Cancer - tips?

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camillus24
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Cancer - tips?

Post by camillus24 » Sat May 12, 2018 1:20 pm

Got diagnosed a three months ago with blood cancer (prognosis is mixed) and am undergoing treatment now (and will hopefully continue doing so for the next year).

Any thoughts from the Boglehead community on things one should do in this situation proactively?

Have a feeling that I am missing something but here are things I have done:
1) Updated will & power of attorney in place now for my wife and kids** (given I am in my 30s I had stupidly not done so earlier)
2) Made sure my life insurance is up to date (group term life through my employer plus a GVUL policy that would have never made sense financially except in this circumstance)
3) Went on short-term disability so at 70% of base income till August, where as per my employer plan I switch to long-term disability for remainder of treatment. On short-term disability health insurance provided by employer but on long-term, I would be expected to pay the 2K a month out of pocket

**Both kids are young (5 and 6 years old) and wife pregnant with third child due in September (took us a while to figure out the cancer diagnosis and was after pregnancy already confirmed)

Realize it is unusual to crowd-source in this situation - however, have a bit of chemo brain (i.e., much slower mentally now) and so thought this might be an option given family and friends are understandably reluctant to talk through these sort of issues

VincentP
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by VincentP » Sat May 12, 2018 1:34 pm

Before planning for the worst, I would suggest making sure that you are getting the best and most up-to-date treatment. While receiving your current treatment you might start reaching out to institutions like MD Anderson, NIH, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic or your state University Medical Center for a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan.

sport
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by sport » Sat May 12, 2018 1:43 pm

In addition to the power of attorney for financial affairs, you need a power of attorney for health care. You may also want a document that addresses extreme measures to keep you alive, if you do not want them (I forget the name for that document). You and your spouse also need documents to provide for your children if neither of you is alive ( trust, guardianship).
Last edited by sport on Sat May 12, 2018 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ETadvisor
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by ETadvisor » Sat May 12, 2018 1:44 pm

sport wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:43 pm
In addition to the power of attorney for financial affairs, you need a power of attorney for health care. You may also want a document that addresses extreme measures to keep you alive, if you do not want them (I forget the name for that document).
Living Will; Not the same as Last Will and Testament.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat May 12, 2018 1:50 pm

camillus24 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:20 pm
Got diagnosed a three months ago with blood cancer (prognosis is mixed) and am undergoing treatment now (and will hopefully continue doing so for the next year).

Any thoughts from the Boglehead community on things one should do in this situation proactively?

Have a feeling that I am missing something but here are things I have done:
1) Updated will & power of attorney in place now for my wife and kids** (given I am in my 30s I had stupidly not done so earlier)
2) Made sure my life insurance is up to date (group term life through my employer plus a GVUL policy that would have never made sense financially except in this circumstance)
3) Went on short-term disability so at 70% of base income till August, where as per my employer plan I switch to long-term disability for remainder of treatment. On short-term disability health insurance provided by employer but on long-term, I would be expected to pay the 2K a month out of pocket

**Both kids are young (5 and 6 years old) and wife pregnant with third child due in September (took us a while to figure out the cancer diagnosis and was after pregnancy already confirmed)

Realize it is unusual to crowd-source in this situation - however, have a bit of chemo brain (i.e., much slower mentally now) and so thought this might be an option given family and friends are understandably reluctant to talk through these sort of issues
So sorry to hear about this.

Meanwhile, about the "Power of Attorney" - make sure you've got these docs for both financial and for health care decisions. Those are different.
And there are several different flavors of these.
You might want to read a bit about these.

You might also want to make sure your wife has these docs in place, too, before things become even more hectic with baby's arrival.

Good luck!

RM
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mouses
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by mouses » Sat May 12, 2018 2:22 pm

I am sorry and hope things turn out well.

Get a substantial life insurance policy for your wife if she does not already have one.

