I work in a large team (~50 headcount) at the head office of a large multinational bank. Last year I was diagnosed with cancer - thankfully a very survivable form of it. I had an operation to remove the tumour and I spent 3 weeks away from work recovering.
Currently I’m on a surveillance programme where I get my blood tested every few weeks and I get a full scan every so often. So far everything is clear, but my oncologist informs me that the first 2 years are when most reoccurrences will happen, so no cause for celebration just yet.
The complication here is that my wedding was 3 weeks after I was diagnosed, the wedding day was the day I would otherwise have returned to work. I still made it to my wedding and took the 2 weeks holiday I’d already booked to go on our honeymoon. When I came back everyone except the senior managers in my team thought I somehow wrangled a 5 week honeymoon, and I never bothered to correct them.
I rejected adjuvant chemotherapy because it sounded too risky, but despite this I was desperate to find a way to fight back. Because of the mental stress and the need for me to feel like I’m fighting back I agreed with the team leader to reduce my hours by 20% (with an equivalent reduction in salary) which is very exceptional on my team. I’ve used this extra time productively by a) talking things through with a counsellor and b) losing a decent amount of weight at the gym.
There are a few people on my team who I’m more connected to so I’ve talked to them about it. But by and large most of my team don’t know for sure why I’m doing a 4 days week. A few have made a comment to me about how ideal my arrangement would be for them, which I suppose sounds reasonable from their perspective.
How do I talk to my coworkers about this? Personally I’ve never been good at announcing anything to a crowd larger than one. Any advice would be much appreciated!