My last day worked was November 4, 2011. Per my company’s policy, an employee is terminated after being out on disability for one year. So I guess today is my last day.
It’s a formality, really. I’m too sick to work, and it’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to return to my project management glory.
Long ago I came to terms with the fact that the business world has moved on without me; everyone’s replaceable. Still, there’s some sort of finality knowing I’m a “terminated” employee.
When I was first diagnosed, no one knew the extent of my disease. I thought I would have a lobectomy, maybe lose a whole lung at worst, have chemotherapy, and return to work. Everything seemed so cut and dry. I assured my colleagues I would be back and maybe even as soon as January.
But I had only dipped my toe in the cancer pool.
A week or two passed, and I started to hear about the extent of my illness. Still, there was hope I would have a miraculous response to a new drug, Xalkori. Maybe it would knock down and control my cancer so I would feel good enough to return to work.
I was chest-deep in the pool.
It’s well documented where the story goes from here. I showed mild improvement during my first 2 months on Xalkori. By month five (May) I was in the hospital due to its toxicity, and the scan showed my cancer had progressed once again. I had three months of one chemo cocktail, then three months of another. The only result has been more cancer.
No, this certainly isn’t where I thought I would be. 31 and disabled, now treading water in the deep end of the pool.
Teddy Roosevelt said “do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
I am home; I have a pillow and a blankie. I think I shall nap.