If you are fortunate enough to have dependable friends and relatives, consider getting something organized where they would help out in circumstances like the new baby at the time you are tied up with medical care. When two friends of mine were in difficult health situations, one of their friends organized care teams of friends and relatives so that someone, usually more than one person, was always available if rides, meals or child care was needed, etc.

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peetsperk
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by peetsperk » Sat May 12, 2018 2:41 pm

Camillus my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Something I believe everyone should do for their spouse is to have all account details and related passwords located in one place. I keep this information up-to-date in a sealed envelope in our safety deposit box. Dave Ramsey refers to it as a Legacy Box or a Love Drawer which is a place where all the important papers are kept. Contacts, names, phone numbers and locations of everything a spouse or someone handling your estate would need in the case of your death. Every detail about life insurance, investments, wills, lists of account numbers, and any additional information that someone would need in the event of your passing. I hope this helps.

tc804
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by tc804 » Sat May 12, 2018 3:00 pm

Good luck to you with your cancer treatment. I’d like to add that you should take some time and go over the details of the family finances with your wife.

keepingitsimple
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by keepingitsimple » Sat May 12, 2018 3:25 pm

dccboone wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:41 pm
Camillus my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Something I believe everyone should do for their spouse is to have all account details and related passwords located in one place. I keep this information up-to-date in a sealed envelope in our safety deposit box. Dave Ramsey refers to it as a Legacy Box or a Love Drawer which is a place where all the important papers are kept. Contacts, names, phone numbers and locations of everything a spouse or someone handling your estate would need in the case of your death. Every detail about life insurance, investments, wills, lists of account numbers, and any additional information that someone would need in the event of your passing. I hope this helps.
The above suggestion from dccboone is most excellent.

I also recommend making certain your wife is listed as a joint owner on all of your accounts from banking to utilities, if she is not already, and has full authorization to make decisions. A Power of Attorney can take care of this, but being a joint owner on accounts may be easier.

Be certain your financial accounts have beneficiaries listed.

If there are any responsibilities you typically take care of that your wife is not involved in, update her on the process.

Lastly, don't be hesitant to let friends and loved ones know when you need an extra hand. Those that care about you really do want to help but often times don't know what to do.

Very best of wishes to you. You can do this.

mouses
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by mouses » Sat May 12, 2018 3:49 pm

dccboone wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:41 pm
Camillus my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Something I believe everyone should do for their spouse is to have all account details and related passwords located in one place. I keep this information up-to-date in a sealed envelope in our safety deposit box. Dave Ramsey refers to it as a Legacy Box or a Love Drawer which is a place where all the important papers are kept. Contacts, names, phone numbers and locations of everything a spouse or someone handling your estate would need in the case of your death. Every detail about life insurance, investments, wills, lists of account numbers, and any additional information that someone would need in the event of your passing. I hope this helps.
I have this both at home and a copy in a safe deposit box. Note that there may be a problem in some states with access to a safe deposit box if one of the owners has passed away. At least there may be a delay in access.

Thrift Shop
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by Thrift Shop » Sat May 12, 2018 7:41 pm

3) Went on short-term disability so at 70% of base income till August, where as per my employer plan I switch to long-term disability for remainder of treatment.
I know of a situation where an employer required an individual going on long term disability (LTD) to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefits. If this individual refused to apply for SSDI, then the LTD benefits would be reduced by the amount they would have received from SSDI. If the individual did apply for SSDI and was approved then the LTD was also reduced, but made whole by SSDI benefits. If the individual applied for SSDI and was not approved then the LTD would not be reduced.

This may not be the case with your employer, but I wanted to make you aware of it. Especially since said individual was not aware of this requirement.

Best wishes to you.

Kristen
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by Kristen » Sat May 12, 2018 8:39 pm

Camillus,
I'm so sorry about your diagnosis. I'm not sure if it's what you are looking for, but my advice will tend toward practical day to day because that is where I feel more qualified to speak and where I have some lessons learned from my own cancer experience.

