Walking on Eggshells – March 2018

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Walk on Eggshells as defined by Wiktionary.

(idiomatic) To be overly careful in dealing with a person or situation because they get angry or offended very easily; to try very hard not to upset someone or something. (idiomatic) To be careful and sensitive, in handling very sensitive matters.

I am going to return to the title very shortly but I would like to bring you up-to-date with how and when this subject was raised.

I was diagnosed with Stage 4b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Feb 2014 (today 13th of March is the date I commenced ABVD Chemo in 2014 – 4 years ago) and my blog’s fully cover this. I relapsed officially 29/03/2017 as Stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – underwent extreme levels of Chemotherapy and a Stem Cell Transplant in July 2017. Finally getting the Lymphoma Team to place in in full remission 8/02/2018. Not bad for someone told they would not see June 2017.

As I was not permitted to work I took up studying and have been sitting exams trough out Feb and March 2018 these included


  • Leadership & Motivation
  • Operational Management
  • Transport Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Business Management & Accountancy
  • Health & Safety Management
  • Customer Services (International) Management
  • Psychology


  • GDPR  – General Data Protection Regulation
  • ISO 9001:2015 Awareness & Procedures Certificate
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Key Account Management

So I prepared my CV or Resume – which I compacted into five pages. In the past 28 years I have only held two jobs and both were self employed, so my employment section is easy to describe. As I have substantial experience as a Logistics consultant I could return to consultancy but my preference would be employment so I sent the CV to 5 potential companies (No positions were advertised, I wanted to let these companies know I was available). 4 responded and it produces 3 meetings. Now these meetings are not for managerial positions they are for very senior positions within multi national businesses. All the meetings were excellent and the people attending the meetings were exceptional in every manner of speaking. But to be fair the meeting were introductory in nature as no actual positions were available. I don’t want to name these companies but if the individuals who meet me are reading this then I would say a big “thank you” to each one of you.

Still not getting to the “Walk on Eggshells” part quiet yet, just want to rant a little first. Along with the above 5 companies , I have also been applying for a number of jobs online. Out of 20 jobs I have only received two replies, one actually led to an interview but the remaining 18 applications have not responded. Now out of the 20 applications everyone of them were seriously large companies. To me it would be only common courtesy to at least acknowledge receipt. Ah yes the other one that did respond was a classic, I sent the application at 9:30am and got the reply at 9:45am “Your resent experience does not match what our client requires” – Bet your all smiling.. My recent experience dose not match any person on the fucking planet. Now staying with humor  for a while I also got a call last week from a senior recruitment agent who got a copy of my CV (My CV ends with a four line summary of my Cancer battle) and we had a good chat on the phone, however he voiced a concern as to why I had a career break from March 2017 to date…. I did laugh and pointed out that he needed to read the entire CV. Which he did and went “Oh fuck” … now lets get to the “Walk on Eggshells” piece

Walk on Eggshells”

The company that fell within my first 5 applications meet with me on Monday 26th Of Feb and what a meeting. I can’t name this company . We had a three hour meeting but in the last 15 minutes or so the gentleman switched to a more personal view to talk about the cancer battle and congratulate me on how brilliant I am doing. he asked me one question that really stuck in my mind “Do you feel that people are treating you like they are walking on eggshells” I instantly said No and said I feel that people are been great around me. The meeting ended and the conclusion of the meeting was yesterday 12th March 2018 which left some avenues open for re-approach in a few months. BUT I sat down that night to think my way through the meeting deciding on any Strengths or weakness – all I could keep considering was the comment “Walking on eggshells” – the gentleman who said this had a first hand experience with Cancer so I know he was not referring to himself. But the comment really got me. At the time I was awaiting the results of my Psychology Diploma (I knew I had a merit as I had the results from 4 of the 5 assignments and awaiting the 5th which I got a distinction in 3 days later) So I am trained in Psychology and yet the simple statement  “Walking on eggshells” made me think.

In reality I answered this gentleman incorrectly .  I was very wrong to say “No” the reality is that people do consider that they need to approach both the subject and me like they were walking on eggshells.  I then considered “Is it me” and the answer is most definitely no. I am fairly outspoken when asked about the battle but I also tend not to bring the conversation up much as in an interview or meeting situation it is about knowledge & experience and down playing the past year is deemed a good approach. However I do use it to show determination, motivation and drive.

As a nation we need to get away from the mindset of “Walking on eggshells” when it comes to Cancer. It needs open discussions and awareness. If people need to ask any question about the battles that cancer victims face or have experienced just ask them outright. Cancer has not changed me, I am still the same person I was before I had cancer (maybe a little wiser). What cancer does it changes everything around you, it changes how and if people talk to you, how they greet you or ignore you and particularly how they enter into conversations with you.

My decision about studying Psychology was not particularly based on my experience with cancer over the past four years it is a subject that I have wanted to know more about for years. Apart from the Psychology Diploma I have also taken a Psychology for Success, Body Language and Stress management courses. At the end of these courses I will have achieved higher certification at Level 9 than any other part of my education, I do not intend to go into Psychology as a career but I really love the subject.

So this blog is read by over 5,500 people worldwide in 54 Countries. The only reasons to read the blog is down to knowing a cancer victim, working with a cancer victim, been a cancer victim or been a medical professional. Ask yourself the question “Am I treating or been treated a cancer victim like I am “Walk on Eggshells” ? And if the answer is yes then stop it. The cancer victim has been trough hell and back, they don’t need to be treated like this.

Anyway to end this for now the real reason for the blog post apart from the psychological impact of the above is to say that today 13th Of March 2018 is exactly 4 years since I commenced ABVD Chemotherapy and believe it or not two weeks shy of a year since I relapsed so my next blog is scheduled for the 29th of March.


E-Mail ian@hlai.ie
Linkedin Profile: www.linkedin.com/ian-f-doherty-pc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hlai.ie

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