76. How can we protect our family
financially while being faced with expensive
treatments for cancer?
One of the primary causes of stress among
people with cancer and their families is coping with
the possible financial issues.
First of all, you’ll need to take a serious look at your
finances. If you’re self-employed as I was when my mother
was sick, find a lawyer and discuss options, such as forming
a corporation to limit personal financial liability. Figure
out as many tax shelters as possible. Think about limiting
the number of business associates you tell about your loved
one’s cancer—potential clients or partners may assume that
you’re going to be too busy helping the person with cancer to
take on work, and then your business will decline just
when you need the income most.
Then . . . just be a grownup about it, which is harder than
it sounds if you’re caring for someone. Yes, a certain amount
of emotional turmoil is to be expected, but the point is that
you and your loved one can’t allow the cancer to rule your
life. You still have to earn money, you still have to live your
life, and the dishes don’t wash themselves.
One of the primary causes of stress among people
with cancer and their families is coping with the possible
financial issues. Financial concerns primarily
stem from two sources: (1) the cost of medical care
and level of insurance coverage, and (2) the loss of
wages caused by temporary or permanent job loss.
There are several ways to help reduce the financial
impact, including knowing what the person with cancer
can do to protect him or herself and knowing
about possible government and private financial assistance.
However, this topic is complex and varies by geographic
region and by individual concerns and situations.
Consult a social worker, along with a lawyer or financial
planner, to obtain specific information. The following
information serves as a guide to help you ask the right