarter for many years, I have seen others that do what I do get laid off because their work was moved overseas. One of these days I will be in the same boat. This year or next. But it will happen. Transferring to something else within the company is out, there isnt anything. I have talked to my manager, but stress is just part of the job. I cooridinate projects with our customers and internal departments.

I have decided just after the 1st of the year, I am going to talk to my boss about me retiring.

I was wondering about those on this site who have gone through what I have with cancer thought about the decision I am making. My biggest concern is if the cancer comes back and what I would have to pay out. If I had to stay in this job I hate because of the cancer, I would feel so trapped and I think it would be the death of me. I am going from Catscan to Catscan hoping nothing comes back now. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate it.


Julie 44
Posts: 479
Joined: Oct 2008

Hey there Mike,
I am not at the age to retire yet but I do understand having a job you hate and having alot of stress with it..I think (my own opinion) that stress doesn't cause the cancer but it can cause alot of other health issues...Like headaches,muscle pains,not sleeping well,emontional distress, etc... I would weigh all of your options and really sit down with your kids and have a serious chat about it all...I wouldn't base my decision on what if it comes back cause what if it doesn't??? I look at it this way you pay as much as you can each month towards bills and if you die in debt oh well they are SOL...In the mean time you enjoyed your life......Good luck on your decision JULIE

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Julie for your thoughts.. Sometimes I get uspet because we didnt ask for this disease, but the cost for treatment is unbelieveable. What I have already paid out of my pocket.. Sometimes I feel like I am paying to stay alive. It shouldnt have to be this way...

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Hi Mike, I hear you. I'm fortunate at this time that my company is VERY supportive and I am not given very stressful projects to work on. I am doing work today at home but that's another story.

I worry about losing my job in a few years. I honestly didn't think it would an issue at first because I didn't think I'd outlive my job. Just my luck that it looks like I will outlive it! And what I worry most about is some company NOT hiring me or some insurance company NOT covering me because of a pre-existing condition. At present, I have good insurance but I'm still out a few thousand $$$ every year for co-pays, meds, this and that.

I just found this site which I want to look at more.

This site too. They (ACS) seem to feel it helps us. That's a good thing as far as I am concerned.

Mike, I hope that your company can somehow help you out for a while and give you less stressful work to do.
You're not alone, I'm glad you posted.

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Phil for your thoughts. I still have a month to ponder. My plan is to talk to my manager 1st of January.

The job has always had stress. I have just gotten to where I dont want it anymore and need to do something about it. I feel like its physically taking a toll on me.

My manager is a good person. But he has 35 folks in his department and all doing about the same work and dealing with the stress. And having to lay off each quarter which will continue.

I am fortuante to be able to get the same health insurance when I retire. It just costs more each month in premimums.

just4Brooks's picture
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

For the last 2 1/2 years I've been working to open up a Hospice. (Been running a AIDS hospice for 8 years before this). It was VERY a demanding job for almost 11 years. 12 to 14 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week was the norm and I'm sure it had something to do with me getting cancer. Just after our hospice got licensed we gat a cold call from a hospice on the east coast who was looking to buy a new, just opened hospice like ours. They offered a very nice some of money for our hospice. With my new cancer dx and just starting radiation and chemo we jumped at the offer. It was enough to pay off all bills and put a nice some of money in my account to live on for the next year or two. Not working has been a blessing. I have no idea how I could have worked and win my fight with cancer at the same time. If you can I say. GOODBUY to the job that‘s what I would do.. Work a few days a week doing something you like. Work on your fight with cancer. Spend time with your family and try to enjoy life. I always said that I would be a rich man before I was 50. I have grown to learn that being rich monetarily is not what I was truly seeking being rich with a family that loves me as much as I love them was what the true answer was

P.S. And if worse comes to worse I'm moving in with Phil

Life is funny sometimes

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

There's always room at the (our) inn.

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

If I could retire, I would but I can't. I had the option of disability but thought my job was important enough for me to keep it through chemo, I am glad that I did. If I had good insurance plan that would have stayed with me longer then cobra I would have done it. But, I am firm believer that stress contributes to cancer. Stress is not healthy and your immune system hates it :-) good luck!

