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Old 06-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #21
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Helping someone in need without judging is an act of great kindness and compassion and often goes unrewarded. Cancer is a terrible disease, your MIL must be frightened and your DW upset. Whether or not you choose to contribute financially, you can also help by being there and providing emotional support.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #22
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I'm surprised at the answers and that paying for medical care is now even resented and questioned within families.

Pay the money and help your MIL how can you even consider not doing it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #23
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I'm surprised at the answers and that paying for medical care is now even resented and questioned within families.

Pay the money and help your MIL how can you even consider not doing it.
So where is your line in the sand? Would you spend 10k, 100k, 1 million. How about your last $1 even if that ment your family going hungry? Would yiu sell your house?

I think every body has a line that they are willing to help out up to, but beyond that it really isn't helping anybody.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:30 PM   #24
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Could DW somehow attach MIL giving up smoking to the co-pay "gift"? It would be a win-win if she would in that she would be making a sacrifice and you might feel less resentful. While I know how addictive cigarettes can be it is hard for me to be sympathetic to someone who refuses to help themselves - very selfish.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:32 PM   #25
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This is part of that "for worse" thing.

Ha
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:42 PM   #26
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So where is your line in the sand? Would you spend 10k, 100k, 1 million. How about your last $1 even if that ment your family going hungry? Would yiu sell your house?

I think every body has a line that they are willing to help out up to, but beyond that it really isn't helping anybody.
I would not draw a line at any amount of money. You are in a terrible situation and I wish you had access to a better solution through your healthcare provider/insurer. If your MIL cannot afford to pay for her own care will Medicaid help? I'd look into that option, but be prepared to help your MIL out if necessary.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #27
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I'm surprised at the answers and that paying for medical care is now even resented and questioned within families.

Pay the money and help your MIL how can you even consider not doing it.
There's a reason why you are told before the plane takes off, to put on your oxygen mask first before helping those around you (regardless of age), in case of an emergency.

Helping out others before helping yourself may lead to all being lost.

I'll agree that the OP is in a pickle, but I'll also say that he needs to determine what the best course of action is that all may "survive" in his situation, IMHO.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #28
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Your MIL should apply for financial assistance. Start with the social workers at whatever facility or institution she is treated at. Certain cancers are covered under Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program (MCTP) and there are cancer foundations that assist with copays for chemotherapy. Most pharmaceutical companies can provide discount on their medications but require proof of finances. It's best to start the process as soon as possible since it can take up to 2 years and the exhaution of most of the patient's assets to qualify for some of these aid.

Cancer is financially and emotionally draining for entire family so telling your wife you do not wish to contribute financially to her mother's treatment can cause a lot of unnecessary "bad blood". Start by looking into other ways to help your MIL since that 4-5K is not even enough to cover her mdical needs. Best of luck to you and your family.
It's a tough situation, one that I had a like experience with many years ago (but it was my mom and not cancer). There is no right or wrong answer. I agree with Vaca that looking at financial assistance for MIL is needed or you may take more of the financial hit. My DW and I with Medicaid and other assistance programs helping were able to decide what we could afford to provide. It was always a gut wrenching decision between what was best for mom and our own financial future. Over time I learned to ignore the past history of health and money "issues" with my own mom and just tried to do what was best for us all.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #29
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. The cost does not end with the copay for treatments. There are a follow-up appointments, labs, screening test, multiple specialists and consultants, etc. A lot of cancer patients, even if they have great insurance usually do end up in the medicaid system. Your MIL should apply for financial assistance. Start with the social workers at whatever facility or institution she is treated at. Certain cancers are covered under Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program (MCTP) and there are cancer foundations that assist with copays for chemotherapy. Most pharmaceutical companies can provide discount on their medications but require proof of finances. It's best to start the process as soon as possible since it can take up to 2 years and the exhaution of most of the patient's assets to qualify for some of these aid.


Sorry for your problems but I think Vaca made some great points and hopefully your MIL will get some financial help.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #30
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Pay but put a condition on it. Cut smoking and or cut cable. She can rent from Red Box and watch wireless TV. The extra money goes to co-pays.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:46 PM   #31
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It's a tough situation.
My brother was a jerk. There's no nice way to put it - he was arrogant, selfish, and often unpleasant to be around. So much so that my dad disinherited him. (Can only take so many times of being told off by a son.) They stopped speaking.

