Thursday, June 16, 2011

broke hope

I am coming up on my one year anniversary and have had the stark realization that though my health is better life is harder than I thought.  The dreams that I had a year ago are currently not in reach, in fact most of them are buried under debt and worry.  I am working part-time, doing my best to focus on my health, healing, recovery, survival.........but today I looked online for another job.  Life has a way of slapping you in the face, but I feel like I already took a good punch, so it needs to back the fuck off.  Scott and I balance money well, we never vacation, we don't shop, we hardly ever eat out, and we are just fine with that.  We were able to buy a house much earlier than expected and did our best to wade through the shit-storm cancer threw our way.  But nothing prepares you for this.

I am so thankful for all the donations, fundraisers and monetary support we received during my treatment.  Each person and organization that helped us out literally kept the roof over our heads and clothes (or Scott's old sweats) on our back.  Now I am back to working again (it isn't at the same high stressed job I had before, and I am no longer on-call=all good things for recovery, not so much for the bank account) but it comes down to we just don't make enough, there is no other way to view it, to pay the medical bills.  For the rest of the year our bills will always be more than our paycheck, thanks a lot cancer.  I am not trying to bitch about money, thank God we have insurance, I can't repeat that enough.........but every time we have to talk about finances I just get angry all over again--angry that cancer keeps getting to kick us while we are down, and while we are trying to work our way up. 

We just bought tires for my car and it bankrupted us--better than driving a death trap though.  How do I find a balance between being able to live, heal, and pay our bills?  I haven't went to my naturopath in over 2 months because we can't afford it, I haven't went to other alternative therapies for the same reason.  The system sets people up to fail, it is cheap to be unhealthy (at least in the short term).  And because I am able to work, there is no support set up for people in my situation--how do you dig yourself out of a hole when dirt is continuously being thrown at you?  Scott tries to tell me not to worry about it, but he has tears in his eyes when we talk about money, so I worry.  And I am a worrier.  I get wrapped up in worry, it becomes overwhelming and then I retreat--or I go into overdrive and have to fix everything now.  I could be making a lot more money than I am now if I was using all my other training (similar to before my diagnosis) but that wasn't a life of healing.  So I am torn between trying to take care of myself and trying to take care of bills.  Next year will be easier........but we are just half way through this one.

I could never have imagined that I would be more stressed after cancer treatment than I was in the hospital or when I was up all night hysterical with fear.  It was easy to get wrapped up in the cancer-world, easy to block out everything else, I had (still do) great support and they shielded me from the worry of bills, money, or the reality of my health situation (looking back, and at photos, I can't believe how close to death I looked).  Now I am priding myself on "getting back to a normal" (a great new normal!!!) and am wanting to take my part of the burden back from Scott.  He has had to deal with this for a year, while doing his best to shield me.  It is my turn to help, I just wish I knew how. 

And lets not even talk about adding a kiddo into the mix...our savings is non-existent at this point.  Our plan and goals that we had worked so hard for were pulled out from under us. 

our new reality is a bitch, brought to us by cancer.  Any ideas? email me at:


  1. We are the only industrialized country in the world withOUT a National Health system.

  2. I've said it so many times before and I will say it again.. I cannot even imagine having to pay for treatments that can save lives???!!! It blows my mind and breaks my heart. My father-in-law is american and so narrow minded and -well, let's face it, selfish. He has been against paying taxes, insurance and healthcare all his life, untill now where he needs it himself and have spend all his money/lifesavings on slotmachines in Vegas. The discussions I've had with that man... Sorry to rant I realize it's not really helping you just wanted to speak my mind and let you know that you and others in your situation are often on my mind. You're a fighter and a sweetheart you'll pull through. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing, it means a lot to me and many others.

  3. A long shot, but if a bunch of us bombard Ellen with your story and positivity, maybe, just maybe you & Scott can either get on the show or she can help. Work the how you watched her in radiation bringing some joy to a difficult time etc.

  4. Dori,

    I'm so sorry you and your hubby are going through all this. That's the other part of cancer: the expense and cost to so much of our lives.

    Maybe family counseling could help you cope with the worry? Keep going forward; the main thing is to stay alive.

  5. (((Hugs))) Dori, i live in Australia & things are so much easier here when you are sick... i cant imagine the added stress that you have... We struggle money~wise as we have a mortgage and three teenagers on one wage currently, but we have a good public health system here & once you reach your $1,500 yearly medical spending limit (That is what it costs you, not what you actually spend, as we get compensation anyway) then you get it all back... Everyone gets free medical in our public health system... If you are able to you can have private cover but in my experience it is more expensive and all you do really is pay highly for privacy (Stuff that!) We pay only for a basic private medical cover (but don't use it) because currently our govt has decided it is that or get taxed more... sighhh i wish i could whisk you over here to get well ...More (((hugs))) x