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Cancer costs.

Few people realize how financially devastating cancer is for many people. It drains one’s savings (even with good health insurance); it may disrupt one’s ability to earn a living in the short and long term; and incurs endless bills outside traditional “health care” that go on and on.

This is part of a series of personal stories about the financial (and very human) cost of cancer. You can find the earlier articles by searching #CancerCosts on the site.

Beyond the Dollars

I’ve been attempting to write this post for at least 8 weeks now. Most of the articles on this series highlight the financial devastation that too many adults incur as a direct result of a cancer diagnosis. I, however, was a child, an 8-year-old little girl, when I was diagnosed with cancer.

My losses could not be quantified in lost wages, eviction notices, or employment discrimination. No, my losses were those of a child.

I missed my third grade year of school; I LOVED school; I excelled in school.

I missed play time and sleepovers, giggles and makeovers, and truth or dare.

I missed being treated like everyone else;

I missed the expectation that I was capable though temporarily incapacitated at times.  

I missed getting in trouble.

I missed having a voice raised to me when I didn’t do my chores.

I missed rough and tumbling with my older brother.

I missed dance and gymnastics.

I missed my shoulder length white blonde hair. 

I missed birthday parties: balloons, cake, and ice cream.

I missed going outside whether in the sun or to play in the snow.  

I missed feeling good, feeling strong, feeling like doing something, anything.

I missed feeling normal.

I missed being a child.

I miss a part of me I’ve never known.

These are the costs through the eyes of that 8-year-old child.



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