Balancing Cancer and Your Job
Talk to Your Supervisor
3. Schedule a meeting with your supervisor and/or company's human resources representative. The amount of information you share is your call. But "to be legally entitled to accommodations, you must be specific about your diagnosis and what you need your employer to do," says Hoffman. (Note: Medical information is confidential and can only be shared with those who need to know about your illness in order to provide the changes you request.) Examples of what you might say include: "I'll be in treatment for cancer for 12 weeks and I'll need that time off." "I'm not going to be able to travel to the upcoming business meeting." "I may need to split my workload with coworkers." "I have to leave work two hours earlier for the next six Fridays for radiation treatments. After that, my doctor thinks I can return to my regular schedule." Since people respond differently to treatment, plan to re-evaluate your situation every few weeks. Document any conversation you have with your employer. That way, you have a record of what was said in case questions come up later.
4. Discuss with your employer the best way to tell your coworkers about your illness. Again, how much you reveal and at what point is a matter of personal choice.