The financial aspects of cancer diagnosis…

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    Been busy for a few days but just wanted to say thank you Darla for sharing your story. In our case, we moved to be closer to family so it was definitely a blessing – that would have been tough if you’d moved out of state with no one – it’s tough even when you have the support of everyone! And I am very sorry about your husband.

    Lainy, I like your pros/cons suggestion and will do that. Have an appointment this Saturday with an advisor and am going to look into something as well – in the meantime, just enjoying my husband’s “off chemo” week. :)


    Melanie, I thought about this for awhile and both sides have valid points, so I will tell you what I always tell my children (who are both in their 40’s), take pencil and paper. Make a list of pros and one of cons and see which one is longest. That is the one you heed. Sounds like grade school but it works every time. I don’t envy you this position but know that what ever decision you make it WILL be the right one!



    I hesitated answering as my situation was so different, but you are so right, material things are so irrelevant. We had sold 2 homes and our shop and are renting as our plan was to move to Arizonia eventually, well, that didn’t happen. Jim passed away exactly 2 months after his 62 birthday. I was 60 at the time and as it turns out, had we done that, I would now be sitting out there alone in a house worth about 1/3 of what we paid for it as the economy really took a down turn shortly after he passed. Where I am now, I can manage and have friends and family near. That great house out in Arizona couldn’t have changed what happened and it would have been a burden and meant nothing to me any more. My only regret is that my husband got this rare cancer and was taken from me so quickly, but I had no control over that. I guess you have to weigh your options and do what you feel is best for you and your family. I know you will be able to make the right decision. As your husband said, he would do it in a heartbeat. Good luck with those 2 very energetic kids. :) Thinking of your and your family.

    Love & Hugs,


    Thank you guys again. Margaret, I am so glad you have no regrets. Material things seem so irrelevant (and downright burdensome) when cancer strikes.

    cathy, my husband definitely understands. When I asked him what he thought we should do, he said ‘If the situation were reversed, I’d get rid of it in a heartbeat’ lol. We built it in ignorant bliss, not knowing he’d be diagnosed just 9 months later. He feels more guilt that he can’t help out with our 2, uh…. VERY energetic kids.


    Personally, with all I read about your situation, I would be inclined to sell and call on my friends to help with the move. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and make the jump knowing that it is the best for all of you. Margaret and her husband certainly recognized the value of their relationship and the need to reduce the stressors that impacted that precious relationship. You and your family will be in my prayers while you try to make the decision….God bless.



    My husband and I were much in the same boat as you. I had a very well paying job, he is disabled and when we bought our beautiful home on 2 1/2 acres we were on the top of the world. 4 years later, my work outsourced my entire department to Inda. 3 years later we got the cancer diagnosis. After about 1 year, I quickly realized that I could not work, care for him and keep up with the large house and all the yard work. The yard and the house suffered. We discussed it and put the house on the market. We did end up selling it however it took a while, and while we did not make any money on it, we felt that we didn’t loose any either. (Housing market sucks).

    We downsized to a double wide mobile home that is in a mobile home park. It takes 15 minutes to cut the grass vs 3 1/2 hours. The lot rent is $237.00 a month vs $500 mortage payment (we had a huge downpayment so low mortgage payments). The taxes are $45 a month vs $400 a month. We moved 6 miles from our old house so spend a few more $$ in gas to/from work. Now I am able to work at home so even save that money!

    It was a huge stress reliever for me! No longer worrying where the money was going to come from to meet the taxes, insurance, etc with owning a conventional house. The double wide is just like a house, has the same square footage (minus the basement) and is just perfect for us. We have no mortage cause we were able to buy the double wide outright, just have to get the lot rent every month. Piece of cake.

    I say get the house on the market! Even if you have to move into an apartment, the stress relief will be wonderful. When it comes to moving, do what I did, I called in all my ‘markers’ from the people that I had helped over the years, rented a big truck and we had the entire place cleaned out in 2 days! We had the new house pretty much organized also. Only the garage was full of stuff that we had to sort through and we ended up with a storage unit for a year till we could decide what to do with the ‘junk’.

