Monday, April 18, 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills

Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny's Child

During my meditation today (I was doing a Body Scan with my Jon Kabat-Zinn CD), I had a realization. When I was trying to focus on breathing into my left toe, a thought recurred. (This is not what one wants to think about during meditation but meditation is a practice and I'm practicing mindfulness.) As I breathed into my left toe, then my left foot,... I realized that CANCER IS EXPENSIVE. (In a meditation, one is encouraged to "park" your thoughts or watch them "drift" by but for some reason I had a hard time shaking this one.)

When I checked my mail today, I received a letter to extend my Long-Term Disability benefit for $ 410. I did not even know how long I will be away from work yet but I was being asked to pay this sum all up front with a deadline in May. Last week, I received a phone bill of $ 500. (I had not paid the last phone bill and with all of the day time calls, wait times, long distance, etc., my phone bills are high.) Then there is the extension of my dental and health benefits with a monthly charge of about $250. My naturopathic treatments, although cheaper since I go to the Naturopathic college, are not covered by private or provincial drug insurance. Then there are miscellaneous items that I need to purchase like my MedicAlert bracelet ($120), SeaBands ($ 22), and Gravol ($12), it all adds up. The government sick benefits I receive represent 40% of my income (until a certain time). And it's taxed!!! Plus, I received two parking tickets last week while attending medical appointments (my time ran out). This is all on top of my other expenses (household, credit card debts, student loans, etc.)

If the Thyrogen was available (see post "Thyrogen? Was Here? And I Missed Him Again"), I would have had to pay $ 1600 ($2000 if purchased in the US without provincial or insurance coverage) to cover it without all the uncertainty I was going through.

Cancer is PRICEY. I don't think about this fact all the time (but apparently do when I meditate). Maybe it's my faith that God has it all in control OR maybe it's denial (what problem?). Or perhaps, it's a bit of both. But cancer can be a huge financial burden. (So much so that some people try to profit from it without even being sick. There are loads of stories like these all over the internet. Check this out:

I also know that some people are in worse situations than myself. If I had children or a spouse who was unemployed or if I was working on a contract without any benefits or laid off, who knows where I'd be or what uncertainties I would be dealing with on top of the illness and recovery.

My cancer lesson that I got this morning (#10) is to express my feelings and express gratitude. I must admit that I am thankful and I feel blessed. Despite the difficulties, I have faith things will work out although this can be hard and I do have a good cry every now and then (like today). These financial costs are huge especially when considering that I have a wedding coming up. And I'm not sure what I'll earn in July and August (since I'm off from work right now, my summer pay is screwed up and reduced to Lord knows what yet.)

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