Work and Cancer
- Country singer Toby Keith, who is battling stomach cancer, recently announced that he bought a local brand headquartered in Arkansas.
- Sadly, Keith has had to take time away from his country music career, but his new business venture, among other things, have helped him stay busy and continue working during cancer.
- Some people find that working during cancer, or soon after treatment, can bring a sense of normalcy to their lives.
- However, know there are people out there to help you navigate the process of working or not working during a cancer journey.
- Social workers can help people with cancer figure out their work situation after a diagnosis.
When Keith released his 19th studio album “Peso In My Pocket” in 2021, it was his first album in five years. But cancer halted his musical work.Read More
He’s still managed to keep busy, however. Just the other day, Keith announced he had acquired Luck E Strike, a bait and tackle brand name headquartered in Greenwood, Arkansas.
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“Big newsâ€¦Toby has acquired Luck E Strike, an iconic bait and tackle brand! The company will be relaunching this summer with new products and a new look (including some red, white, and blue packaging!), so make sure you follow @luck.e.strike to stay up to date.”
So while he hasn’t gotten back to his passion for performing, it’s nice to see the country hitmaker still working and doing things he enjoys.
“I’m a nostalgic guy and that’s part of it, but this is great stuff,” he said in a press release about taking over the iconic brand. “I know a bunch of pro anglers and they’re all telling me if I can get them the stuff, they’ll fish with it.”
Toby Keith’s Cancer Journey
Toby Keith made the announcement of his stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, in June 2022 with an Instagram post.
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"Last fall I was diagnosed with stomach cancer," Keith wrote at the time. "I've spent the last 6 months receiving chemo, radiation and surgery. So far, so good. I need time to breathe, recover and relax.
"I am looking forward to spending this time with my family. But I will see the fans sooner than later. I can't wait."
Work Considerations During a Cancer Journey
It’s unclear if Keith has any future tour dates or performances in the works, but we do know how grateful he is that fans have stood by his side during such a trying time.
"Thank you for all your love and support," he wrote in another Instagram post. "I have the best fans in the world."
Keith hasn’t shared too many updates regarding the status of his disease or any ongoing treatment, but the SurvivorNet community is wishing him all the best as he continues to navigate life as a cancer survivor.
Working During a Cancer Journey
A cancer diagnosis can change your world. But some people, like Toby Keith, try to maintain a sense of normalcy by working. Even though he hasn’t been able to go on tour, his latest business ventures and philanthropy efforts have certainly kept him busy.
Whether continuing to work during cancer is something you’d like to do or not, you should know there are people out there to guide you.
Laurie Ostacher, a social worker at Sutter Bay Medical Foundation, spoke to SurvivorNet about how she aids people with cancer in figuring out their work situation after a diagnosis.
"I help folks think about whether it makes sense to work," she explained.
"If you really don't want to but are worried you're not going to be able to make ends meet, then I'll sit down and help them figure out, you know, with your disability insurance, would this be possible?"
Not all people with cancer will need accommodations, but some people might need help when returning to work. In regards to employees with cancer, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says "the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] requires employers to provide adjustments or modifications called reasonable accommodations to enable applicants and employees with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities unless doing so would be an undue hardship (that is, a significant difficulty or expense)."
One way Ostacher helps people with cancer is by suggesting questions they should be asking their employer.
"I help them think about what types of conversations do you need to have with their employer? How much information do you want to share with him or her? What type of work schedule seems like it might work for you? Where might you need more flexibility?" she said.
No matter what you decide to do, know there are valuable resources out there like Ostacher who can help you decide on the right course of action when it comes to working (or not working) during a cancer battle.