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    Looking for some advice
    An_188701 posted:
    Just registered and would like to say hello. I need some advice. I am in a situation and I don't know how to handle it. I have a co-worker that says she has breast cancer. My concerns lately is that she really doesn't. I thought maybe somebody here could help answer a few questions. I don't want to sound heartless or unconcerned for people who are truly fighting this, but any help would be greatly appreciated.

    She has supposedly been receiving chemo treatments twice a week since September and has worked the day after she received treatment. Is this something anyone has experience? She has also said that she is receiving her chemo injected into her breasts. Has anyone heard of being treated this way? She hasn't lost any hair and she doesn't seem to be sick the day after treatment.

    I guess what I am asking is any of these things I have mentioned possible? I really don't want to sound heartless as I said above and I admire anyone who has fought and won their battle, but I really could use some advice.

    Thanks for your help in advance.
    rachael67 responded:
    It's difficult to imagine someone lying about having cancer. Perhaps I am just afraid that if I did such a thing, the fates would zap me with the disease! But that is beside the fact as we know folks lie about all sorts of things, and I am sure some have lied about cancer too.

    What would one gain by such a lie? Attention. Excuses for avoiding work or situations they found unpleasant. Some sort of financial benefits. Guess if there was something to be gained, it could prove attractive to an individual.

    Is your co-worker lying? Ah! Now that's the question. And one that I doubt any of us could really confirm or deny without knowing much more about her and her case.

    Bottom line for me, however, is why do you need so desperately to know? Why is it so important to you? Is she denying you something in this situation? I can't help feeling that you are out to prove her a liar for whatever reason, and that is as sad as someone lying about having cancer.

    Give it some thought and see if this is really the person you want to be. Okay? I have the feeling you are probably better than what this might indicate.

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    flourpowergirl replied to rachael67's response:
    Other then the fact that I am the supervisor and sometimes it does affect the work place. Not really trying to prove she is lying I am just trying to wrap my head around why she would lie about this. I do know for a fact that because she may be lying about this she has gained financially (not alot, just little gift baskets and such). I know it does really sound petty to some, but as I said this has been going on since Sept. She is supposed to be done with chemo this month but I have found out that she is now telling others that she has to take treatment until March and she has not told me (her boss) that this is going on.
    jean4u replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    I think this has the potential to "get out of control". Recently, in the news, was a woman who lied about her child being terminally ill. She did gain financially from this deceptive claim. She also seemed to relish in the attention it brought.

    But, the more important thing is when people are duped, they are more likely to doubt "the people with real needs'.

    Nobody like to feel like they are "taken".

    Some people deceive for the money. Some for the attention. I mean look at the popularity of Facebook...some people want celebrity status.

    It would annoy me as a breast cancer survivor to think that someone would fake this illness ,too.

    Since this IS occurring at the workplace it may effect workloads and "special" consideration for time off.

    How is HR handling this?
    Andie_WebMD_Staff replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    Hi Flourpowergirl,

    I'm not an expert on breast cancer, and would definitely defer to our community's experiences...but, I did wonder about the chemo injections, too.

    From what I understand the chemo injections are given by a shot in a muscle in your arm, thigh, or hip or right under the skin in the fatty part of your arm, leg, or belly. I didn't see anything about injecting directly into the breast, but I could be wrong. Community?

    The side effects of chemo varies from person to person, so there's no way of knowing for sure if lack of symptoms is a sure fire sign of chemo treatment.

    You can read more about Chemotheapy uses, side effects, types and how it's given in this article.

    If someone is faking an illness, it is a sad situation. It definitely would not be the first time and won't be the last. But, as her Supervisor, I would want to know too.
    rachael67 replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    Hearing that she is more than a co-worker and that you are her supervisor/boss puts a slightly different spin on your interest. Yes, there may well be extenuating circumstances which will affect the work place (such as days off, time off, insurance issues, etc.) Also, if you feel she is taking advantage of her fellow employees by accepting gifts, etc. that is yet another issue to deal with.

    As I said, there are as many reasons for lying as there are human beings. It would be a blessing if she did NOT have cancer...But if that were the case, she is plagued by a different demon which may-well be equally as malignant!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    Andie_WebMD_Staff replied to rachael67's response:
    Very well put, Rachel.

    I'm still unsure about the chemo injections directly into the breast. Is this the procedure when it's breast cancer?
    flourpowergirl replied to Andie_WebMD_Staff's response:
    Thanks for the responses. Since I posted last she called in saying she was sick. A little more about this situation, I am a cafeteria manager and she is my only employee. So the call in today left me short handed. I feel that the people she is taking advantage of is the other staff at school. I agree that if she is lying about this she has much deeper issues and a need for attention, which is kind of sad. I know any cancer is bad, I lost my mother to cancer almost 11 years ago, however she didn't tell us, didn't take any treatments and to this day I don't know what form of cancer she had. So I don't really have any personal experience with how to deal with this. Again, thanks for your responses, it helps to know that I am somewhat justified in my concerns.
    judyfams replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    Your only recourse here is to monitor the days she calls in sick as well as her job oerformance.n What she talks about at work while annoying and obviously erroneous from what you said is difficult for you to actually question and disprove.

