Rhode Island Monthly Breast Health 2012 : Page 10

S P E CIAL AD VER TIS IN G S E CTI O N Financially Fit » continued from page 104 TM powered by Hamilton Relay Do you or someone you know have difficulty hearing over the telephone? Captioned Telephone (CapTel®) allows you to listen as well as read every word the other party says throughout your conversation. Contact Rhode Island Relay to learn more about this free* service! Call 888.269.7477 V/TTY • RICapTel.com *Captioning service is free, and long distance charges may apply. CapTel® is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. Copyright © 2012 Hamilton Relay. All Rights Reserved. There are questions related to surviving the disease, and there are questions related to surviving the disease financially. Some of these questions include how to pay medical expens-es not covered by insurance. They also include how to pay for child care during treatment, as well as possible legal costs for health care prox-ies, wills and powers of attorneys. Getting well should be the number one priority, but focusing solely on getting well and ignoring finances can have devastating effects. “Women should try to look beyond the imme-diate crisis. If you can see past the crisis to re-covery, you may be able to alleviate some of the inevitable stress,” Purinton says. The first thing to do is to understand the fi-nancial resources you have available and your corresponding costs. It is imperative to deter-mine what health insurance will cover so you can define your financial liabilities. It is also important to calculate any loss of income from being out of work. Higher expenses and lower income can be offset by non-retirement savings. These include emergency reserves, certificates of deposit (CDs), brokerage accounts and home equity lines of credit. A network of family, friends, and websites may also be beneficial in gathering information and providing support. Most Rhode Island hospitals have patient navigators that help guide people to the right resources, and you can ask trusted friends and loved ones to call organizations that offer finan-cial help to cancer patients. Once the estimated treatment costs not covered by insurance and nonretirement in-come has been established, you’ll have a good idea on what expenses need to be cut. The question isn’t whether or not you’re going to accrue debt as a result of cancer. The question is how much debt you could accrue. Breast cancer is a family diagnosis and many women have feelings of guilt because they believe they are burdening their loved ones. Cutting expenses only adds to these feelings. Missing a season of Little League or a few months of dance lessons is not going to cause irreparable damage to your children’s lives. Neither will it destroy your husband’s life to miss the annual fishing trip with the boys. Cut everything that is not essential, including lawn maintenance, premium cable channels and going out to dinner every week. You’ll be sur-prised how much you can live without. Now that you’ve cut your expenses to the bare bones and you’ve exhausted your non-retirement income, you realize you still don’t have enough. “Avoid relying on credit cards. They can be 106 RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l OCTOBER 2012

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