Being OK Asking for Help When You Have CANCER


Cancer is the worst. THE WORST. Nobody is going to argue with me about this, because it's true. And if it weren't physically and emotionally devastating enough on it's own, it's also a financial nightmare.
The worst statistic I have ever read: 
$128,000 is the average cost of a breast cancer diagnosis
?!?!?! And that's with health insurance.  So, um, woof? Right? I don't have that. Do you?
There are just so many things that health insurance doesn't cover. Should a cancer diagnosis mean you go into debt? How is that even fair. 
What if you don’t live in a major city? Plan to spend thousands of dollars on traveling and hotels for treatment. Live in a major city? You still get to spend boatloads on taxis, gas and parking because public transportation is basically a moving germ mobile. I mean, I have seen people urinate on those busses. Healthy immune system? No big deal. Compromised chemo-damaged system? Absolutely not. 
Of course, there are a million organizations that want to make sure you get the best possible treatment you need. And that is amazing. But many of the agencies that offer help need you to meet certain financial standards. Low ones. So if you are somewhere in the middle, economically, you must first torch your savings, lower your income to poverty levels, and then you become eligible for aid. 
What if you're like me? Too affluent when you first get diagnosed to qualify for discounts/aid, but you know, without hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to cover your costs. 
And that is the crux. Asking for help, for money, was really, really hard to do. I was not a charity case, I had a GOOD JOB before I got sick. I was (sort of) an adult. How did I suddenly burn through all my savings when all I seem to spend money on is ice packs and gatorade? God, it was so terrifying. I hate money. 
But then a chemo treatment would come along, as it did, every two weeks or so, and 65 amazing people would offer to drive me to my appointment (good luck fighting my mom for that one) and I would think, ok, my ride is covered but how am I going to cover this $750 medical bill for my last scan and blood tests? If all those people who offered me rides just gave me the money they would've spent on gas, I'd be fine. OH. LIGHTBULB. And that's where this all comes full circle.
People are amazing. They want to help you. All you need to do is give them a way to help you. That act of asking for help is so brave. People can't help you if they don't know you need it. Admitting you can't do everything, that you are going through a rough patch, and then embracing the brilliant, loving light of human kindness. I mean, the Veronica Mars movie made 2 million dollars through crowd funding. It was a really good movie, but you have cancer. 
And I get it, trust me. Those thoughts "I don't need help" (you do) "why should I get help?" (um, because you're surviving cancer?!?) "I'm ashamed that I can't cover this myself" (well, um, who can?? who has 5-6 figures just laying around in case of extreme medical emergency.)  Not to get all tough love on ya, but these thoughts are stupid. People want to help you. Stop being so stubborn and holding onto stress. Let people help you. Nobody gets through something like this alone. Ask them to Standbuy you during your cancer treatment and they will, and you can focus on getting better and healing and not worry about paying your bills. Stress is not good for healing.