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.