    Her absences are another story however. I would suggest that you as her supervisor closely monitor them. Keep a record of the days she is absent, and if they become too frequent management can legally request doctors notes for each time she calls in sick, and they can also request that she be examined by a doctor of their choice. If she refuses to comply then she can be let go.

    Rather then disprove her health stories, as her supervisor, I would come from the angle of her job performance. In my opinion that gives you valid documentation to then take this further up the management ladder. Since she is your only employee, then her calling in sick or not doing her job will cause problems with the efficient management of the cafeteria and that will be of interest to higher ups. Getting into a verbal argument of whether or not she has cancer could make you look petty and vindictive and may backfire, as some people who are not knowledgeable about cancer treatment may actually believe her and think you are picking on this poor woman suffering from cancer!

    I would bide my time on this and use her job performance and evaluations as a means to deal with her on a professional level.

    Good luck and letus know how this turns out!
    flourpowergirl replied to judyfams's response:
    Thanks Judy. I have already started documenting the absences and anything else that I think needs to be documented. I would never come right out and confront her for the reasons that you stated. Part of me hopes I am wrong and that she wouldn't do something likes this, but I guess I really believe that she is. I have been hearing stories. The problem is that it is not a big community and tales get around so things that happen outside of work is making there way to me and alot of these tales don't paint a very pretty picture. I will keep you updated. Here's hoping that every woman who truly has this disease receives good news in this new year.
    jenna291 replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    It seems unbelievable that someone would lie about having such a horrible disease for attention, but its happened before. Does she receive health benefits from your organization? That would be one way to confirm.
    I have never heard of injections in the breast as a chemo treatment. Everyone I know, and unfortunately there are several people, all received their infusions in the arm or hand. I guess anything is possible, but it seems strange. Also, I don't know of anyone who hasn't lost their hair, including eyelashes, from chemo. You could ask specific questions about her treatment, like what kind of chemotherapy she is on, where does she receive treatment. Curious how this turns out and thanks for your well wishes. I can't imagine possibly faking the horror of chemo!
    flourpowergirl replied to jenna291's response:
    Thanks Jenna. I can't understand anyone doing this either. I know were she is supposedly going to receive her treatments and no she does not have insurance benefits. I kind of adopted the don't ask attitude when we started this school year, because she said she came to work so she wouldn't be at home thinking about being sick and what not so I think if I start asking questions now it will raise some red flags. Besides, she passes on enough information to other staff at school. I will keep everyone update as this story unfolds. Thanks again.
    judyfams replied to flourpowergirl's response:
    I just wanted to post again - as a retired teacher and past local district union president, negotiator and grievance chairman.

    If your cafeteria staff is unionized you cannot get any help from them in this situation as the union will not deal with any conflicts between their members. For obvious reasons since all their members pay dues, the union cannot appear to favor one member over the other. So this is a difficult situation that you have to handle yourself.

    Therefore your best option is what I had previously suggested and that is as her supervisor you just need to keep good records about her absences, latenesses and job performance, especially if her actions in any way disrupts the school lunch program.

    Again, good luck and try not to let the stress get to you. Keep us informed.

    cheriamelia7 replied to judyfams's response:
    judyfams...just ...trying to find out the "deal" with
    femara.. Teacher...

    (and "quite a teacher..union president and all)

    I retired as a Diabetes Educator...and did so much more..
    Maternity, Eldercare...

    You name it.."I did it" (Like You)

    and am now...trying to ..

    figure out..

    this drug...and

    I AM A NURSE....RN...SINCE ..21..(started at 18...and now am 66 and feisty...and still "learning!")


    Oh, I am "also a Negotiator...laugh...funny huh...
    the "person" who makes "everything ok...for ALL of Us!"


    I am "trying" to learn about this drug


    "risk vs. taking it..and ALL THE SIDE EFFECTS...

    esp. if you have something "else" ( think about..(might have spelled that wrong..but u know what I mean)...weighing things...


    Looking for "opinions"





    and finding some here!

    To the Lady who was BRAVE ENOUGH TO SAY
    WHAT SHE THOUGHT (AND my reading..
    you all have...

    but I HAD NO FORUM...

    TO SAY..



    and it was so important!

    kiwiallright responded:
    I will say that I do return to work the next day after my treatment - but that was me - - I had treatments on Thursday and managed to get through Friday - rest the weekend - I only had 7 treatments. I do have a story to tell. I have a friend tell me that she had a neighbour who said that she was fighting breast cancer - not saying that your co worker isn't - and the neighbour needed a ride to the hospital for treatments either once or a few times a week, so different neighbours were taking her up to the hospital - - Come to find out she did not have cancer - she was having an interlude with some person connected with the hospital and was going up there to meet with him - -

    I will say this - if she is having the chemo injected into her breast - wish I could have gone that route,.

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