IF you manage the finances in your household, organize all of your accounts numbers, online login info, etc. into one document or spreadsheet. Even just so you can say OMG I can't move today, I just need you to pay the mortgage. Automate as many of your bills as you can just to minimize the work you or your wife have to do.

Do little things to make your life easier (like automating bills). These add up. Thermometer on each level of your house so you can take your temp wherever you are. Lysol wipes in every bathroom. Hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE. Meds in multiple locations (or just 1 if that works better). Organize your pantry and freezer (or get someone else to). Clean out your kitchen and arrange things so that what you use most is easiest to access. I'm sure there are a ton of kid related things to do here.

You mention chemo brain and this is what compelled me to respond. Start working on strategies to manage around it, because in case no one has told you, chemo brain doesn't necessarily go away with chemo. I am 2.5 years out and my brain just isn't the same as it was before. Not my favorite thing about having had cancer, but manageable once you adjust.
-Index card on the fridge for when you take meds. If you're really feeling bad, write out the schedule and just "x" them off as you go through the day.
-Use the calendar on your phone, reminders in outlook, and your new best friend alexa ("alexa, set a reminder for X at Y" then she reminds you in your house and on your phone in case you are not at home).
-Take lots of notes. You probably already have a notebook for medical stuff - take notes at appointments and also be sure to write down symptoms, issues, and questions between appointments, then REVIEW YOUR NOTES before/at each appointment so you remember to ask your dr. about whatever. OneNote has been a game changer for me at work.

Meal planning - Each weekend, I plan what/when to cook in the coming week based on my schedule and shop accordingly. This has drastically cut down on food waste and last minute scramble for what to eat. On a related note, nourish your body with good food. Even though you probably want to eat like a toddler (goldfish, toast, and muffins were all I wanted after treatments), eat well when you can tolerate it. Plenty of debate about what this means, consider talking with a dietitian or nutritionist. MD Anderson had one on staff that I was able to meet with.

https://www.cookforyourlife.org/recipes/ is nice because you can search by things like, high calorie, nausea, neutropenic diet, etc.

Don't know where you are but MD Anderson is pretty much one of my favorite places ever. I can't say enough good things about my experience there. I have heard from others that the experience there is different from a "regular" hospital/medical facility, so I agree with the advice on getting a second opinion from a top cancer hospital if you haven't already - at least investigate the possibility. E.g. maybe they are in network and you're hitting your max anyway this year (you are) and you have family in a particular city and making it work isn't quite as hard as it may seem on the surface.

You need help, so find out how you are comfortable communicating that. I was uncomfortable asking people for help but definitely could have used it in a couple of areas. What I wish I had done was set up a calendar where I could post what I needed and then people could sign up. If someone signed up, I would know they were really able and willing to do that thing and I wasn't putting them in an awkward situation of trying to help in a way that didn't work for them. Another option is to have 1 person coordinate meals or other requests. Examples of things people can do for you: provide meals, bring you cut up fruit (seriously.), rides to treatments or appointments, grocery shopping or other errands, mow your lawn, do some laundry, child care, child transporting. Keep a running list. Some sites that might work are Lotsa Helping Hands, Meal Train, Caring Bridge. Maybe your kids' teachers could help with this too (e.g. if they ask what you need because other parents are asking them, that's a perfect opportunity to say, "we need play dates or carpool or a ride or something every Tuesday when I have an infusion.") You could also post a list of things that would be helpful for people who prefer to help financially or live elsewhere (e.g. gift cards to specific restaurants or grocery stores, parking costs if applicable, house cleaning or lawn service, etc.).

If you haven't already, find an easy way to keep multiple people up to date on how you are doing. I liked caring bridge. People really want to know but its a lot of work for you or your wife to update everyone individually. It's also a good way to maintain communication and needs with groups that you aren't seeing as much like coworkers, who STILL care and want to help but don't want to intrude.

