Toronto – Friday, October 30th, 2015.
Today my consulting assignment with Sanofi ends, and it is my last day of work.
There is a part of me that’s sad because I love the work I do and find fulfillment in it. I will miss the work. I will miss the people. I will miss not having somewhere to go when I wake up each morning. Sanofi has been my lifeline. First, for making Mozobil available to me that enabled me to get a stem cell transplant. And then for taking the chance to hire me again once I got better. I have worked with Sanofi as a consultant three different times over the past 10 years and it is an organization that i am so proud to be affiliated with.
As I look back, I realize what a miracle it is that I ever went back to work at all. One full year of chemo treatment had rendered my brain useless. I could not process information or make sense of things. Everything was a blur and a struggle. Six months after my stem cell transplant, my oncologist gave me the okay to work one day a week. I was ecstatic! The very next day, my friend Jo Anne – – who also happens to be the Head of HR from Sanofi – came to visit me at home. Once Jo Anne heard I could come to work, she moved fast and made it happen! And just like that, I was back at work – – a little bruised, a little battered, and mostly hopeful…
The first six months of returning to work were tough. I was weak. I was fatigued. I had no hair. Walking from the parking lot to the office was tough. I often had to hold someone’s arm to keep steady. I learnt to trade my high heels with flats because it was now all about comfort, rather than looking good Slowly, over time, I got stronger. Things started to make more sense. I got my bearings. One day of work per week, turned to three, and then five days. Travelling to the U.S. for work got easier. And today I am at full strength, with my brain firing on all cylinders! And sadly, it’s time to leave.
I see this as a message from the universe. I’m not quite sure what this message is yet and will need to figure this out. Is it taking on another role? Is it focusing on health and vitality? Is it trying to find that elusive balance which I lost this past year because work took up so much of my time? Is it to write a book? Is it doing something entirely different? Is it time to focus on giving back to the community? The fact that I have so many choices is a blessing in itself. Shayne, my son, often asks me, “what is your big game?” I don’t know the answer to this yet. I am beginning to explore this by asking myself another question, “what would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?” And there is excitement about sitting in this place of “not knowing” and being open to the possibilities of what lies ahead.
For the next week or so, I plan to play, to sleep-in, to meet friends, to watch movies, to totally take a break and do absolutely no work. After that, look out world!
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