Approved to be working from home – April 2017

Blessed is the man humbled by his fortunes.Not the least is working from homeThere hasn’t really been much to write about over the last several months. This is, of course, a great thing. The routines of normal living of life are the ideal for anyone fighting or living with any kind of cancer. So pretty much any significant non-cancer event in life is a cause for celebration 🙂 Working from home is one of those events.

Shortly after starting with Shaw Communications, they began offering new positions for staff looking for working from home. with many years experience working from home in the past and familiar with what isolated working is like, I was comfortable applying for a working from home position. My first attempt failed, but I kept applying hoping that the opportunity would eventually find its way to me. It did. April 20 I learned that I made home based agent. Very cool.

“Shaw is a very progressive-minded company”

Shaw is a very progressive-minded company, not just in products and technology, but also in customer and employee relations. The home-based agent program is just one of the many opportunities the company champions. Working from home means different things to different people. For me, it means not having to commute 30 miles each way each day and the ongoing expenses associated with that, both financially and in time away from home. For most, that is enough.

My want, however, goes even further than that; and deeper. With this urostomy pouch glued to my abdomen, there are constant concerns associated with it. In the office, I try to find a computer and pod closest to the washroom. Through the day, I am constantly checking the bag to make sure it doesn’t get too full. When it reaches the point where it needs emptying, I have to get to the washroom as soon as possible. It isn’t flexible; there is no fudging full – there are none of the natural sensations of a real bladder as an indicator nor that flexibility. It is a manually monitored situation. The trip to the bathroom is always a little tense. The ever-present risk of it failing, falling off, or leaking, with the inevitable resulting mess. It is a level of anxiety that is now gone.

“Working from home will greatly help with monitoring the urostomy”

I have had the bag fail, fall off, and leak in the past. This has happened at work and at home. It is rare, but it happens and it always unpleasant. I really didn’t know how much I thought about this appliance through the day-to-day until I learned I would be working from home. The urostomy was simply a fact of life and dealt with as such. Yet, when I learned I would be working from home, it was like a huge weight left my shoulders. I didn’t realize how much it weighed on me until that moment.

At work, I have never discussed this little burden bladder cancer has left me with. That is simply something I would not do. I am feeling very grateful now for having this opportunity. It will mean being able to connect to the 2-liter bag that I use at night for sleeping during the day as well. The whole situation of having to balance working with customers and keeping an eye on the bag and timing trips to the washroom are now gone. Additionally, choosing attire for the work day has changed as well. Dressing in a way that concealed the urostomy is far less an issue. The other 20 shirts in my closet will be seeing action again. 🙂

One never knows what fates of life will occur as days go by. If I have learned anything during this journey it is to simply live. Do the best you can with what you have and keep moving forward. Live each day one at a time, but don’t lose sight of the future. Set goals; plan; dream and keep moving. What will happen will happen, adapt, and keep going. Sometimes things work out just fine.

About SM Dougan

Writer/novelist. I have been diagnosed with Stage 3 bladder cancer and small lymphatic lymphoma. I have had a radical cystoprostatectomy and adjuvant chemo therapy for the bladder cancer. This website has been created document my experiences as I go through the process in the hope of providing encouragement to others in a similar situation. For more information about me and my novels, visit my author website
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