Support on Balancing Work & Family and Cancer Treatment

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: January 26, 2012


I would like some advice on how to balance work, family, kids, etc. while facing cancer and treatment. Where can I go for help/support?


Tracy Lautenbach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine, responds:

Balancing work, family, children and cancer treatment can be very challenging for some.

This would be the time to call on those that have offered to help you when you were first diagnosed. Friends, neighbors, co workers all want to know what they can contribute. Be thinking about what kind of concrete help you need. For instance: childcare, shopping, meal prep, housekeeping just to name a few. People want to know what they can do for you and your family. Remember to make time for yourself- even if it is a mere 30 mintues to take a walk or a bath or sit and look at a magazine or book.

Adjusting your expectations about what all needs to be done is also necessary.

Cancer and Careers is a wonderful resource to help with balancing work and cancer treatment. A support group may also be a good resource for you as you will get ideas and network with others in your situation. Look for a Cancer Support Community or Gilda's Club in your area.

Some good resources about employment are: - cancer and careers - The American Cancer Society -Cancer Legal resource Center

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Gynecologic Cancers transcript.


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