Check out whatever support groups or educational programs your dr/hospital offer and try to attend those. Definitely helps talking to people with a similar experience and other patients gave me better tips for things like chemo.

Cancer SUCKS. Try to make gratitude a focus - even journal about it or just jot down something you are grateful for each day. One day it might be your beautiful children or your amazing wife, another day it might be goldfish. Both are valid. I think it helps with the mental aspect. Wishing you and your family strength, comfort, and healing.

Kristen

wow, that was a lot of words considering I started out just wanting to talk about chemo brain...

bayview
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by bayview » Sun May 13, 2018 4:20 am

Kristen, what an amazing and thoughtful reply.

I love this forum.

camillus, best wishes for a full recovery!
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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FIREchief
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by FIREchief » Sun May 13, 2018 4:30 am

If you have a good friend who is a Christian, lean on them early and often. They will likely be able to pull in others to help you out in many ways.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by JoeRetire » Sun May 13, 2018 6:03 am

camillus24 wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:20 pm
Got diagnosed a three months ago with blood cancer (prognosis is mixed) and am undergoing treatment now (and will hopefully continue doing so for the next year).

Any thoughts from the Boglehead community on things one should do in this situation proactively?
Sorry to hear that.

Depending on the severity of your prognosis, you might want to make sure your wife is prepare to take over the financial management aspects of your family's life. For some, that means learning how to handle the finances, for others it means hiring a competent financial adviser.

When I was diagnosed last year, we already had a financial adviser in place for a few years (my wife is capable but not interested in handling our finances). I spoke with her to give her a heads up on my condition and outlook. For now, we aren't changing anything. If my prognosis should worsen, we are prepared.

While being treated, I learned that there are a lot of support functions available should you or your wife need them. You can get counseling, physical help, transportation, babysitting, etc. During my infusions, they even offer therapeutic massage. Lean on them wherever it would help.

Consider other tasks that you handled which may need to be shifted to someone else at least temporarily. Yard work, car maintenance, whatever else you handle that your wife isn't comfortable doing. Find others who can take them over if need be.

Good luck with your treatments. I've learned that there have been some amazing breakthroughs in cancer treatment in recent years. I wish you the best.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.

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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by carolinaman » Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 am

VincentP wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:34 pm
Before planning for the worst, I would suggest making sure that you are getting the best and most up-to-date treatment. While receiving your current treatment you might start reaching out to institutions like MD Anderson, NIH, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic or your state University Medical Center for a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan.
+1. I highly endorse the second opinion. You may be getting the best possible treatment now but it never hurts to get a 2nd opinion on something as critical as your situation. I have done 2nd opinions several times and there was always something of value that came out of them. Some doctors do not like patients to get second opinions but most will understand. It is best to get second opinion from a doctor that is well qualified in the field of medicine in question and not affiliated in any way with your medical team. Even though I live in a large metro area, I have got second opinions from doctors outside our area, usually at a major university medical facility.

I am sorry to hear about your condition and extend best wishes for a full recovery.

SheReadsHere719
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by SheReadsHere719 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:16 am

bayview wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 4:20 am
Kristen, what an amazing and thoughtful reply.

I love this forum.

camillus, best wishes for a full recovery!
+1!

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dm200
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by dm200 » Sun May 13, 2018 10:56 am

Thrift Shop wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:41 pm
3) Went on short-term disability so at 70% of base income till August, where as per my employer plan I switch to long-term disability for remainder of treatment.
I know of a situation where an employer required an individual going on long term disability (LTD) to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefits. If this individual refused to apply for SSDI, then the LTD benefits would be reduced by the amount they would have received from SSDI. If the individual did apply for SSDI and was approved then the LTD was also reduced, but made whole by SSDI benefits. If the individual applied for SSDI and was not approved then the LTD would not be reduced.
This may not be the case with your employer, but I wanted to make you aware of it. Especially since said individual was not aware of this requirement.
Best wishes to you.
Yes - this can be an important aspect of receiving disability compensation.

