What a Week. Mom’s Ovarian Cancer Surgery, My Dog Dude Needed Surgery, And Back and Forth

As far as productivity on answering questions this week to help people, I’d have to give myself an A for effort but and F for execution. Life just got in the way. But that’s the way it works, in good times and in debt times. Times like these really help to make it clear what your priorities should be.

My mother had extensive surgery for ovarian cancer this past Monday. She’s 79 and of course I wanted to travel up from NC to MD to be with her and my father. I think he needed me as much or more than she did. Mom was under exceptional care at the hospital but Dad was worried and alone.

Now I could not help but notice the sign for financial assistance when we checked in at the hospital. If I’d known that existed I would have made an appointment to do an interview with them while I was there.

The good news is that the surgeon was optimistic about the surgery and only time will tell.

Throughout the process at the hospital, which had free WiFi, every time I got setup and logged in to answer a question we inevitably had to move or meet with someone. What I thought would be long hours of waiting and the opportunity to answer your questions, turned into practice in setting up the laptop, and packing it up in a hurry.

My dad, by his own admission, is becoming more forgetful as he gets older. Some say it might be early Alzheimer’s but we don’t know for absolute certain. I was really worried about him being alone and distracted with worry and grief about the surgery but I think he sailed through everything with flying colors. I even took him to Hooters the first night just to distract him. He loved the chicken wings. Really.

For me in helping people with debt problems I am old enough now to see what happens to people as they get towards the edges of their mortal life. It makes it even more critical to do what I can to prevent people from making financial mistakes, when dealing with debt, that will cost them in their latter years when they will need help and support the most.

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Yes, I get very stern about doing things like not draining the 401(k) to pay for debt. When you are younger it seems like easy to reach money and it’s sitting right there to solve an immediate problem, but what about latter. The emotional reactions to address money trouble and issues today is most often planed in haste and results in waste and that hurts people latter when they need it the most.

On top of all of that my dog Dude needed ear surgery. He’s not feeling very well this week either. But between time off from working, traveling to Maryland and paying for Dude’s surgery, it is a classic example of why everyone needs a savings account or an emergency fund. Life just happens when you least expect it and it certainly doesn’t wait for you to be ready or prepared.

I’m back home in NC now and evaluating my lessons learned from this week, which are:

  • Be grateful for every person you love and every day you have with them.
  • Make sure in good times and in bad you have an emergency fund or savings account to help you get through the unexpected times and events.
  • For me, continue to make sure that people avoid emotional reactions to debt problems that will hurt them in the future.

But as I’m getting ready to jump back in to answering questions today my cousin is flying in today to be here to celebrate my birthday tomorrow and another is driving in. I’m glad they are coming and I’ll get to spend time with them but I’d also like to be able to have more time to help you and all of my readers to get caught up on questions. I guess it is all a dynamic balancing act and the quest for the perfect fulcrum point remains elusive.

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On a positive note, I did get to spend ten glorious hours riding my motorcycle back and forth from NC to DC. Riding is something I absolutely love to do and because of all this other stuff I had a chance to do that and I’m grateful for that opportunity. A silver lining in an otherwise difficult week.


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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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