I started my new job last week, and so far, so good. It seems like I’ll get the chance to good work, with a good team, with shorter hours and a more relaxed dress code than I had at the white palace for the last six years.
Finding a good team was really important to me in my search, and in fact, was one of the reasons I turned down an offer I got more than a year ago. I just never clicked with that team, and I couldn’t envision spending hours every day with people I didn’t enjoy being with. It’s not to say that you have to be best friends with everyone at work, but I do subscribe to the idea that you need to have at least a friend or two to vent to, to grab coffee with, to roll your eyes at after a particularly crazy email comes in.
I don’t know exactly who among this team may become that person for me — or maybe no one will, but I’ll have a good time with the whole team, which seems pretty relaxed, generally friendly, and pretty open with each other. They certainly seem comfortable with me so far, down to asking if anyone on the metro is giving up seats for me (um, NOPE, not even when my belly is staring them right in the face) and once they found out where I’m from, taking the expected digs at Boston sports teams.
As many of you reading this know — and by virtue of the fact that I put details of my life OUT ON A BLOG — much of my life is an open book.
Except now. This new team doesn’t know my cancer story.
It’s not exactly something you spill during the interview process — hell, I waited practically until I had the offer in hand to tell them I was pregnant — and now I don’t know how, or whether, to tell them at all.
It’s such a big part of who I am that it seems odd to leave it out, but it’s also a weird thing to mention in passing, as I learned when I told a friend at my last job who started after my last round of radiation. I just assumed she knew, that someone had told her somewhere along the way, but no, I was the one who told her — in a nonchalant way across the table at a friend’s wedding, of course — and it threw her for a loop.
There aren’t any easy answers here about how to handle disclosure. Actually, no, that’s not true. I don’t want to keep my survivorship a secret forever. But maybe it’s one of those things that I will end up casually mentioning as I talk about my running group, or my thyroid group, or my great doctors. As I look toward November and my five-year cancerversary, maybe casual is okay.
And if I don’t scare someone away with my casual cancer aside, maybe they’ll even end up being a friend. That seems like a decent test.