Serve Magazine from Concordia Plan Services Winter 2017 - Page 6

morning until four in the afternoon , and he would stay the whole time with me , even though he didn ’ t have to . He ’ d carry my bags , push my wheelchair — he did it all .”
She also had a close friend who had recently gone through treatments for ovarian cancer . Having her to relate to and reinforce everything that Boyce was feeling was a great source of support .
Another source of comfort was the prayers that she received from her friends , coworkers and the community . “ I was on so many prayer lists and remembered by so many people in prayer chains . It was really nice .”
Boyce also received a care package and cards through Phil ’ s Friends , a nonprofit organization that provides support and hope to those affected by cancer . The care package included a lap blanket , a Bible , puzzle books and other items to help comfort her during her treatments .
Boyce has one son , Eric , and two granddaughters — Allison ( who is in eighth grade ) and Zoey ( who is in high school ). Because her granddaughters had just lost their maternal great-grandmother to breast cancer in early 2015 , she was worried about telling them about her diagnosis . Boyce chose to communicate openly and honestly with them . “ They took it well and helped me out tremendously .” And in an ironic twist , her granddaughters would come over to “ babysit ” her when she was feeling weak . She also talked to her granddaughters ’ pediatrician . “ I wanted to know if this was something that they could develop in the future , and I wanted to make sure their doctor was aware of it .”
During Her Disability Leave
Most of the time while Boyce was on disability , the chemo and medications left her feeling very tired . “ When I wasn ’ t sure what I wanted to do , I would watch ‘ Harry Potter ’ or ‘ Star Wars ’ movies , because I ’ d already seen them a hundred times and I could enjoy them without thinking about them .” She also did a lot of reading , mostly murder mysteries .
One of the chemo drugs left her with a strong metallic taste in her mouth , so she ate a lot of bland foods like chicken , applesauce and JELL-O . Boyce also lost 40 pounds while undergoing treatments ; her doctors carefully monitored her weight loss . “ I had a lot of volunteers who wanted to bring me meals , but I couldn ’ t eat . I would ask them to get me gift cards — because I had a whole list of foods I wanted to eat when I finished with everything !”
Workers who are going on disability are encouraged to let their employers know if and how they want to receive
correspondence from their co-workers . Because of her weakened immune system , Boyce couldn ’ t have any visitors and even phone calls left her exhausted . “ You feel so isolated while you are on disability ,” Boyce stated . “ Cards and text messages helped me feel connected with everyone . I received cards from across the board — funny cards , best wishes cards , inspirational cards and cards that were a little too mushy .” She missed all her co-workers and loved that they kept in touch .
Blessed with Benefits
Boyce has worked for CPS for more than 10 years . “ It ’ s ironic ,” Boyce said , “ I would always process the Liberty Mutual disability claim files , and week after week , I ’ d see the numbers and names of those on disability . Now I ’ m one of them .” Not only does the staff at CPS administer the benefits , but they also rely on them .
Some of Boyce ’ s friends offered to help hold a fundraiser to pay for her medical bills , but thanks to her Concordia Health Plan coverage and the benefits she was receiving through the Concordia Disability and Survivor Plan , she didn ’ t need financial assistance . “ I would rather they gave the money to
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