For the last several years I have had my own Interior Design
business called Jana Design. When you are the sole proprietor of a
business and you get sick unexpectedly there can be some serious
financial repercussions. So far, we have been fortunate and between
my husband's job and the flexibility of my clients, we have been
able to hold our own.
The more interaction I have had in
my support group with other women. The more I have come to
understand how lucky I am. Others are having all kinds of concerns
about their condition to work, the feeling toward them by their
employers and co-workers and finding meaning in what they were doing
before, now that the stakes in their lives have changed.
The diagnosis of cancer changes
just about every part of our lives in some way, some areas more
profoundly than others.
This is an area where we want to
hear from you. What are you running into I the working world? Are
you finding the support you need, or are there insurmountable
obstacles? Are you making ends meet, or are there too many
challenges getting in the way?
us. Maybe together we
can help arrive at solutions.
I consider it a most fortunate
thing that I was already securely out of show business before I got
sick. It can be a very hard life for those young and healthy, never
mind if you are not up to your peak performance. Not only would the
stress have been too formidable for me, but it would also have been
very hard to sell myself in Hollywood if people knew I was in a
While in my own business I have
been able to make my appointments and deadlines work around my
treatments and how I feel. I have been working almost all the way
through the process, from a few weeks after my 1st surgery, through
my first set of six chemotherapy sessions. I was fortunate to be
able to have my 2nd surgery near the holidays, when the business is
usually slow. Now through the rest of this year I must continue to
keep working regularly while doing my monthly chemo cycles.
To do this I have had to learn how
to work smarter. I have stopped taking on projects that require me
to baby-sit with the job. I use my expertise more like a consultant
than like a project manager. I feel that my clients are getting the
best of this deal as well, since they are paying for less of my
hourly time, yet gain the maximum benefit of my taste and
Another shift that I have made is
to downsize enough to have full control of my time, for now. When I
had people working for me I had to maintain more business to cover
the expense of my employees. I also had to work harder to stay ahead
of the game. Now, I am working through other people's business.
Rather than having my employees and I running around the city
finding what we need, I am working through companies that are
already resource-rich. In a way, I am hiring experts in their fields
to supply my clients with their products. I make less in the volume
of the job, but I am making more per work-hour spent on the job,
which has become my priority.
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