Read one woman's account of how cancer took the lives of her parents and the preventative measures she has taken to improve her health and avoid any financial distress should the unfortunate happen in her family.
June 4 will always be the most memorable day of my life.
No, it’s not my birthday, or favorite holiday, and it isn't my wedding day either. June 4th was the last day my Dad spent here on this earth. At about 6:30pm, surrounding by his wife, his sister, and his two daughters, he passed on peacefully at 62 years old. This blog post is not about wedding or meal planning, but I believe it is the most important blog post I have written thus far.
My Dad passed away due to complications from his liver cancer. I hate cancer, as everyone does, and especially hate the feeling it creates for my family. Through my Mom’s fight with ovarian cancer, then my Dad’s fight with melanoma, followed eventually by liver cancer, the word alone has brought shivers down my spine for the last six years. You see, many people think that if you don’t have cancer in your family, you are fine. WRONG. My Mom is the youngest of seven children, none who have had cancer. This goes for my Dad’s side too. AND includes grandparents and all of my cousins on both sides. In fact, did you know that in males, the risk of developing cancer in your lifetime is 44%, and for women, is 38%? Think of a friend. If that friend is female, she has a 1-3 chance of getting cancer in her lifetime. Male, 1-2 chance. Frightening right? (cancer.org). Cancer does not only affect you. It affects your family and friends emotionally, sometimes physically, and financially.
Okay, I apologize, I am done with the scare tactics (although true). As the eternal optimist that I am, I have to see the good that these statistics and personal experiences have given me.
Here is what I have done to support myself:
1) INCREASED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY!
We have all heard how being more active can decrease you chances of cancer. The good news: it’s true. According to one cancer researcher, physical activity can curb your obesity risk, which in turn reduces your odds of a life threatening cancer. The bad news: UGH. Working out. It’s HARD some days. How have I made this easier for me? Finding something I LOVE to do; cardio jam! Yes, sounds hilarious. Yes, I look hilarious. But it’s making me healthier and it is fun.
2) FIND WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS.
Stress: defined as a state of mental or emotional strain. The word stress beats out moist and coagulate on my worst words ever list. Everyone has been stressed. From deadlines at work, to potentially losing a loved one, to paying that bill on time, it happens. It effects your mental health and your personal relationships. So find things that relax you. For me, it’s writing, cleaning my house, and reading. Find what works for you and make time for it.
3) FINANCIAL PROTECTION.
Please, please, please, think about protecting yourself and your family. Both my parents had cancer that was NOT hereditary and were in fine health when they got diagnosed. My point: IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU! I have thanked God numerous times that my parents were smart and selfless enough to protect their paychecks by purchasing a disability insurance policy, and in my Dad’s case, life insurance. I can’t imagine my Mom or Dad having to pick up a second job in order to make up for the lost income instead of staying where they belonged: by each other’s side. Frequently, what you are receiving from your company is often times NOT enough to protect your paycheck and family. Do you want to put your family in an unsatisfactory situation because you didn't take the small amount of time to protect them? I didn't, and I can’t imagine where my Mom would be today without the protection my Dad set-up for her. Dealing with poor health and grief is enough. That’s why it’s so important to take the first step and learn about both disability and life insurance.
Good intentions are useless without plans that translate them into actions. The Corinthians had indicated their desire and willingness to give and had even been instructed on planned giving (1 Cor. 16:1-2), yet they had failed to follow through on their good intentions (2 Cor. 8:10-11).
Written by Kendall Jackson
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).