Then, a few years later, my brother got terminal cancer. (Ironically, Dad was also dx'd with terminal cancer at the same time.)

My sister and I spent money out of pocket to fly to his state each weekend to help care for him. My dad, despite the bad blood and disinheritance, authorized my sister to pay my brother's COBRA payments (he could no longer work, so his insurance was through COBRA). So my brother didn't inherit - but did have money to cover his medical bills.

My brother remained a jerk - but his medical costs were covered and he had family to help care for him in his final months. Airfare and travel expenses weren't cheap... and missing weeks of work hurt the bottom line... but we were there with him at the end. We burned through our vacation time that we could have used with our children...

Why'd we do it? For us it was because a) it was the right thing to do for our family and b) we knew we'd be able to sleep at night. YMMV... We didn't do it because my brother deserved it. We did it because *we* felt better about doing what we felt was the right thing to do... even though it was unappreciated.

I still have resentment about how unappreciated our efforts were - but I'd make the same decisions again, because in my case, it was the right thing to do. Fortunately, my husband was very supportive.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #32
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I agree with nun. You need to do some research. The first thing is to assess your MIL's finances. If she is too poor to afford her cancer copays, there are places to go for help. Just as one example look at this list:
Sources of Financial Assistance - Fact Sheet | CancerCare
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:53 PM   #33
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Is there some way you can structure your financial assistance to MIL as a loan?
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #34
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Instead of a political issue, it might turn more into a domestic issue (that is, between you and DW).

That said, it's a very delicate situation. Some folks make all the wrong, life in the fast lane choices, then when they (analogy) get a flat tire, want you to bail them out. Yet at the same time, no matter what her bad choices, she is your DW's mom.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:07 PM   #35
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That said, it's a very delicate situation. Some folks make all the wrong, life in the fast lane choices, then when they (analogy) get a flat tire, want you to bail them out. Yet at the same time, no matter what her bad choices, she is your DW's mom.
I've never understood why help/aid/charity should be linked to someone's behaviour. Everything I was taught was to help the needy without judgement or reward. Hence my surprise at the question and answers........I would investigate Medicare, financial aid and bankruptcy issues for the MIL before paying out large amounts of my immediate family's cash though.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #36
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I've never understood why help/aid/charity should be linked to someone's behaviour. Everything I was taught was to help the needy without judgement or reward. Hence my surprise at the question and answers........I would investigate Medicare, financial aid and bankruptcy issues for the MIL before paying out large amounts of my immediate family's cash though.
I'm not hoping to see this thread close, but it's interesting to me that this isn't seen as political. IMO it most definitely is. Not singling out this member either, many others have said much the same thing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #37
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I understand this thread to be about RetirementColdHardTruth's MIL, her unfortunate diagnosis and his facing a personal and family financial issue, soliciting opinions about his choices. It is not about the politics of health care, and with good fortune will continue to deal with the personal issues already under discussion.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:52 PM   #38
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I've never understood why help/aid/charity should be linked to someone's behaviour. Everything I was taught was to help the needy without judgement or reward. Hence my surprise at the question and answers........I would investigate Medicare, financial aid and bankruptcy issues for the MIL before paying out large amounts of my immediate family's cash though.
My answer was in response to the OP's post In that, the OP did mention his MIL's behavior. For example, the OP specifying that his MIL, is a 2 pack a day smoker.

I do think it's a delicate situation. On one hand, one should be penalized because of the health choices ( or lack of) one made in the past -- too much smoking, too much red meat, etc. Yet at the same time, there is a cause and effect in play.

In a perfect world, we should all help the needy without judgement or rewards. But in reality, there is limited resources. So what do we do? Say yes to everything at all costs? Or what?

p.s. Not trying to get political, but instead at the family dynamics level.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:02 PM   #39
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I do think it's a delicate situation. On one hand, one should be penalized because of the health choices ( or lack of) one made in the past -- too much smoking, too much red meat, etc. Yet at the same time, there is a cause and effect in play.
The past is the past. But I don't think it's excessive to expect a cancer sufferer to stop smoking from now on, if they are to have any credibility in stating that they want to get well.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:18 PM   #40
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Not all cancers are linked to smoking. My mother had ovarian cancer - we were all surprised to learn there was no statistical correlation between smoking and that form of cancer. My mother smoked. We couldn't get all moralistic about how her bad habit caused the cancer.
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