THE BLOG
06/30/2014 03:00 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2014

Balancing Work and Cancer

Professionals everywhere are faced with managing many facets of life from work to personal to family demands. Adding illness to the mix can become debilitating. Finding a way to balance responsibilities while dealing with treatment and recovery was a central topic of Cancer and Careers' fourth annual National Conference on Work & Cancer on June 13th, where Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund (LMOCF) was a sponsor. Cancer and Careers is the sole program of the CEW Foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable arm of Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc.

Over 250 attendees from 25 states gathered in New York City for last month's conference. This year, 39 Travel Scholarship recipients attended from underserved areas such as Montana, Hawaii and Kansas. The event addressed the challenges working people with cancer face -- including topics such as job search, health insurance, legal issues, working through treatment and job re-entry. The conference provided a wonderful opportunity for attendees to network, discover resources and hear directly from experts. Attendees were grateful for the breadth of information. The sessions included:

The Doctor's Perspective -- presented by Dr. Alan Astrow, Mainmonides Medical Center; and Dr. Ruth Oratz, NYU School of Medicine
Work & Cancer -- Practical and Legal Issues -- Monica Bryant, Esq., COO, Triage Cancer and cancer rights attorney; and Rebecca V. Nellis, MPP, Vice President of Programs & Strategy, Cancer and Careers
Navigating Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act & Managing Your Finances -- Joanna Morales, Esq., CEO, Triage Cancer and cancer rights attorney
• Job Search & Career Change -- Julie Jansen, Executive and Career Coach and Author
Building Self-Confidence -- Bud Bilanich, Career Coach
Stress: How to Manage It During And Post Treatment-- Claire Steichen, certified co-active coach and founder of Clear Strategy Coaching; and Julie Larson, LCSW Psychotherapist
Occupational Therapy and Vocational Rehab -- Improving Your Work Ability- Gabrielle Miskovitz, OTR/L, CHT clinical specialist, outpatient occupational therapy, MSKCC; and Dorra Blacker, CRC, LMHC Clinical supervisor, vocational rehabilitation, NYU

At the LMOCF display table, conference attendees had the opportunity to learn about the Fund, receive beauty touch-ups and purchase our fundraising products. One of our talented makeup artists was onsite demonstrating how to apply the Bonne Mine palette. This product is very special to me personally as my sister used it every day, while going through treatment, to help restore her healthy glow. All product sales from the event were donated to Cancer and Careers and LMOCF.

The National Conference on Work & Cancer clearly fills a vital need within the cancer community -- its impact is best illuminated by an example of feedback from the attendees directly:

"Thank you all so much. This organization is amazingly organized and fills a much needed spot in the cancer journey. Post-cancer issues are much more overwhelming than treatment issues because they are unrecognized by the majority and effect mental health more than anything. Cancer and Careers really gets all the issues at hand in returning to work -- debt, insurance, fatigue/body changes, accommodations, career change and [job] search. ~Cancer Survivor, Scholarship Recipient, Hawaii"

LMOCF is proud to have been a sponsor of this important conference and to be an ongoing partner for Cancer and Careers.