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dm200
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by dm200 » Sun May 13, 2018 12:01 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 am
VincentP wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 1:34 pm
Before planning for the worst, I would suggest making sure that you are getting the best and most up-to-date treatment. While receiving your current treatment you might start reaching out to institutions like MD Anderson, NIH, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic or your state University Medical Center for a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan.
+1. I highly endorse the second opinion. You may be getting the best possible treatment now but it never hurts to get a 2nd opinion on something as critical as your situation. I have done 2nd opinions several times and there was always something of value that came out of them. Some doctors do not like patients to get second opinions but most will understand. It is best to get second opinion from a doctor that is well qualified in the field of medicine in question and not affiliated in any way with your medical team. Even though I live in a large metro area, I have got second opinions from doctors outside our area, usually at a major university medical facility.
I am sorry to hear about your condition and extend best wishes for a full recovery.
No health or medical credentials myself - but (as a patient) I make efforts to become and be informed. Sometimes, a second or third opinion might recommend less treatment rather than more.

Teague
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by Teague » Sun May 13, 2018 12:20 pm

Evaluation at a good university medical center, especially one with expertise in your diagnosis, can be a very good value for your healthcare dollar (I'm trying to keep focused on the financial aspect here.)

On another note, it will probably seem that no one really understands what you are going through, and sometimes it may seem like absolutely no one "gets it" at all. It's not because you've done a poor job of communicating, or that your friends and family don't care. It's because this is a journey no one can understand unless they have gone through it themselves. Even among cancer patients, everyone's journey is different. It can be a pretty lonely spot to be in. That's unfortunate, but to be expected sometimes, in my experience. Best of luck, and stay strong. :beer
Semper Augustus

mouses
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by mouses » Sun May 13, 2018 12:26 pm

I will just add another experience note about resources. I had a breast biopsy several months ago, that turned out negative, but I was given lots of information before the diagnosis about resources that were available, usually at no charge, at the place, which was a breast cancer center. Even things like relaxation classes are available.

That would be a good reason to get a second opinion at a major center if those things aren't available where you are being treated now. Even if you stay with your current medical team, you might avail yourself of resources at the other place.

Also, I was astounded at the medical resources up to and including genetic testing to determine if that could direct treatment.

chessknt
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by chessknt » Sun May 13, 2018 12:36 pm

Depending on what your physicians are planning to do I would encourage you to think about what the limits of your care should be. You can get very sick with cancer and if they do a transplant you could end up on prolonged life support, unable to participate in decisions, possibly with permanent disabilities/brain damage/unable to ever care for yourself again (all worst case scenario). Talking through these things now with your wife will make her job of making decisions for you are your poa easier should it ever come to this. A palliative care physician can help facilitate this discussion if your oncologist wont as it should be more detailed than 'I don't want to be a vegetable.'

Most people do not do this and I see the consequences in their distraught family every day.

cherijoh
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by cherijoh » Sun May 13, 2018 12:42 pm

bayview wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 4:20 am
Kristen, what an amazing and thoughtful reply.

I love this forum.

camillus, best wishes for a full recovery!
I agree 100%. Great post Kristen and keep a positive attitude Camillus.

I hadn't heard about Caring Bridge, but I have participated in one of the meal delivery apps for a friend who had a critically ill baby. It really helped to space out the meals over a longer period of time - not everyone has a lot of freezer space. It also allowed participants to specify what they planned to bring and was visible to everyone participating. Whoever set up the invitation could also specify and dietary restrictions or food preferences for the recipient (e.g., lactose intolerant, vegetarian, etc.) This was key to ensuring that the recipient didn't end up with 6 straight pots of chili or something they couldn't eat.

