Susan Harpe has been in the financial services industry since 1983. She serves in the capacity of Director of Operations, managing the day-to-day office functions and projects, as well as helping ensure the organization is in compliance with securities regulations.
“You have lymphoma.” That’s the shocking news I received on Friday, December 30th, 2016. It took another three weeks to find out what type of lymphoma I had, of which there are many. A week later I was in the hospital receiving my first chemo treatment.
One week is not a lot of time to prepare for life-altering (ending?) news. During that time, I had multiple medical procedures, tied up loose ends at the office, and got my personal affairs in order—including updating my will and medical directive and having my elderly cat put to sleep. I also needed to line up a support system. I’m single and live alone, so asking for help is not my MO, but I knew I was going to need all the help I could get.
My daughter quickly found the website Lotsa Helping Hands as a way to organize help. She put the call out near and far and I ended up with about 30 friends and family who assisted me during my four months of treatment with transportation, grocery shopping, prescription pick-ups, providing meals, even weekly calls to check up on me. One thing I learned is if you need help, you just have to ask.
Having an understanding employer was a significant help, and relief, too! On days that I felt okay, I was able to work from home, with some days being more productive than others.
At this time, I’m cancer-free and returned to my office full time in June 2017.
Education & Philanthropy
Sue was a past volunteer with Inova Blood Donor Services and hopes to get back to it in the near future!