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  • Lavina Nagar, CFP®

Perspectives through Cancer Lens - #1

After practicing meditation for almost six years now, I still struggle with it. Most days it is easy to settle in. But not so easy on some other days. There are days when my mind is all over the place. It was one of those days. The phone rang and I jumped to take the call. Glad to find an excuse for my lack of concentration. It was the radiologist with the results of my recent biopsy. She told me that all the three lumps discovered and tested were positive for cancer. My first instinctive reaction was annoyance. Really? Did I really need this hassle on my plate? My first rational thought was that there is no way I was doing this alone. I need my village for support.

With a vantage point of four weeks, it is interesting to look back at my own reactions. The instinct reaction was to preserve my normal life. First rational thought were people. Thoughts of finances came very late!

We are in November right now. It took me less than ten days to exhaust my entire annual out-of-pocket insurance portion. My treatment will continue into the New Year, which is just around the corner. And it can be assumed that my entire annual out of pocket cost for 2018 would be exhausted in a similar short period. In addition to the medical costs, there are multiple other costs that are not normal and can siphon the reserves fast.

It is very humbling to be at the receiving end. As a financial advisor, I coach and advocate for emergency funds. With current low interest rates, emergency reserves can feel like a drag. But ask me, am I glad I had the cash for this event?

Taking care of finances on an ongoing basis is not about money. It is about living your life on your own terms. Life happens. It will happen. Planning makes you an equal stakeholder.

PS: And yes, my cancer is curable. It is a long and harsh treatment, but it is curable. I intend to continue working through this, and my doctors agree it is achievable as long as I keep some flexibility. So be ready for more perspectives as the journey progresses!

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