At a time when my friends were finishing school, getting married, having kids, buying houses and other things typical of a young adult, I was going to have to fight for my life.
It puts a person in a really odd position, and it is one that I have struggled with. How to deal with having cancer, receiving treatment, and paying the bills is difficult enough. Seeing all the people you have grown up with start their lives, begin to achieve their career goals as well as starting families from a hospital bed is an impossible situation.
To say this is a difficult place to be is a bit of an understatement. The uncertainty that comes with being in remission, as well as many of the financial difficulties for the future are ever present.
This leads me to my title, how do you plan for the future, when yours (like mine) is so uncertain. I had a lot of career goals, I wanted to buy a house, and maybe one day start a family. It feels like many of these opportunities have been taken away before I had a chance at any of them.
As any person who has had chemotherapy will tell you, family planning is drastically altered by this. Outside of adoption, or artificial insemination, children are not an option. Buying something “expensive” like a house or a car is complicated by banks who don’t want to lend you money, and furthermore, insurance is problematic.
I have started to save some money for the future, which for me was a big step. Even starting investing, or RRSP’s or any sort of financial planning is intimidating and often complicated. It took over a year for me to start saving again because I would sooner spend my money on today than the future that might not be there. It is a big step, and I am proud of myself for finally being able to make it.
I am sure I will still spend frivolously on some things, and still have to “wait out” the allotted time period until I can start taking out loans (looks like I am a renter for awhile!) but I am confident that I will get there. I finally feel like, although I have an uncertain future, I have some sort of future. And that is good enough for now.