We have experienced many challenges in our “battle” to deal with cancer. So, what is next as a cancer survivor? I personally try to enjoy all of life’s moments. Still, the fear of a cancer recurrence continues and I have had many moments where I am unsure if I could or should really make plans for the future. Uncertain as to how to proceed, questions about my future haunted me. Should I continue to work full time, which included evening shifts which I did not enjoy? Will I have adequate healthcare coverage? What if I need expensive chemotherapy or treatment?
Planning for our financial future
I found myself troubled and anxious with the unknown issues. Fortunately, we have a good friend who is a financial advisor and was aware of our situation. While I insisted that I needed to continue to work full time, he found creative ways to convince me that retirement was a real possibility. I also explored all available insurance coverage options. My employer did not offer adequate insurance coverage upon retirement so I needed to sort out a solution on my own. I contacted several insurance companies and compared each with special attention to coverage for preexisting diseases, chemotherapy, and diagnostic tests. I need to continue with CT scans every six months, so insurance coverage is quite important. After studying this information, I was able to select an insurance company to augment my Medicare coverage.
Living our best lives
Most importantly, my husband and I had a serious, honest and candid talk about our hopes and goals and how we would like to spend our future. Armed with this information, we shared our thoughts with my oncologist for his honest appraisal. He was pleased that my impending retirement would provide more frequent rest periods, as he knew that I would frequently “overdo” it.
It has been three years since both my husband and I retired on the same day. We have had the opportunity to travel and enjoy what we love to do. He golfs and we both enjoy the ocean, beach, and time with family. While my cancer has remained in remission, my husband experienced a critical illness last year. Thanks to the power of prayer and phenomenal medical and nursing care, he has survived, and we are gradually returning to our retirement life.
We have discovered that with thoughtful consideration of all factors, life decisions can be thoughtfully and successfully made by cancer survivors and their families.