Thursday, June 16, 2011
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: firstname.lastname@example.org