Hubby and I are so lucky in many ways. We had a lot of support throughout his treatment, and are now fortunate to have gotten through most of it with no complications.
March 20, 2006 will mark the six month anniversary of the transplant. According to his doctors, if Hubby makes it to the half-year mark with no problems, the chance of developing complications later on diminishes greatly. At six months post-transplant, Hubby will be able to find a job and otherwise go back to living life as he did pre-relapse.
The prospect of a "normal" life is amazing to think about, and I'm so thankful that we are getting close to this milestone with nothing to hold us back. However, reassimilating back into a life without doctors, transfusions, and 20-odd pills/day has presented its own set of challenges; the most notable one being Hubby's employment.
Directly after graduation from college, he had followed my job out to Oahu. Hawaii is paradise, but the heavy competition in the job market there was not something that either of us had prepared for. Apparently, the islands are a mecca for Environmental Studies graduates; every job he applied for ended up having hundreds of applicants. Hubby ended up taking a temporary job with the Post Office, and was promptly let go when the relapse occurred (his temporary status prohibited him from taking action about this). In May, we relocated to the DC/Baltimore corridor, and have spent most of our time since then in "transplant mode."
So now that the medical concerns are not immediate, and Hubby now has his health and energy back on a tenous basis, he has begun to look for a job. The chips are stacked against him before he even starts--we are in a new city, with few local contacts other than my coworkers and our doctors. I could help him go through the application process for low-level federal employment (I don't have much pull, as I'm a mid-level peon myself), but I'm looking to leave federal employment (or at the least, military employment) by the end of 2006. And even if he did find something that he was genuinely excited about applying for (i.e., NOT an "inside-the-Beltway" lobbyist paper-pusher), how would we explain the year on his resume with no employment? When the interviewer asks why he left his previous job, what will he say? Hiring laws prohibit asking about medical conditions as a condition of employment--but this "condition" has left such a large imprint in our lives that talking around it would be akin to talking around the Grand Canyon.
Where do we go from here?
posted by amanda @ 9:54 AM