Of course, my last post did not even brush past the most severe financial aspect of the work/don’t work question for mothers (or fathers, but I digress) with a serious illness.  That is, of course, the following:

If *I* don’t work during my last few weeks, months, or years, to be with my family,
and *my spouse* doesn’t work during the last few weeks, months, or years, to be with me,
then where is the money coming from to feed my family?

Ah, a conundrum.  And one not easily solved, unless you happen to be independently wealthy.  Which I, and, I’m guessing, most of us here, have never been. 

Mummycha, in the comments to the previous post, let us in on a little secret — if you happen to live in France, you may be eligible for 50-75% of your salary while you battle cancer and recuperate at home.  As it happens, the U.S. also has some provision for disability benefits for cancer patients with less than a year or two to live.  (In fact, inflammatory breast cancer falls into this category automatically; there is very little fight to be done to prove eligibility for an IBC patient.  You just have to fill out some forms, say the magic words, and wait 5 months, or 2 years for Medicare.  It’s one of those diseases where it’s understood that there isn’t much time left.)  That makes things easier, but it doesn’t solve the whole problem.

Tonight I’m sending good wishes and hugs to a good friend in Australia, who is battling this very question right now, along with her Stage IV cancer, and to all who worry about how to both spend time with and feed their children.


6 Responses to Complication

  1. Kath says:

    I have really become attached to this blog and all the people who post. I feel sad of the situation about money. Just a suggestion but why don`t you set up a fund raising campaign for those facing these circumstances or sell an ebook on your experiences.
    I wish you all well.
    God bless

  2. trish says:

    These are great posts.

    Here in the UK you can buy private insurance for this. It’s called income protection and you get 50% of your salary tax-free when you can’t work at your job. It’s not cheap, but for £35 a month for me it’s not really expensive either. And that’s the standard sort of amount for a 30 year old, with no health issues, and I am insured for £15,000 tax free per year (around $30K tax free). It also covers things like becoming paralysed, in which case it would pay out for life.

    As for private life insurance, we have that too and it’s very cheap – £8 a month for each £100K of insurance. Considering the options, unless it was a matter of putting food on the table, I’d say it’s a priority over everything else (i.e. it’s more important to us than putting gas in the car).

  3. Thanks for raising this issue, it is even more tough when you are a sole parent! Also wanted to say I appreciate so much your offer of help regarding cancer information from the States. I may just take you up on that (although Heaven knows you have enough to do right now), but I am just gathering my thoughts right now and thinking about my resources and choices. You are doing so fantastically well I feel proud of you although I haven’t ever met you. You keep on keeping on girl! Take care xxxx You are an inspiration to me and I look forward to a longer chat via email soon.

  4. Anne says:

    Here in Canada many employers have health and benefit plans that provide for long-term disability leave. The way it works is the deduction for the coverage is taken right off at payroll and because it is usually for a fairly large group of employees, the risk is lower so the premium is quite low. I think I was paying about $11/week for myself.

    Since the employee is paying the premium, this is not considered a taxable benefit, so should the need arise to claim long term disability coverage, it is tax free. The most common value we see here is provision for 66% of your income and since you’re not paying income taxes on it that is really quite adequate coverage.

    The down side is that the smaller employers don’t usually offer this (or any) benefits package.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Since I have faced the same issue, I have had many thoughts. I think for whatever time I have left, I wish it to be with my family and my boys. If things get so bad financially, maybe I would right a book. However, for me what has become extremely important is the need to build my relationships withs friends and family!

  6. whymommy says:

    Thanks, Kath, but I’m simply not a fundraiser. I’ll raise children, raise awareness, and raise a little h*ll, but I’ve tried raising funds and I don’t enjoy it at all. There are some great groups out there, and I’ll highlight them here as I hear about them — but there won’t be direct requests for money from me or this website.

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