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Old 01-11-2015, 08:55 PM   #21
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.... Sad. Cancer terrifies me at age 44 and yet I spend a lot of time worrying about if I will have enough money when I am 85. ...
I just heard the other day from my old boss that one of the partners who I worked with died after a 15 month battle with cancer at age 57, leaving a wife and two teenage kids. Good guy who will be missed.

Both FIL and MIL and my Dad all had cancer, as have many friends. Scary.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:01 PM   #22
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And may that time be far, far longer than you dare hope and full of the very best that life has to offer.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:54 PM   #23
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Wow! Thank you all for your kind words. I didn't mean to hijack the thread with my story of woe. I hope that this thread points out the importance of having the correct insurance, especially health and term life if others are counting on your income/nest egg.

It makes me happy to know that my family will be financially OK because we had good insurance for health, disability, and term life prior to my cancer diagnosis. I always shake my head in disbelief when I read about someone who can afford it saying that they don't want to waste money paying for health insurance because they are healthy. I was very healthy before I got cancer, too. As others pointed out, many cancers, including mine, are mostly bad luck for which no one knows the cause.

As far as everyone's well wishes about me beating the odds and living for a long time with Multiple Myeloma, I unfortunately have an "aggressive" form of the cancer that not only forms in my bone marrow, but also forms tumors away from the bone. I am also very allergic to one of the main lines of drugs used to combat MM. These include Pomalyst, Revlimid, and Thalomid. I currently bounce from chemo drugs that have pretty bad side effects, to radiation therapy. The radiation gets rid of tumors that are just under the skin, and gives my body time to heal from the chemo drugs.

Anyway, thank you again for all the kind words. They mean a lot to me. And please, if you are under-insured, or know someone who is, take heed of the recent "Cancer is Mostly Bad Luck" study. We are all mortal, and stuff happens.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:56 PM   #24
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There was recent study (I heard about on the PBS Newshour, so don't have a link) that should that about 2/3 of cancers result from nothing other than random bad luck. Luck was much more important than genetic or life style. Although things like smoking still cause the bulk of lung cancer deaths and genetics was very important in some cancers.
This may be true, but think how difficult it would be to plan a definitive study that showed this. Maybe some environmental factor speeds up the process of mutation in some organs. Then that old devil random chance has more opportunity roll snake eyes.

I've been told, "oh nothing you can do about this or that". But sometimes there is, and I want to give it a shot. Years ago a doctor told me I had pre-diabetes, and that I would necessarily progress to diabetes, then worse and worse health.

He was full of crap then, and that kind of thinking is always full of crap. My belief is that if a person is wiling to learn, and sometimes make radical alterations to usual practice, very little is foreordained.

Ha
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:34 PM   #25
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I read this book last year which solidified my belief that diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can positively impact health and longetivity. The book is not about an external physical makeover, but an internal one. It's not the fastest read, but I've personally implemented many of the suggestions in my health habits.

Book Review €“ The RealAge Makeover by Michael Roizen €“ Take Years Off Your Looks
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:28 AM   #26
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I had an employee who was in her early 40s... went to the doctor to have test done for a sore back... found out it was pancreatic cancer.... only lived 5 or 6 months... when they found it she was too far gone for them to do anything....

She was a very active lady... but cancer does not care who you are or what you do....

Also lost my dad to cancer... he was in his early 60s and lasted about a year...

And a former boss.... breast cancer took her down in her 50s...
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:05 PM   #27
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Here's a UK site with a chart that shows cancer ocurrance per 100k population at various ages:

Cancer incidence by age : Cancer Research UK

40 - 44 age group is under 800 per 100k, women almost double that of men for numbers. 70's age group has highest #
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:49 PM   #28
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[URL]https://tv.yahoo.com/news/elizabeth-kaltman-disney-studios-pr-053207799.html[/

Really need to think if that OMY is necessary or if you should get on with your dreams before they are taken away unexpectedly.

That is one reason I am retiring this year. A friend my age died in a auto accident on her way to church this year. We always talked about retiring and being with our grandkids. You just never know.


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Old 01-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #29
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Tortoise my heart goes out to you ! Take care !
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:04 PM   #30
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Seems like everyone here would agree that there is only so much you can do about developing cancer, so worrying about it won't do anything at all (except cause more stress, which may cause cancer).

I've always been told that you shouldn't put off your dreams for retirement (even early retirement), but rather live them to the fullest - right now. I'm guilty of putting off many things because the "slog" of daily life (work, commute, small kids, chores, etc...) has a tendency to derail almost all of my best intentions. Yet when I see people my age (like the woman posted by the OP), it gives me pause that life is flying by faster and faster, with cancer an increasing possibility as I get older (cancer runs in the family).

Life can be frustrating at times - two steps forward, one step back - but the alternative, well... there isn't really one.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:30 PM   #31
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Tortoise, I am very sorry you are having to battle cancer. I wish you and your family the best.

Jay, that was what I was feeling in the original post. I have been stressing quite a bit over the question of will we have enough to live on in our 80s. The LTC thread didn't help a lot to ease my worries, with talk of dementia, nursing homes, $200k a year costs.

