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Retired to help my wife fight Cancer
Old 10-27-2017, 01:44 PM   #1
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Retired to help my wife fight Cancer

I retired from a job I once loved to help my wife with her battle with Ovarian Cancer. It was an easy decision after 43 years of marriage and 44 years of working. Retired 18 months ago and we have already battled one re-occurrence. She is tough as nails and the quality of life has been good considering the long days of Chemo. She is in remission again now and we have travel plans for the winter. I had many financial questions when I entered retirement, but they all seem secondary now to our health concerns.

Even if all the numbers don't add up for your idea of a great retirement, remember that your health is the most important thing. Don't ignore it thinking it will never happen to you. Be proactive to make sure you stay healthy.

I look forward to reading posts and learning from all of you.

VW
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:47 PM   #2
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Taking care of a cancer patient is extremely difficult, emotionally and physically. Having done that once albeit taking care of my brother 1 - 2 weekend per month, I know it is going to be hard for you. Good luck and best wishes to both of you.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:49 PM   #3
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There are quite a few of us here who have lost spouses, either through cancer or some other affliction, plus those whose companions are attempting to cope with difficult health issues; I believe you will find this 'online community' very supportive.......best of luck to you!
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Old 10-27-2017, 02:58 PM   #4
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My mom was barely retired when she was dx'd with ovarian cancer... my dad had retired a few years earlier. It was a blessing that they didn't have the concerns of work while dealing with chemo, and cramming as much LIVING in between chemo rounds. They travelled the world (full circumnavigation) twice after her diagnosis.

My best wishes for you and your wife. Enjoy life, seize opportunities to travel between chemo rounds. Enjoy your time with each other.
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:45 PM   #5
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Our thoughts are with you. Your post reminds me of my DW's situation. She was working and got diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery and all the physical stuff went as well as we could have hoped for. We're walking one day and the subject of going back to work came up. She waffled and all I could say is that given the wake up call of sorts that life doesn't go on forever, how could she ever consider going back to work when there are grand kids to be involved with and another totally different and rewarding life to live. She didn't say much (never does) but she's hasn't been back to work except for a couple days to help train someone. In the mean time, the grand kids are coming over tomorrow and DW is sitting on the couch with her mother who at some point not to long from now will not know us due to Alzheimer's. Family > Work.
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:55 PM   #6
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Nothing to add other than Thank You for the personal perspective.
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Old 10-27-2017, 05:22 PM   #7
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It goes to show that IRA's, SS, 401k's, travel, what we did today, and what we last ordered from Amazon are trivial compared to our health.

Thanks for posting and best wishes to you and your DW.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:06 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. Sorry that you have wife's cancer to deal with. As you have found out, enjoy your time together.

While I may not be the earliest retiree here, my personal feeling is more time and better health, even if a bit less money.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:14 PM   #9
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I wish you and your wife many happy years and the best in life. Your post is very moving and makes us realize money is such a small thing to worry about.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:31 PM   #10
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Seize the day. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. I will be praying for your wife and you as you journey together each and everyday. Thanks for sharing what is really important in life.
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Old 10-27-2017, 09:35 PM   #11
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I can identify with your wife to some extent. I prepared to retire early beginning in my early 20s. In 2014 when I was 44, I was about 90% toward reaching my early retirement goal, and I was diagnosed with stage 3b colon cancer. I went through surgery and six months of chemotherapy, and I just recently had my year three post surgery ct scan showing no evidence of disease, I am headed toward long-term remission. I was also terminated from long-term employment in 2014. "Time" became a very valuable asset to me after the diagnosis, and I have resisted returning to the work force, even though I may be around for awhile, and I was only about 90% toward reaching my early retirement goal. I have been focusing on my health instead (you provided good advice) and I have been living frugally. I still dont want to return to work (yuck) if I can avoid it. I might go back to work if I can do something meaningful and only on a part time basis. My life would be much more difficult today if I had not planned for early retirement in my early 20s. This website helped me a lot along the way.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your wife.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by nico08 View Post
I can identify with your wife to some extent. I prepared to retire early beginning in my early 20s. In 2014 when I was 44, I was about 90% toward reaching my early retirement goal, and I was diagnosed with stage 3b colon cancer. I went through surgery and six months of chemotherapy, and I just recently had my year three post surgery ct scan showing no evidence of disease, I am headed toward long-term remission. I was also terminated from long-term employment in 2014. "Time" became a very valuable asset to me after the diagnosis, and I have resisted returning to the work force, even though I may be around for awhile, and I was only about 90% toward reaching my early retirement goal. I have been focusing on my health instead (you provided good advice) and I have been living frugally. I still dont want to return to work (yuck) if I can avoid it. I might go back to work if I can do something meaningful and only on a part time basis. My life would be much more difficult today if I had not planned for early retirement in my early 20s. This website helped me a lot along the way.



My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your wife.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words. This is the type of online community that everyone should hope for. nico08- I am glad for your great results and keep up the healthy living.

