What started out as a seemingly simple trip to the doctor to find out why my neck was feeling so constricted lately quickly escalated into an 8-night stay at the hospital full of scans, biopsies, and blood-work which ultimately concluded that I have Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Believe me – to say this has been quite a shock is to say the least. I’ll be turning 35 years old next month and this is something I would have never guessed I’d be dealing with at this stage of my life. I’ve always worked very, very hard to stay in stay in good shape, eat healthy, and keep things positive. However as I’m slowly understanding, sometimes life has its own unique set of challenges in mind for you no matter what kind of life you lead.
Why Am I Sharing With You That I Have Cancer?
I know it’s not very often that I share a lot of deeply personal things with you, my readers. Please do know that my intention here isn’t to get any special sympathy or make you think differently of me.
The reason I wanted to share this news with you is because you’re a part of this blog. And as you can probably guess, this news is going to have a big impact on me, my thinking, and the things I will likely write about going forward.
For as long as I’ve been writing My Money Design I have always maintained that it is bigger than just being a website about money. It’s about life and figuring out a way to make it the way YOU want it so that you can live it to the fullest.
Whether the topics I’d write about were about money, blogging, or even philosophy, they were always nothing more than just a reflection of what’s going on in my own life and the thoughts I’d like to work through.
Plus quite honestly accepting the fact that I have cancer and where it’s going to go from here has been just about the only thing I can think about.
Now What Does This Mean for the Future?
As cliché as this may sound, I’m going to come right out and tell you that this situation definitely puts a different perspective on many different things in my life.
All of the sudden simple things like snuggling up with my wife, listening to the stories my kids want to tell me about their day, and talking to my parents more often on the phone carry a much different weight than they did just a few weeks ago.
Thankfully my wife and I have received a generous amount of support from family, friends, and both of our employers. And for that we are grateful.
Does This Change Our Financial Plans?
I’m sure some people might wonder how this news might affect my thoughts on long-term financial planning and money in general. Am I going to start living life in the now and completely throw all our savings efforts to the winds?
I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that I don’t believe so.
Although my priorities may change going forward, one thing I’m finding a lot of comfort in is to still believe that all the goals and dreams I’ve set out to achieve are still going to be reality. The vision of my wife and family reaching a place of financial freedom is something that is absolutely precious to me, and cancer is not going to stand in the way of that.
I think a large part of attitude towards this is that I understand that money is a tool, not the prize. For me, time has always been the ultimate prize. And I’m not about to take my eyes off that prize or do anything to compromise getting there. I’m playing for keeps.
This is just yet going to be another one of those major curves in life that will challenge who you are and who you become. If there’s one thing I’m learning about making plans it’s that plans ever rarely work out the way you think they are going to. But that DOESN’T mean you give up on your goals or quit because you’ve hit a bump in the road. It just means you re-evaluate your plans and make changes where you have to.
Dealing with cancer will certainly qualify as a pretty big bump in the road. But I’m optimistic and not about to let it stop me from going where I want to be.
Please Go to the Doctor:
If there’s anything I can encourage you to do after reading this post, it’s please go to the doctor.
Have you had a physical lately? Do you have some health problem that has been bothering you?
I can tell you the day I went to get my neck checked out I felt so silly and like a total hypochondriac. “It’s probably just strained from working out or stress” I thought. But as I quickly found out, the case was entirely different. And who knew that one little small thing like that would quickly reveal a much larger and bigger problem than I could have ever realized.
If not for yourself, do it for your family. Please give your health the love and attention it deserves.
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