Then I read about a (probably) well off executive who dies at age 41 of cancer. What were their unrealized dreams? Did they always intend to visit Australia or tour Europe by rail but figured they had years to do that when retired?

My new philosophy is going to be live now and let the future sort itself out (while making sure we at least have some measure of financial freedom). I am not going to worry about eating cat food at 80 in a sub standard nursing home.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:31 PM   #32
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My new philosophy is going to be live now and let the future sort itself out (while making sure we at least have some measure of financial freedom).
Can anybody tell me how to do this? Just in a "friendly advice" sort of way.
Last Summer I got very sick with a mysterious illness they still haven't officially diagnosed. Then, based on the initial diagnosis (diverticulitis) they gave me 2 antibiotics to clear up the assumed infection before doing a colonoscopy. I had bad reactions to both drugs thus using up all the available antibiotics I can take since I am already unable to take most of the rest already.

I figured at the time this might be The End. Was more worried about my dog because there wasn't enough time to find a home for him and other loose ends. Thought that if I get through this I am turning over a new leaf. I vow to start ACTUALLY enjoying life and doing what I really want instead of being unrelentingly prudent. So, they do the colonoscopy, all is clear. Nothing wrong. Even said I was in better shape than they would expect a 57 yr old to be. And I survived the antibiotics. As soon as I returned to normal I go right back to the way I was. Unrelentingly prudent. Money Conscious if not Money Obsessed. Putting things off till it's either "Right" or "I can afford it". Old habits seem to die like a fokking Vampire. They don't.

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I am not going to worry about eating cat food at 80 in a sub standard nursing home.
About 19 yrs ago shortly after I retired I was talking to an old guy about making the money last, and being prepared for anything in the future, and all that stuff most of us here think about. And he said: Look you're obviously pretty smart. You seem to know how to handle money, and you know how to plan. You have no expensive or foolish hobbies. Stop worrying and enjoy yourself. There's no reason to think the future is going to be wildly different from the past as long as you don't change your basic self.

After almost 20 years it seems he was right.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:58 PM   #33
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I have to regularly differentiate "worry" from vigilance, study, and evaluation, all of which can be seen as worry by me. Worry itself is damaging to me and is more or less a distraction. I try to course-correct quickly when I sense it, usually with the help of my wife, who knows me well enough to spot it [I do the same for her].

Planning for the future is responding to a forecast, and extrapolating the past is a fair shot at it. In the end there is only so much we can do about it. Finding rational frames to evaluate and put risk in is one technique I use to help me push worry off the stage. Right or wrong, it helps.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:11 PM   #34
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About 19 yrs ago shortly after I retired I was talking to an old guy about making the money last, and being prepared for anything in the future, and all that stuff most of here think about. And he said: Look you're obviously pretty smart. You seem to know how to handle money, and you know how to plan. You have no expensive or foolish hobbies. Stop worrying and enjoy yourself. There's no reason to think the future is going to be wildly different from the past as long as you don't change your basic self.

After almost 20 years it seems he was right.
This sounds like great advice for lots of us here!

Glad that you ended up being healthy despite the mysterious illness.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:52 PM   #35
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About 40% of us will get a visit from cancer. 100% of us will "expire" at some point, from some thing. As I have gotten older, and seen more and more, old and young and in between, get "taken" (maybe we should hire Liam Neeson), it has started to switch from an intangible to a reality. Not necessarily a worry, but more inevitable, and every day closer. So, yeah, I consider it, and do realize that I'm burning daylight, so to speak.

My dad smoked Kool's with no filters for years. Always thought he'd go first, from lung cancer, or the big ache. But my mom, who never smoked a cigarette in her life, went first, from cancer.

She did live for eight years or so after the diagnosis, though the last year or two the chemo really affected her "quality of life".

The old man is still kickin' though. And, for that matter, he survived a bout with colon cancer...


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Old 01-13-2015, 06:02 PM   #36
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Glad that you ended up being healthy despite the mysterious illness.
Thanks. Yes I ended up healthy but the calculus is still the same. Does anybody think I can go another 20 or 30 years without needing antibiotics? Old peeps get pneumonia. I might need a minor prostate job or get a case of "Old Guy hernia". Cut myself on something while lawn mowing? All routine and unexciting ailments for normal people but potentially terminal for me if I get an infection. I imagine it's something like living with one of those weird diseases you might or might not have but you just don't know and you can't tell when it will get you.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:11 PM   #37
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Sad. Cancer terrifies me at age 44 and yet I spend a lot of time worrying about if I will have enough money when I am 85.
Well, there are cancers and then there are cancers. I don't think of this as such but I suppose it makes me a cancer survivor and I'd forgotten about it until now.

~30 years ago I had what seemed to be a pimple on the top of my ear that after two or three months didn't heal. I went to a dermatologist, he took a biopsy and froze it off. I didn't think much more about it until the follow-up. It was squamous-cell skin cancer, potentially very serious of course but caught early like mine, easy to treat. Or at least mine was.

No further recurrences and I rarely give it a thought other than go see a dermatologist once a year. The whole episode was more of an inconvenience than anything else.
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