Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cancer filled and friendly fired

In no time, the treatments take me down to zero. Amidst the shock of the unexpected diagnosis, the immediate and looming physical, emotional and financial horrors, it's not possible for me to entertain even working part-time. 

I am a shell. Damaged. Useless.  

For 25 years I've been a paralegal and I know lots of shit - about the law and procedure to be sure, but also, I'm an excellent assistant. My abilities to conjure are amazing. No situation intimidates me. I type in excess of 100 wpm and rarely make a mistake. I am hyper-organized and fast. Court personnel, opposing counsel and clients love me. 

When I was diagnosed, I had been working for my boss for 6 years. If I survive initially, they've ruined me for future employment anywhere else. Nothing will ever come close.  

They take me aside and tell to me: stop working and get treatment. Give all your energy and thoughts to healing. You will have a job if you want it when you are done. Just go take care of yourself. Working here is not in your best interest if you want to survive. 

And so, without any drama, on August 20, 2014 I leave my office for the last time. The concern on their faces is frightening, so I crack jokes about new boobs and other things I cannot remember. Near my house, I stop to cry at a park.

It's a long while before I make it home.