Home Now what? The highs and lows of survivorship

Financial Mess

cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
If there wasn’t enough stress while waiting for final decision on whether its mets or arthritis. 
It seems that I'm always chasing my tail or robbing Peter to pay Paul which sucks
I knew the financial burden of having cancer sucked big time from experience when hubby was diagnosed but it was never this hard
i thought I’d be clever and do a fortnightly budget 
after all the necessary expenses eg house payment, rates, insurances, phone, motor vehicle that not including maintenance (have to go to work), 
I'm left with a whole $150-00 a fortnight for my medication thank goodness for health care card and groceries.
how do people do it.
Does this ever end 



  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,398
    Have you seen the council for rates and added your health care card to their records to get a rate reduction? We did. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,625
    Many of the hospitals have a welfare officer who should be able to help you with assistance available to you.  When I was having my treatment, I ended up being about $7000 out of pocket, then on top of that, In the middle of my radiation regime, I got another bill from my pathology for $500 that wasn’t covered by Medicare or health fund ... and it nearly broke me.  I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop.  The welfare officer arranged for a one off ‘assistance donation’ from wonderful people who donate $ to Cancer Australia to offset the $500 - I am/was eternally grateful as I was emotionally spent.  It had to relate to a utility bill tho, not the pathology bill ... power, water, rates, etc .... so if you have one coming up that is in that area of $300 ... try and chat with the welfare officer.

    if you are a pensioner, you should also get power and water rates discounts as well.  Your drivers licence should also be free. 

    All the best ... if you find yourself really stressing about your finances, ring the helpline here and have a chat 1800 500 258  .... sometimes a problem shared is a problem halved xxx
  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 270
    cranky-granny You have the option of electing to be a public patient. I have been on very expensive treatment for eight years, had three surgeries, radiation therapy, CT Scans etc and my only cost has been parking fees. I agree with Harpie, phone the BCNA helpline (angels in disguise).
  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    thanks everyone i was feeling a little low with just coming out of Christmas wages dropped to minimum and some bills i didn’t account for came in. 
    @Brenda5 im afraid our council dont take in the health care card Green one only the blue one
    so i pay full rate same with NSW Licences not valid for reduction 
    my electricity gets a rebate same with water. Every little bit helps. 

    and I now only go through the clinic haven’t been back to breast Specialist as the gap is beyond me.
    not sure what will happen with my next lot of scans if I’ll be covered. I’ll find out when it comes about 
    When things pick  up at work It will hopefully be better just should never have buried my head in the sand for so long 
    Im alive that’s probably a good thing as i think my grandkids would miss me. 
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,625
    edited January 2020
    Defintiely go public @cranky_granny   -  all your records can be sent to your new cancer centre so they are up to date with what you've had done - or have you asked your breast specialist (assuming it is the surgeon) if you can be 'treated' as public, as many already work in both areas.  Explain that it is crippling you financially & not likely to attend otherwise ....

    (or do you mean you are going public already 'through the clinic?' but not your surgeon? ) . Apologies if I've mis understood.

    I went private for my surgery, just so it could be done within 2 weeks of diagnosis (2 years tomorrow!)..... but ever since, I've been public (tho I still see the surgeon, so a bit of a gap there - but that is only yearly ....) . My Oncologist and rads oncologist is free, as are my scans & even my MRI . 

    All the best xx

  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    I think when i see oncology clinic on Thursday ill see about some help with my swinging emotions. 
    2019 was such a crap year. 

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,500

    This link from the BCNA website hopefully is useful to you 


    Regardless public, private or a mix of both it is a hit on the every day budget
  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    @iserbrown thanks for the link. I have just read through most of this 
    there is some good info there. 
    Will be following up on some of the info 

  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 1,086
    Financial problems have put the pressure on me too @cranky_granny. It does just get too much on  top of all the medical worries! I recieve an aged pension now, which is way better than Newstart. Can you get a discount as well as a rebate for your electricity? Hope you can pull together some more financial support from the good info  above 

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,160
    I'm hearing you @cranky_granny The irony of surviving then going broke is not lost on me. It is a genuine shitfight that none of us need.
    My work situation has picked up but, like you, I still have to juggle like crazy to make ends meet as a casual who can't plan ahead with any certainty. I can say, that if I had lived like I have to now during the years when I had money I'd have been better off now. Cold comfort, hey? Thing is, we didn't expect to be in this situation.
    Once you start working again, what miserable support Centrelink does provide to those in extremis, disappears. I'm glad to be shot of them, but still...
    There is a change in the safety link for medications; after you have had 48 scripts filled in a calendar year the rest are free for those with a Health care card or $6.60 for those without. More cold comfort but at least it is something. Talk to your pharmacist and get one of the new cards to record your medications--it might be  helpful later in the year. Mxx

  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    @Zoffiel i must have missed that one 
    48 scripts. I have to get all my scrips filled this week plus go to Dr for a new one. So I’ll speak to chemist then he was the one that told me my anti inflammatory tablets came on script. 
    Dr was a bit surprised that i went back to get the script surprised that i wasnt just buying  the over the counter brand im going to find out what else comes on script that im taking 
    pity the biotene isnt on script 
    i would love to kiss Clink goodbye  but im only getting 2 days a week work at the moment 
    in hindsight i should have got help long before this instead of living off my credit card during treatment now paying for it. 

  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    @jennyss im going to speak to Cancer Council at next clinic appointment if the have financial advisers that can get me back on track. 
  • Keeping_positive1Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 122
    edited January 2020
    There is also the government utility grant scheme for those that qualify.  If you ring your water, gas and electricity providers and ask for the Hardship team, they will let you know if you may qualify.  If qualified you may have $650.00 paid by the government on each of your utility bills, please do ring for more info.  This can be accessed every 2 years if you qualify.

    I have included a link below that may have some more useful information for you.


    Good idea that you are contacting the Cancer Council, as they have a pro bono program and you may also qualify and get linked with a Financial Planner who will look at your situation.

  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    thanks @Keeping_positive1
    i will have a look At the link 
  • cranky_grannycranky_granny Penrith NSWMember Posts: 267
    My son turned up with some money today and said mum you cant drive around in an uninsured car 
    i sold my caravan today so i can now cover some of my other debts and next get onto some help with the budget. There wasnt anyone at the cancer council booth when i went last week to clinic 
    oncologist was amazing 
    i didnt have to ask about getting help with my mental health she asked then took control and i now have appointment with psychologist on 14 feb at the clinic.
    i have a little bit of holidays accumulated and i have crazy amount of appointments happening for a week from the 13th feb to the 21st so the Boss has agreed for me to take holidays so I'm not trying to fit it all in 
    Between working 
    By the 21st feb there should be a clearer picture between Metastasis and arthritis either one is not great 

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