I knew everyone at work was wondering what was happening with me. I had missed many days–of course people talk. A few people at work knew about my cancer but only a few. In some ways it was more difficult that way; I was mopey and few people knew why. Until today.
I was going to have to take a FMLA based on recommendations from my Oncologist. 18 weeks. FMLA is only for 12 weeks. If I didn’t have enough sick days to carry me through those 12 weeks then my insurance would be cut off. So, let’s think about this. I run the risk of losing my insurance coverage in the midst of my cancer treatment. BUT, there was a solution–that I could borrow days from staff members; up to 100. Ann helped me figure out all of the logistics, went down to the Union, made phone calls, just made it happen, that’s what Ann does.
There I stood in front of the staff with Ann and I told them about my breast cancer. I thought maybe I could hold it together and not cry but I couldn’t. Then Ann took over and explained the donating of days. When she was finished there was an immediate outpouring of generosity and love. It is almost impossible to put into words the emotions in the room. In those moments I think of how we as humans can truly rise to the occasion and give of oneself regardless of anything. It was one of the most touching moments I have had since my diagnosis. Ann wisely told me to take that moment and put it away in my pocket, and on those rough days I have, pull it out of my pocket and remember.
I received over 100 days donated. Love in action.