A WINN REVIEW

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One key feature of WINN’s approach is to review books and other materials that cover

workplace issues. At WINN we intend to review motion pictures, television programs and other

materials that help to achieve WINN’s objectives. WINN’s second review is from the book

entitled: “So Glad I made it”, authored by Leila M Springer. Though the book actually

documents the author’s journey through breast cancer, it does contain formation about her

relationship to her work and workplaces as part of this process. With this backdrop, WINN starts

the review. What follows is the majority of the contents of Chapter Nine, entitled: Back to Work

together with other passages relevant to work and workplaces.

Ms Delia Springer froze when she received her breast cancer diagnosis, even though she had

prayed earnestly to be the one to be afflicted by the disease, not her sister. Nothing could have

prepared her for the diagnosis, even though it came in her busy period while she was managing a

software transition at the company for which she worked. Ms Springer was married and had

done well professionally, enjoying a middle-class life-style. Ms Springer, with her strong work

ethic, thought about returning to work while receiving treatment. The impact of chemotherapy on

her body made the decision not to return to work while undergoing treatment a no brainer.

“During the months following my radiation treatment, I began to contemplate returning to work.

I had several discussions with my husband, friends and other family members to determine their

On friend thought that it was much too soon to plunge back into the workforce and suggested

that I take a year off before returning. I gave it some thought but somehow felt the need to get

back into the work force. I did not give adequate consideration to the fact that I had just come

through a very serious illness. I had gone through extensive treatment, and giving my body some

time to adjust should have been an option.

I had told my boss that I was planning on returning to work on January 04, 2000. I know now

that that was a mistake. I can now recall a colleague who was diagnosed with colon cancer and

was undergoing treatment. Unfortunately, due to her home situation, she was forced to continue

working until she no longer had the energy. I made a vow then that, should I ever face a serious

illness, I would make the decision to do the things in life that I wanted to do, not what I was

forced to do. I would make the decision to work or not work, not have someone else make that

decision for me. I never knew that day would come.

Returning to work after breast cancer for many women is a difficult decision. Knowing that you

have people on your side can help the anxiety that you may feel. Having an understanding boss

can be helpful. Working out a return to work plan and working short hours and gradually

increasing to the desired hours can also be helpful.

Perhaps I never should have returned to that particular job. Or perhaps I should have tried getting

a job somewhere else, where no one knew me, and I can start over without the problems I was

But somehow this was part of God’s plan. I endured three years of the most difficult years I ever

spent on that job. Difficult because I had sacrificed so much before the illness. I had worked very

long hours. I worked on weekends and holidays to keep up with the demand and ensure my

responsibilities were covered. At this time in my life, I thought it would at least count for

something. But I was wrong. Not everyone remembers you when you are sick. People do not

always understand. For most, it is just a job, and you are just another employee. This was

another example to me of storing up your treasures in the right place.

When I was on sick leave, I had shared with my co-worker two dreams I had about losing my

job. She would not hear of it because she thought I was so valuable to the company. She could

not have been more wrong. God was preparing me for the inevitable, which would manifest

Jesus said:”Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be

added to you.” (Matthew: 6:33) Rather than thinking that if I worked hard and showed some

commitment to the company things would work in my favor, trusting God should be

first—having a strong focus on God and who He is and how powerful He is and most of all that

He is our provider. We are never alone, and God is aware of our situation and will take care of

Although I had the dreams and had shared them with my co-worker, and although IO knew that

things were not the same, I was still shocked. The notice came just before I left for vacation. Had

I known it was coming at that time, I would have postponed my vacation until after. I began to

reflect as I always do, and what I discovered was nothing short of a mystery. At my interview in

December of 1988, I was told that they wanted someone who would stay with the company for

ten to fifteen years. I had responded, “I don’t know about fifteen years, but I will promise you

ten.” At ten years I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At fifteen years I was released from the

position. Was there a lesson in all of this? Was I to pay closer attention to not only my thoughts

I was given the one-year notice on March 31, 2003. My final date at work was March 31, 2004.”

I am glad I made it is an easy read. It written in very accessible language. It contours the many facets

involved in the cancer journey, including the impact of chemotherapy on the survivor. One issue that the

book explores is the cultural dimensions of the illness and how cultural issues factor into workplace

When Ms Springer decided to return to work while on treatment, she did so out of dedication for her

workplace and a sense of responsibility. One implication of the book’s contents is that a person’s work

ethic may affect the return to work date. Middle-managers, professionals, and senior managers, may be

more likely to return to work early, even against the advice of the treating oncologist. What was most

interesting about the book is the perspective is that when chemotherapy and radiation have stripped a

survivor of all their dignity, the prospect of returning to work remains the last hope. Losing

WINN’S RECOMMENDATION

This book is an easy read. Its contents are informative. It contains tons of emotional information as the

author disclose her struggles in her journey dealing with cancer. Read this book if you want to get a better

understanding of the cancer journey and the confusion that can arise in the minds of workplace

participants who are dedicated not only to their work, but also their employers. ..