Edited to Add: Hopefully this won't come across as too morbid, but I've read about parents of young parents who when faced with a serious illness get someone to videotape them reading to their kids or making videotapes for special milestones in their children's lives they might not be around for.
Last edited by cherijoh on Sun May 13, 2018 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Christine_NM
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by Christine_NM » Sun May 13, 2018 1:00 pm

chessknt wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:36 pm
Depending on what your physicians are planning to do I would encourage you to think about what the limits of your care should be.....
Most people do not do this and I see the consequences in their distraught family every day.
Whoa. It is too early to think about limits. Let OP finish treatment and see what results are. As yet another cancer survivor after a year of treatment, the tips I can offer are:
  • Stay with the treatment plan no matter how unpleasant;
    Do not expect full recovery back to 100% of your old self no matter how successful your treatment is;
    Do not waste time with looping thoughts of worry or self-pity;
    Keep moving as much as you can.
Sounds like you have the financial end taken care of as well as can be expected. The items above are the briefest possible distillation of my experience. Hope this helps, but YMMV.
18% cash 44% stock 38% bond. Retired, w/d rate 2.5%

GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Sun May 13, 2018 3:38 pm

You mentioned making sure that your life insurance is up-to-date. I suggest that you specifically check and update your beneficiaries on life insurance AND other financial accounts. Probably best if your wife is the beneficiary, with a per stirpes provision to pass any funds on to your kids in the awful (and unlikely) chance that she dies first.

Check how your car(s) are titled and make sure that your wife is a joint owner on each of the cars.

Consider your wishes for burial and funeral options and write those down to review with your wife. I hope that they are unnecessary for many decades.

Build a financial plan for the mid-term assuming that you will be on LTD. You might want to explore options for you staying on the company's health insurance, but your wife and kids obtaining a less expensive policy if one is available. (Option probably available only after the baby is born.) It might turn out that the company policy is still cheapest, but that's a lot of bucks. I'd be very concerned about insurance changes for you in the middle of treatment since that might disrupt your doctor and hospital options.

Ask for help and accept it when offered.

Sending lots of good thoughts for successful recovery and a healthy baby/mom.

chessknt
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by chessknt » Sun May 13, 2018 6:15 pm

Christine_NM wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 1:00 pm
chessknt wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:36 pm
Depending on what your physicians are planning to do I would encourage you to think about what the limits of your care should be.....
Most people do not do this and I see the consequences in their distraught family every day.
Whoa. It is too early to think about limits. Let OP finish treatment and see what results are. As yet another cancer survivor after a year of treatment, the tips I can offer are:
  • Stay with the treatment plan no matter how unpleasant;
    Do not expect full recovery back to 100% of your old self no matter how successful your treatment is;
    Do not waste time with looping thoughts of worry or self-pity;
    Keep moving as much as you can.
Sounds like you have the financial end taken care of as well as can be expected. The items above are the briefest possible distillation of my experience. Hope this helps, but YMMV.
People end up in the ICU and can die from treatment of many kinds of cancer but particularly certain kinds of blood cancer. It probably isn't likely but going through the exercise now will help his wife make decisions for him based on his wishes rather than her emotions. It is never too early to think about limits and if/thens and should be a requirement if you are empowering someone to be your advocate.

PoppyA
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by PoppyA » Sun May 13, 2018 6:36 pm

I know how scary this is for you and your wife. Hang in there sweet pea.

Cancer is a scary thing. But keep in mind, unless your cancer is unusual in some way, most treatments are standard. Just like treatment for (example) a thyroid condition. Don’t beat yourself up for not going to md Anderson, mayo or Sloan Kettering. Sometimes being close to home is comforting and the right way to go.

That being said, Try to find a nearby National cancer institute (NCI) accredited Hospitol, or affiliate of an nci hospital. They will be on board with the standard currently recommended treatments.

Best wishes.

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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by bpp » Mon May 14, 2018 12:30 am

You may have already thought of this, but I would suggest trying to simplify finances as much as possible. In particular, consolidate financial accounts to the bare minimum number needed. This will make life easier to manage with chemo brain. Also makes the executor's job easier, should it come to that.

