Financial Hardship Of Treating and Living With Cancer
Last updated: October 2022
When it comes to being diagnosed with cancer and going through cancer treatment I believe the financial cost of living with cancer is one of the most underestimated layers of cancer. Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and living with ovarian cancer can't be taken at just face value. There are many layers to an ovarian cancer diagnosis and many moving parts to fighting ovarian cancer with financial cost being at the top of the list.
I hope by writing this article a bigger picture of the financial cost and financial turmoil can be made more clear for those of us fighting this disease and for those around us that may not understand just how hard it is to financially support a medical illness.
Cancer is a full-time job
When I say it feels like a full-time job financially supporting a medical illness such as ovarian cancer I am not joking. I know most people on the outside are thinking “How can a person with full medical benefits and a full-time job say it financially costs so much to fight cancer?” Well, as a cancer fighter herself just having gone through her second fight let me break it down for you!
Let's start with the fact that while fighting ovarian cancer most of us are not working which means in most cases we're on disability. Yes, being on disability we still receive an income however it's only a percentage of the income we are used to having while working a full-time job. Now with a lessened income, we are already having to re-budget our monthly bills and expenses.
Secondly, now that we are not working our medical benefits expenses are now coming out of pocket (this would normally come out of our paychecks) which now is another added cost to the already lessened monthly income we are receiving on disability.
Thirdly, let's factor in the co-pays that are due at EVERY doctor's appointment, every radiology appointment, and in some cases at every lab visit lucky me in my situation every time I park at a UCLA clinic!
Fourthly most of us going through treatment are having to travel out of our local cities which is now adding to the cost of fuel and in some cases hotel costs for overnight or extended stays.
And last but not least let's not forget those lovely insurance bills we receive both during and after completing treatment.
Financials before versus after cancer
Prior to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I was an individual who took money out of every paycheck to put into savings. At 33 and going on three years of fighting ovarian cancer I have completely depleted that savings account. I have gone through two treatment phases fighting ovarian cancer and both times have needed to start a Go-Fund page or ask my family for financial assistance. Not only does the financial cost feel like peeling onion in the sense that the longer the fight goes on the costlier it becomes but at times it starts to fill like the never-ending circle of always trying to get financially caught up, back on your feet, and financially stable again.
At 33 now being diagnosed, living, and treating ovarian cancer the money I once put into savings is now being spent on EVERYTHING cancer financial-related. At 33 now being diagnosed, living, and treating ovarian cancer I now have to re-consider every life-changing purchase (cars, house, travel trailers, etc.) because in an instant I can be right back on disability starting the cycle all over again!
Have you heard of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer?