Wednesday, 12 October 2011

breaking the (self-imposed) rules

If you have dipped into this blog before, you will probably be aware that since Steve was diagnosed with mesothelioma, our lives have been planned around his three-monthly hospital assessments.  We rarely make important commitments beyond the date of the next assessment when we know what's going on inside and whether or not we will be living with another course of chemotherapy, and all the hospital visits and side effects that entails.  

Taking a short term view is partly social - having made a commitment, we hate letting people down.  It's partly financial - a mesothelioma diagnosis makes getting insurance difficult (if not impossible) and usually very expensive; without insurance, hard earned money is lost if plans have to be cancelled for any reason.  It's also partly about managing expectations; it's very demoralizing to look forward to something very much, only to find that you can't make it because mesothelioma as reared its ugly head in one way or another.

It is therefore with some trepidation that we have just broken one of our self-imposed rules and made plans to do something special in 2012, a few months after Steve's next hospital assessment in mid-December.  However, we won't be letting down any friends if it all goes wrong on this occasion.  Having had problems with insurance in the past, we now know about another company which specializes in insuring people with pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer, thanks to a contact at the Mesothelioma Day event. All being well, Steve will be able to get insurance nearer the time, so there is a good chance that financial considerations won't be a big issue.  

How we will deal with managing expectations if things go wrong, I'm not sure.  However we are enjoying the anticipation of a special occasion in a few months time; unusually for us, Steve has made all the arrangements this time, a sign that he's feeling confident about the future. And wouldn't life be boring if we didn't take the odd calculated risk occasionally?  If we have to change our plans because of Steve's health, I imagine that missing out on what might have been would be the last thing on our minds - we would be focussed on fighting the mesothelioma and getting through whatever lies ahead. 

One of the things in the PETAL philosophy of living with mesothelioma (blog post 20 June 2009) is setting "Targets" and another thing is "Living your life". We may have broken a self-imposed rule but we have given ourselves another target to aim for and another life experience to enjoy.  I think that ticks the "Positive mental attitude" box too. We're doing well!


  1. Good for you!
    Would love to know your insurance company if you wouldn't mind. I think you are both doing well too! Hugs. Tess x

  2. Tess, the insurance company is MIA:

    The policy for people with more serious pre-existing illnesses is Clear2Go

    Hope that helps!

    Linda x

  3. Thanks Linda. Clear2Go was the one I used in August when I went to Canada - got an excellent quote. Hope you manage to get away. Tess x

  4. Its good to break our own rules once in a while - must be something in the air this week.

    Love to you both, Jan xx