Get Your Prostate Checked to Avoid Debt. – Robert

“Dear Steve,

I am a 49 year old male who was diagnosed with prostate cancer eight years ago (Guys…..get your prostate checked early and often! I know that men hate the exam….but if caught in time, it is one of the most curable cancers…..so much for my soapbox).

When mine was discovered, it had metastatized to my bone, spine and brain…..and I was given 6 months. After many long years of chemo/radiation/etc….I am still kicking. However, I lost my beloved job in the airline industry, and even though I am fortunate to have insurance, the years of treatment and medications put me in remission, and into debt to the tune of $70,000.00 (credit card).

It was not the wisest move….but one of desperation. Having run through my 401K/savings, I finally rented out my home for the income and to be closer to my treatments. Long story short…..my cancer has moved to my liver and lungs. I have managed to pare down my debt by $36,000 through debt reduction. I still have around $34,000 of debt left.

My question is…i can no longer afford the $1,250.00 per month I was pumping into reducing my credit card debt. I am not extravagant….but do have a funeral to arrange, and would like to travel a bit in my last days. I cannot declare Chapter 7 since I have a home over the exemption in Arkansas.

What can the banks do to me (besides place a judgement on my house) if I just stop paying. I realize this sounds selfish (and probably is), but this debt is making me more ill and unable to enjoy the time God will give me.

I have tried to work, but my treatments eventually get the best of me. My income is strictily SSDI, pro-rated pension and a private LTD policy. I have no family….and thus responsible for no one but myself in this matter.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

My best to all of you. Robert”

Dear Robert,

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Stop paying the cards and go enjoy the final days of your life. Once you fall behind the creditors are going to try to collect and may sue you but it is what it is. They can’t toss you in jail or take anything from you. It does not sound like you’ve got a big account full of cash sitting out there. So what if they put a lien against the house, right?

Unfortunately it sounds like it is time to plan the death cruise. So many people I’ve worked with over the years have done exactly the same thing. They’ve seen the end is nearing and they plan a last big trip, and it’s typically a cruise, thus the death cruise reference.

If I could wish any one thing for you it would be for you to find acceptance that the debts are going to be past due, and put that aside in your head, focus on what you need to do in your upcoming last days. Not a single compassionate and reasonable person is going to blame you.

Rest easy my friend.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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2 thoughts on “Get Your Prostate Checked to Avoid Debt. – Robert”

  1. Dear Mr. Rhode:

    What can I say? You have bestowed upon me the greatest gift one can offer……the gift being “peace of mind”. Upon returning from my scheduled “oil change” this morning, I read your wonderfully rapid response to my query. Immediately, I was hit with a sense of hope, validation and, most importantly…..a feeling of relaxation I have not enjoyed for a very long time. I cannot thank you enough for opening a new door in my life. Should you have any doubt about the service you provide (FOR FREE) is worth the investment of your time……please know that your work is so appreciated and valuable to more people than you probably realize.

    I will not dwell on the subject, but my usual reaction after chemotherapy is personally unpleasant. All I can normally do is lay on the bathroom floor and sleep between bouts of severe nausea. However, today my stomach has been extricated from the knots that have been ever present and I am filled with a new energy. So….if you should ever doubt the value of your effort…..please reflect on providing one fellow human a day of blessed peace. I hope that might assure you.

    In the work I periodically perform (a Registered Nurse in Hospice Home Care), I have encountered countless individuals who have found themselves in the exact same position I occupy. They did everything “right” by working hard all of their life, not living beyond their means, saving and providing for themselves and others. It takes only one random incident (such as an unexpected illness) to so dramatically change their lives. I sincerely believe the vast majority of us feel a moral obligation to pay the bills they have incurred and never intended to cheat or defraud anyone. Even with the good fortune of having adequate health insurance, a chronic illness can force one into virtual poverty and then resorting to amassing huge debt in order to simply survive.

    Many of my clients deny themselves their much needed medications, proper nutrition and even lose their beloved home in order to access the treatments that could potentially save their life. When put in such a position, the only option is to turn to credit. However,this decision so often becomes a trap one has stepped into. It is a trap that takes the form of initial denial and develops into a constant worry and shame. At a time when one must channel their energy into challenging an insidious disease, the shame can virtually break a human spirit.

    So enough of that……I am going to enjoy this renewal of spirit your input has given me. The debt I owe to the banks no longer overshadow the obligations I owe to my health, loved ones and those fellow human beings I encounter every day.

    I can only hope that others in a similar situation as I might read your missive and receive the same “permission” to live fully as you have provided me. I sincerely thank you.

    With all my best to you and everyone who reads this….

    Take care.


    • Robert,

      Thank you for your kind words. They do make what I do all seem worthwhile.

      I’m very appreciative of your comment you posted for Carole. The gift you gave her of your experience and advice is wonderful.

      BTW, my mother just finished her last chemo appointment and is no longer on the bathroom floor.



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