    All in all, we have been here a little over 2 years and it has been the best thing for us!

    Go with God and KEEP KICKIN’ THAT cancer.



    Hi Melanie… sorry about your situation. What does your husband say about the move, is he in agreement? While I sympathize with you being exhausted, (I get it, I helped my dad take care of my mom 19 years ago when she had brain cancer) you dont need your husband to feel guilty about having to sell your dream house. Lean more on family and friends, maybe if you tell them your situation and you need help, they will step up to the plate for the both of you.

    Good luck with your decision and get some sleep!!



    Hollandg and jathy,

    First of all, I am so glad to hear from 2 survivors. You give me hope. :))

    I have spoken with a financial advisor and attorney and I’m afraid we have no options as far as our lender working with us. We do not qualify for loan modification (which would have been IDEAL) because we purchased the home after January 2009, and forget the moratorium. They allow you to “skip” three payments, but you have to pay the late fees, take the credit hit, AND repay the three payments in one lump sum on the 4th month. What a deal! Our life insurance is not tied in with our mortgage so there’s no fear of losing that if we sell.

    Honestly, I think my workload is more stressful than moving. Moving is high stress, but temporary. Working overtime to pay a mortgage is long-term, avoidable stress.

    I have one other option I’m going to look into, as I would love to stay put if at all possible. In the meantime, I’m going to think it over – and pray hard about the situation before I do anything.

    Thank you everyone again for the input. God bless,



    You have a lot on your plate at the moment, as a care-giver for your husband and looking after your 2 kids. As a CC patient (in recovery) I’m very conscious that we all have limited capacity to deal with stress and financial concerns can be very draining.

    Moving house is very stressful and I would suggest you examine other options to improve cash flow at this time. I suggest you talk to your mortgage providor and seek a moratorium on monthly repayments for a period. In addition, they may be open to providing you with additional finance, with a payment holiday to start. You also need to consider the life insurance you would have taken out with the mortgage. If you sell your home and repay the mortgage your life insurance policy may end with the mortgage. Perhaps you would consider employing a specialist financial advisor to take the burden off you by examining your financial needs and negotiating with the mortgage providors on your behalf.

    Good luck………………….Gerry


    Melanie-My heart goes out to you and your husband. I am a cc survivor, but it was a long road. Financially things were not great, but I also know how bad it could have been as in lisa”s case. I know for me the year I was recovering from transplants, chemo and radiation was very intersting. My home was my safe spot, things felt safe and normal here. It was very hard for me to see things change, my daughter bought the wrong groceries, (I had a feeding tube why did I care), replaced kitchen utensils…. I was grateful for all my friends and family taking care but it was hard to see change, and they weren’t anything big. I never expected to feel this way I am not a disciplined- orderly person normally. My thoughts are if you can stay in your “dream home” do it, you have some many things to deal with and normalcy is a big help! Good luck and lots of prayers- Cathy


    Hi mb,

    Yes, we are in that 5-month waiting period right now but he was approved for SS disability and it will start in May. That will definitely be a huge help.


    Melanie, cc has been financially devastating for me. I’m a single parent with three kids in college. I cannot work. I’m on disability. I had to file for bankruptcy last year and almost lost my house. I am trying hard just to keep a roof over our heads. My kids have crappy jobs and can’t help financially. Its hard to deal with cancer at the same time that you’re just trying to put food on table. I hope things work out for you.


    Melanie –

    I understand what you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 back in April. Our saving grace right now is the Social Security we get for him and our daughter. Have you applied for disability yet?


    Thank you so much for weighing in, everyone. I’ve discussed this with a couple of friends who are not and have not gone through this, and it’s amazing how different the answers are. I can tell this comes from people who have been there and understand. We are in a pretty rural area and it may take a while to sell anyway, so I will probably seek to get things underway soon. Thank you again.



    Melanie – Have you weighed the physical and emotional expense of moving vs. staying? I, personally, would probably look to move and if things progress, you will have more stress. So, if you can downsize now, it is probably a good time. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you make these difficult decisions. I am selling my car and have paid off everything I can. Now if I could get a handle on those school loans, I’d be ok. Blessings, Susan

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