I know men in particular often have difficulties speaking about their emotions. I certainly did. But through the cancer treatment, I learned how to do that and it made a difference in all areas of my life. By sharing my experience openly and candidly, I hope I can help Googlers build a deeper understanding for colleagues who might be going through something similar.
Appreciating the support around me
Google has been supportive since day one. I was eligible for the salary continuance insurance program for employees who are unable to work for an extended period of time. That allowed me to receive 75 percent of my base salary during my treatment, helping to remove any work and financial stress.
My wife is also a Googler, and the flexible working arrangements that are part of our culture really helped. It meant she had the time to look after me and attend all of my appointments and daily treatment sessions. Beyond that, I’m thankful for the support from managers and peers. I’ve been at Google for nine years now, and when I sent an email to my teammates to tell them that I would be out for a while, I received countless encouraging messages. These are more than work relationships—I consider them friends.
I went through 12 months of treatment, spent about four months ramping back up part-time, and now I’m back to work at full capacity. But for the next two years, I’m at high risk for recurrence, so I’ll need to get additional tests and scans every quarter. Even though I’ve passed the treatment stage, it’s still with me and part of my daily life. I hope to continue my good health, stay cancer free forever, and support others going through the same experience.