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just frank
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by just frank » Mon May 14, 2018 4:54 am

NB: No medical advice allowed here.

Many blood cancers benefit from state of the art immunotherapy. My medical colleagues nowadays say it 'cures' all but some solid tumor cancers, and late stage. Can cost $500k, is no longer experimental and is available from very few centers around the country.

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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by J295 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:46 pm

Wishing you good outcomes and lots of support.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon May 14, 2018 9:56 pm

I removed a post claiming a specific diet will help protect against cancer. While well intentioned, this constitutes medical advice and is off-topic. See: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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Taylor Larimore
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"The PRESENT"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon May 14, 2018 10:25 pm

Got diagnosed a three months ago with blood cancer (prognosis is mixed) and am undergoing treatment now (and will hopefully continue doing so for the next year).
camillus24:

There have been great advances in cancer treatments and pain relief -- so live every day the best that you can.

I had my first cancer of the larynx ten years ago which left me speechless (I use an electronic speech aid). I have had four other type cancers since. I've beat em all. Wrote a book and feel great.

Cancer patients know why each day is called THE PRESENT. :happy

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 17, 2018 3:24 pm

I removed a post linking to a site on chemo-therapy. The site contains medical advice. Please see my previous post and stay focused on the financial aspects of the OP's situation.
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by rralex1 » Thu May 17, 2018 6:00 pm

camillus24,

As a response, my initial thought is to encourage you to do what you are doing. Reach out for ideas and feedback and understand that there are many people who care, and have ideas to share. Take them all into account and process the ones that strike you most. Wish I had more for you but other than that, fight like hell, it's all I have.

All the best.

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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by kenoryan » Thu May 17, 2018 9:17 pm

Camillus, I’m sorry for your situation and hope you get better and beat this cancer. But please check your beneficiary on the life insurance and other accounts. My cousin died last year at the age of 42 with colon cancer. He left behind 2 young boys. The beneficiary on one of his insurance policies was his ex wife. He had not updated his beneficiary. She got $1 Million. The estate wanted to sue to get some of that money back, but in the end they settled with 2/3 for her and 1/3 to the estate. Cross your t’s and dot your i’s. Go through everything with a fine tooth comb. And estate lawyers are very expensive.

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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by fourwaystreet » Thu May 17, 2018 10:13 pm

Best of luck to you....I did not see this in the thread but whenever possible have a family member or friend accompany you when you have an appointment with your oncologist, not just for the support but for the second set of ears.
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by blackcat allie » Sat May 19, 2018 2:05 pm

fourwaystreet wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 10:13 pm
Best of luck to you....I did not see this in the thread but whenever possible have a family member or friend accompany you when you have an appointment with your oncologist, not just for the support but for the second set of ears.
Great points there.
Also, don't forget that oncology nurses can be wonderful resources for general - and very specific - issues. Some are Oncology Certified Nurses (OCN's) and are very dedicated to guiding patients and families through difficult journey..
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Re: Cancer - tips?

Post by Catfish Plumber » Sat May 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Fantastic advice so far!

I only want to add that when you apply for SSDI, research and apply for spousal and child benefits as well. In my case, long term disability automatically reduced payments by the expected total SSDI payments including spousal and child. I found the process very easy, and an Acute Myeloid Leukemia diagnosis meant the SSDI application was fast tracked as a Compassionate Allowance (see https://www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/). My Long Term Disability insurance offered to pay a legal firm to help with the SSDI application, but I had already done most of it myself so I declined.

I don’t know how similar your situation may be but it sounds very close to what I went through a little over 2 years ago. I had a stem cell transplant and although I will definitely describe the process as the greatest challenge I have ever faced, I want you to know that there have been SO many huge improvements in blood cancer treatments recently that survival and cure rates are through the roof compared to the not so distant past. So much of that time is a distant memory now and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to get back to long term planning for our financial future in glorious boglehead style. I have no doubt you’ll be given the same opportunity.

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