Sunday, August 5, 2012

can I afford to survive lung cancer?

‘Take every day as a gift’ I read or hear from many but personally I find myself wondering can I afford the gift tax on surviving lung cancer?

Yes! I am grateful to be alive but I am also left dancing one step ahead of my economic grave every day, and I have health insurance.  Months of lost work from recovery from lung cancer surgery plus appointments and tests (both 'outpatient' procedure biopsies resulted in me being hospitalized) does not equal income. I am still trying to juggle paying the deductibles from my medical bills. If anything I could teach President Obama new techniques for deficit spending.

“Families may be one accident, injury, or diagnosis away from bankruptcy," U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Our family is facing its second – my wife has lived with a quarter century of severe Multiple Sclerosis and now my Lung Cancer.

Double income, working spouses and/or lack thereof along with other family economic factors unquestionably affect the ability to take every day as a gift.

The more I read of lung cancer survivors I was feeling more and more isolated from people who were able to focus on fighting for their lives rather than swamped trying to pay their bills until I discovered lung cancer survivor Gary Kane writing in Google+ and/or his blog bandtogetherforgary 
“...From cousins and family friends who have donated thousands of their hard earned dollars to help us pay our bills while at the same time paying their own during these difficult times, to an old college roommate who I haven't seen for years donating his hard earned money, to my in-laws, (all of them) donating money, food, time, and support...”
Writing from Massachusetts, home of the much ballyhooed near-universal health insurance coverage his words are perhaps even apocalyptic of what a lung cancer diagnosis can mean.

Beginning this odyssey I am learning quickly that surviving lung cancer seems to be about surviving a whole lot more than the diagnosis.

As a spouse caregiver I’ve tried to live my life with a stoic indifference to my own existence. I’m finding during sleepless nights that adding my lung cancer odyssey to the mix of things to somehow juggle seems increasingly quixotic. 

by Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

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1 comment:

  1. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)