What Do I Do Now? - 121

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LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH CANCER - PRACTICAL /// CHAPTER 76
Keeping up
Even if you have gone back to school
or college you may still miss out on
class a lot because you need to go to
appointments or have treatment.
You may also still get really tired and
not feel 100%. This can make it hard to
and remain focused.
You could:
» Ask a friend to take notes for you if
you miss a class.
» Get the teacher to email any
work or assignments that you
have missed, or they could send
the work home with a friend or a
sibling for you.
» With your teacher, work out what
work is a priority and focus on that
- it may be easier than trying to
get it all done.
REMEMBER: Try not to stress about
your school or college work. It can wait,
if necessary, until you are well again.
Grades
You might feel ready to jump right back
into school or college and make up for
lost time. But don't be surprised if you
don't find it that easy and your marks
aren't what they used to be.
This might be because you were away
a lot. Or it might be because some
of your treatment has made it harder
to concentrate or understand and
remember new information (remember:
Chemo Brain!). You might feel like you
are working harder than you had to
before just to keep up. Or maybe your
goals have changed.
Your health and getting better is the
most important thing at this time, and
you and your teachers and parents
might have to adjust your expectations
for now.
If you are doing your final school
exams, speak to your teachers or
the school counselor about " special
consideration. " If any paperwork
or letters are needed for diagnosis
confirmation to get accommodations,
ask your social worker or nurse
navigator at your treatment center to
help you with this information.
You might be worried about:
» Causing more stress on your body.
» Not being able to meet the
requirements of the assessments
and afraid of failing.
» The uncertainty of your health and
being unable to predict how you
will feel mentally or physically in
the future.
» Fitting in and receiving unwanted
attention.
» Physical access such as
wheelchair access.
» Not being able to complete
particular types of exams,
assessments, practical work or
field trips.
External enrollment in homebound or
distance learning might be an option
for you. This means you could take
courses online and study in your own
time.
There are also support services at
college campuses that will help you to
make adjustments.
Disability services
You may not think of yourself as having
a " disability, " but a chronic medical
condition like cancer is actually
considered a disability in the US.
Whether you choose to think of
yourself as having a disability or not is
up to you. But if you do tell your school
or college about your cancer, you
may have the right to access special
support services and accommodations
that can help you get through.
Accommodations might include:
» Extra time for exams.
» Access to lecture notes before
class.
» Allocation of note-takers, sign
language interpreters and readers.
» Use of equipment and assistive
technology.
» Assistance with parking and
physical access.
» Don't be shy - you deserve as
much help as you can get, it is okay
to share what has been hard, there
are supports in place to help you
be the best you can be in these
moments.
» Look for contact information on
your school websites and services
who can provide advice and
assistance and you might look up
" Where to get help. "
Student Services
Most campuses also have a Student
Service Center that provides support
services such as:
» Counselling
» Financial Assistance
» Tutoring
» Career Advice
» Health Services
» Housing Services
» Child Care
» Employment Services
» Minority Student Services
» First time college student support
» School counselors or advisors
https://fwaya.org/

What Do I Do Now?

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