update: fielding a job offer when you might be facing a serious health diagnosis

Remember the letter-writer back in January who was trying to decide how to handle an impending job offer when she had just learned there was a small chance she could have cancer? Here’s her update.

You were so kind to answer my question back in January and I was floored by how nice all the comments were. Since you were so helpful, I did want to follow up. I did get offered the job–but it did turn out that I had cancer. So I had to turn it down, and am still at my current job while receiving treatment.

Fortunately, my cancer was so early-stage that my prognosis is excellent and I actually feel just fine, back at work after surgery and doing great. I have to say, the organization that offered me the other job was amazing about it–their immediate reply was to ask whether I would still consider taking their job, emphasized that they had excellent health coverage, and said they could work around my issue. (I hadn’t been specific about what the issue was.) But ultimately I felt that I couldn’t take on a new job during such a stressful time in my life. My current employer has been wonderful and it was the right choice to stay put.

I’ll probably resume my job search at some point–so will certainly be turning to your site again for helpful advice. And, I have to admit, I am very entertained by some of the crazy work stories you post!

I’m so glad to hear that you’re doing well, and I know others will be too. Thank you for updating us!

{ 38 comments… read them below }

  1. Sospeso

    Yes, it’s so reassuring to hear you’re doing well and that you have a good prognosis! Sending good thoughts your way.

  2. hayling

    Good news, and thanks for the update. Also nice to hear about two employers both being accommodating, always a plus

  3. Andy

    I hope your recovery is uninterrupted and your career maintains an upward trajectory!

  4. 42

    Win-win on all fronts! I’m so glad to hear about your prognosis, and I wish you all the best. Thank you for updating us!

  5. Riri

    It is so nice to hear a story where an employer (in this case two employers) is/are doing the right thing by their employees and applicants. I am wishing you well, OP.

  6. Sigrid

    I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well, OP! Best of luck for your continuing recovery.

  7. TCO

    What a great update, OP. I’m glad you’re recovering well. It’s heartening to hear that both your current and potential employers treated you so well through the difficult stretch. Best of luck on your job search!

  8. Mimmy

    Early detection is so important! Glad you are doing well and that both your current and prospective employer handled your situation kindly. The world needs more employers like that.

    Best wishes to you, OP, going forward.

  9. Volunteer Coordinator in NOVA

    I’m so glad to hear this worked out! I am job searching now, have a chronic illness and this makes me a bit nervous as my job right now is pretty accommodating.

    1. MegEB

      My boyfriend has a chronic disease as well (and lives in NOVA!) and has always found his employers to be supportive and accommodating. Any employer that isn’t willing to work with you isn’t someone you want to work for. Best of luck!

  10. Jo

    Makes me very happy to hear this – good health prognosis AND good employers. Wishing you all the best OP!

    1. Folklorist

      Not only good employers, but ANOTHER good employer treating a candidate with respect! It’s an AAM miracle!

      Seriously, though, OP, I’m really glad to hear that things turned out for the best!

  11. Lily in NYC

    I was hoping you would update, thank you! And I’m so glad to hear you are doing well and wish you nothing but continued good health and happiness.

  12. MegEB

    I’m so happy this worked out for you. Best of luck in your recovery and in your job (wherever you may work in the future).

  13. Jake

    1. I’m so happy you’re okay.

    2. I’m almost as happy that both companies were so understanding.

  14. JJ

    Well, my weekend will be off to an even greater start after having read this. So glad the OP was the recipient of such caring, human responses from both her current and prospective employer. Perhaps especially by the prospective employer whose interests may have been at odds with the OP’s interests; their response is something I would have bragged about on Glassdoor even though I didn’t take the job. It says a lot about that company. Anyway, enough rambling. Best of luck in your recovery, OP! Very glad that your cancer was caught early and that you are getting back in the saddle!

  15. kac

    I’ll echo everyone else that I’m thrilled to hear you are doing well, and that everyone around you was so supportive. All the very best!

  16. Formica Dinette

    OP, this is wonderful news all the way around! I hope your health continues to be good and that your future job search goes well.

    Thank you so much for following up!

  17. fposte

    I’m glad you’re doing well, OP, and both your current and possible companies dealt kindly and reasonably with the situation.

  18. penelope pitstop

    Happiest update to lead into the weekend, ever.

    That you’re feeling well and have a great prognosis with an early catch – awesome. That both your new/prospective employer and your current employer rallied around you…amazing. That kind of support and kindness likely speaks as highly of you as it does of them.

    Thanks for the update and continued wishes for a full recovery, long happy life and a crowd of good people in your corner!

  19. TN

    Glad you are doing well OP! It’s refreshing to hear of companies and bosses who have the “Let us help, take all the time you need” attitude and not the “Clearly you are exaggerating, you can still work” attitude. Good for you and best of luck with your treatment!

  20. salad fingers

    Seconding everyone’s comments here — great to hear that things are going well and refreshing to hear that both employers handled your needs with care. Hoping things continue to work out as well as possible for you :-)

  21. Zillah

    I’m so sorry that it did turn out to be cancer, OP, but I’m so happy to hear that the prognosis is good and that both your current job employers and the ones who made you the offer have been so sensitive and accommodating through such a difficult time! Good luck!

  22. Fee

    Such great news on both counts! I think it gives hope to all of us that there are great employers out there :)

  23. The Other Katie

    I’m sorry it turned out to be cancer, but I’m so glad to hear you are doing well. My thoughts will continue to be with you, and thank you for sending an update!

  24. RB

    So happy for you, OP. This is the best kind of update. Good thoughts going your way for continued good health.

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