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

If you are looking for votes? Mine is for retiring!

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Pattee and Brooks.I was looking for some positive feedback. I really appreciate your thoughts.

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KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Come back on an 'as-needed' basis, as a consultant? You could charge an hourly that would cover cost of health insurance, check out COBRA before you make a move, because it will be hard to find a private underwriter. Or early retirement, and then you are eligible for Medicare...they CANNOT deny based on pre-existing.

I share all of this, because that is what I have done. Actually, the quitting was done far before the cancer, but I came back as a self-employed consultant, and worked with my company for 2 years till they hired within. By then, I had many other clients...for me, it was ideal! I am covered under HealthNet (not the greatest) individual HMO...but now, since my 2 primary cancer dx's, I am stuck with them till I can retire.

I am semi-retired, and LOVING it!!!!! I have found other things to do with myself, and it sure is great not to have to work so hard...my business is 18 years old (computer services), and I handed it over, all but 2 clients to keep my hand in. I DO NOT just stay home. I'm even investigating classes to learn about paralegal work. Again, as a consultant, I just cannot work for anyone...

If self-employment doesn't make you freeze, you might consider it....even contracting back to your company for awhile...see, it's different then...your boss is your client...and your client is always right, because he/she writes the checks...there is no longer a 'pissing contest' with boss/employee...You both are the boss!!!!

Hugs, Kathi

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

I think I am ready to try some thing different. Just taking the plunge can be scarey. If I retire from the company I work for, I do receive a pension((not even half my salary now)but I am available for health insurance under their retiree benefits(a hundred dollars more a month than I am paying now). Its just the pension would not be enough to cover my monthly expenses so I will need to work to make up the difference. But I could possibly find something I may like and not have any stress. The concerns I had mentioned was if the cancer comes back, I wont be able to afford to pay much on my medical bills. I do appreciate everyones thought.

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

As I read your note I sense that (1)your discernment has been very thoughtful and careful, that (2)the direction is fairly clear, and that (3)the decision is all but made.

This one statement says a lot... "If I had to stay in this job I hate because of the cancer, I would feel so trapped and I think it would be the death of me."

My hunch is that you would feel a great sense of relief and "new life" and that other things would open up for you.

Early on when I was diagnosed stage 4 in August '04, I asked a ministry colleague "What do I do now?" She said very simply... "Do what you always do, do what is life-giving." So now I ask myself... "Is this life-giving?" If it is it stays, if it isn't it's out!

Make sure things are in place for your insurance and pension and then let it go...

This is an exciting time! All the best with it.

Rob;in Vancouver

"Life is short, and we do not have long to gladden the hearts of those who walk the journey with us. So let us be quick to love, and let us make haste to show kindness." Henri Amiel

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Rob. Thanks so much. I think you did something I wasnt able to do. Break things down and explain what you read in my post that I couldnt. Thank You. I think you hit things right on the button and added some other comments that have and will help alot. Thanks to everyone... And thanks to this board so folks can post and have someone else help.

The one thing I am sadden by.. That everyone with a life threatening disease has to worry about health care and its cost.

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I get scared thinking of my hubby's company going under that he works for. They supposedly don't have alot of work yet next year when he goes back. They get laid off by November, and we're living on crappy unemployment, which is hard with 4 kids, but at least he has great insurance, which has been really good with my treatments and hospitalizations, I doubt I would ever get insurance again with my cancer, I don't know of any insurance company that would take anyone with a pre-existing disease.

But, I'm with everyone, I think you should let it go and retire, get your pension, if you want another part time job, but listen to what your heart and gut tell you to do, even though your mind is going a thousand miles a minute, I think you know what you want to do, but you need a push! so here's my push, and go spend your time with your family, bills can be paid off little at a time, it's hard to keep up with them with 2 incomes, but family is important as well :)


tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

This is a major life decision, but you will get your retirement and medical. Retire early. What would you like to do? What is your passion? A part time job could turn into something that you enjoy. Focus on life after cancer. Cancer free, start living your life free of cancer.

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