VW
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:32 AM   #13
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My thoughts and prayers are with you, too. I had planned to retire at 65 and left at 61 due to toxic politics. DH was 15 years older. We got in 3 more good trips: an Alaskan cruise, a trip to Paris and one to Iceland before he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. In has case, the one treatment they tried didn't work (his body was worn out by 10 years of polycythemia, a precursor condition) and he died almost a year ago.

I'm not quite 65 and now it's a freaky thought that I'd still be working if I'd stuck with the original plan. Life has been so much richer even though I loved my work, and it was a true blessing to give DH the care he needed.

I hope that you and your wife are able to fight this together.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:49 AM   #14
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I took a leave of absence to take care of my husband who was in ICU battling for his life . There is no way I could have worked and been the advocate he needed .I did return to work a month after he died . Take care of your wife and yourself .Time is way more important than money .
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Old 10-28-2017, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanWinkle View Post
I retired from a job I once loved to help my wife with her battle with Ovarian Cancer. It was an easy decision after 43 years of marriage and 44 years of working. Retired 18 months ago and we have already battled one re-occurrence. She is tough as nails and the quality of life has been good considering the long days of Chemo. She is in remission again now and we have travel plans for the winter. I had many financial questions when I entered retirement, but they all seem secondary now to our health concerns.



Even if all the numbers don't add up for your idea of a great retirement, remember that your health is the most important thing. Don't ignore it thinking it will never happen to you. Be proactive to make sure you stay healthy.



I look forward to reading posts and learning from all of you.



VW


My DW battled ovarian cancer and uterine cancer with the surgery on her birthday 14 years ago, followed by chemo and then radiation. We made her chemo days a special day by going out to lunch, seeing a movie or going to a park or museum after the treatment. We didn’t know what the future held for us, so we made sure we spent extra time together that would keep her mind off the cancers. She’s still with me (Thank you God!) and doing well. Her GYN oncologist is retiring at the end of this year, so she’s sad she has to see someone else.
Support of a loving spouse is critical and it looks like you’ve got that covered. God Bless and best wishes!
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:07 PM   #16
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Thank you for sharing and the perspective.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:11 PM   #17
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My thoughts and prayers are with you, too. I had planned to retire at 65 and left at 61 due to toxic politics. DH was 15 years older. We got in 3 more good trips: an Alaskan cruise, a trip to Paris and one to Iceland before he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. In has case, the one treatment they tried didn't work (his body was worn out by 10 years of polycythemia, a precursor condition) and he died almost a year ago.

I'm not quite 65 and now it's a freaky thought that I'd still be working if I'd stuck with the original plan. Life has been so much richer even though I loved my work, and it was a true blessing to give DH the care he needed.
I hope that you and your wife are able to fight this together.
Bless you and all the caregivers here.
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:56 AM   #18
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My DW battled ovarian cancer and uterine cancer with the surgery on her birthday 14 years ago, followed by chemo and then radiation. We made her chemo days a special day by going out to lunch, seeing a movie or going to a park or museum after the treatment. We didn’t know what the future held for us, so we made sure we spent extra time together that would keep her mind off the cancers. She’s still with me (Thank you God!) and doing well. Her GYN oncologist is retiring at the end of this year, so she’s sad she has to see someone else.
Support of a loving spouse is critical and it looks like you’ve got that covered. God Bless and best wishes!
Thanks for the great post, it gives us hope going forward.

VW
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Old 11-18-2017, 06:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
My thoughts and prayers are with you, too. I had planned to retire at 65 and left at 61 due to toxic politics. DH was 15 years older. We got in 3 more good trips: an Alaskan cruise, a trip to Paris and one to Iceland before he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. In has case, the one treatment they tried didn't work (his body was worn out by 10 years of polycythemia, a precursor condition) and he died almost a year ago.

I'm not quite 65 and now it's a freaky thought that I'd still be working if I'd stuck with the original plan. Life has been so much richer even though I loved my work, and it was a true blessing to give DH the care he needed.

I hope that you and your wife are able to fight this together.
I am very sorry for your loss, and thank you for the kind words.

VW
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:53 AM   #20
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All I can add is that I see a lot of women on the specific cancer board that I follow but not a lot of men or husbands of patients. I see many things that I’m concerned men and husbands of cancer patients would benefit from. For example, there are many financial and healthcare resources available to cancer patients, e.g. early access to Medicare. These are not based on financial needs only based on having documentation of the condition (all cancer patients have copies of their medical records so that is never a problem). Please look into cancer forums specific to your wife’s condition.

As a separate example of a benefit from these forums, I know what the latest treatment plans are from each of the leading cancer centers in the country - and these care plans (chemo, immunotherapy, surgery, radiation, Gamma Knife if the tumors spread to the brain, how to reduce the negative effects of some treatments, lymph node removal vs leaving them in, etc) change very frequently and usually in
Ways that are both more effective and less damaging to the patient long term.
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