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To Spend or Not to Spend
6 Posts

I'm in the early stage of the cancer process – just diagnosed. Waiting to find out if it has spread, more surgery planned etc etc. My cancer is rare and aggressive and from what I've learned, if it has spread, treatment will enhance the quality of life, but not prolong life. There is a chance it hasn't spread which will be great. But what I'm stuck on as I wait to learn more, is whether to make some bigger ticket purchases. For example, I really need a new recliner (my main chair in the living room) because the one I have is worn out and uncomfortable. But, not knowing if I'll be around in six months…a year…etc, I don't want to spend money on the chair in the event of a worst case outcome. Anyone else feel the same way? Or am I weird? I'm not looking for opinions on whether or not to spend the money. Just whether or not I'm unique with this attitude.

22 Replies
7363 Posts
RichardB‍ I'm sorry you have joined the cancer club. I've never been in your position so I can't comment. ....but If it is the worst case scenario, there are so many clinical trials and treatment has come so far....you can live with stage 4 for years. Some of the folks on the site have been living well with stage 4 cancer for a few years. I don't know know what type of cancer you have,...only tell if you are comfortable telling . .... but in any event, you deserve to have a chair that reclines. You deserve to have whatever you need in this life that makes your life more comfortable and enjoyable. So be good to yourself and enjoy a new chair! Treat yourself, be good to yourself because You DESERVE it!!!!!!!

7363 Posts
RichardB‍ hi...I saw your profile and would like you to meet Puffin‍ who has this type of cancer .
124 Posts


Yes, I have had those thoughts too. But what you want to buy is not frivolous or a waste, you need a new chair. Which ever way your diagnosis goes you need to be comfortable and an old lumpy chair is not going to do it!

Go shopping!

2126 Posts

Hi @RichardB

No - You are not weird or unique in you thinking. I still question whether or not to buy anything due to my situation as well. Its part of the process, and like others said here, you need it - do its worth getting. I have to use a recliner as well due to surgeries, lymph edema and other issues. So we best be comfortable - right?

Also.. @ch9999 and @ccgirl both have posted about Merkel Cell Carcinoma. If you type it into the “Search the community” area, any posts with those words in it will appear, as well as the member that posted them.

To tag a member directly, type the @sign and immediately start typing their name. The name will appear alone or with several choices. Simply click on the one you want to reply to, and if it turns blue on your screen, it worked.

Keep well


521 Posts
I was given a terminal diagnosis last year. I briefly thought about cashing out my pension and spending it. But then I thought what would I really buy? Lol.
I say do what your comfortable with.
I don’t live everyday excepting to die tomorrow but I have made my arrangements.
So many unknowns in the beginning. This is a hard time.
sending you best wishes.
6 Posts

Thanks for linking us. I sent Puffin a message. Very interesting to read about her journey so far.

7363 Posts
Glad you sent Puffin‍ a message RichardB‍ . I read your profile agsin and was wondering if you would be interested in talking to the social worker in oncology . he/she can help work out the financial aspects of things with you as well as providing you with emotional support. Do you have anyone taking you to treatments ? You can inquire about Wheeles of Hope at the cancer info line. 1 888 939 3333.
44 Posts
Sorry to meet you here but this is an awesome group. I have stage 4 prostate cancer and I too need a new recliner. I bit the bullet and bought a nice La-z-boy. Even if I only get a few years out of it, it’s very much worth it. It’s important for you to be comfortable and if a new chair does that, then go for it. They say we need to live for today and plan for tomorrow. We don’t know how many “ tomorrow’s” we have but enjoy each day and be thankful for each tomorrow we have. Good luck with your treatment and stay positive.
13 Posts

Hi @RichardB ! Thanks to @Brighty for mentioning me or I wouldn't have found this thread. If you sent me a message, I didn't receive it but at least I found this thread.

Get the chair! You'll enjoy it and you deserve to feel comfortable. I got a new Roku Smart TV and moved the small one into my bedroom for now until I can bring it to my daughter. Decadence! Just in time for surgery upcoming and radiation to follow for my 2nd round with Merkel Cell.

Try again to send me a message, I'd like to know how you're making out.


13 Posts

I like that - “live for today and plan for tomorrow”. I think I'll borrow that, if you don't mind!


6 Posts

I'm not receiving any treatment right now since they don't know if the cancer has spread. Waiting for results of a CT scan and still have to have Sentinal Lymph Node surgery. If treatment is required I'll find out at that point. I was aware of the ride service and have it in mind should/if I need it. I've also been talking to a social worker through my own clinic. It's just someone to talk to since I'm alone and don't have anyone to talk to about things. It's been good just to be able to verbalize some of what I'm feeling etc. Sometimes saying things out loud rather than keeping it all swirling around in my head, really helps. Thanks for the suggestions.

6 Posts

I thought I had messaged you, but obviously just posted to the thread. Still figuring out how this website works. :-) Just when I think I'm tech savy, they change the technology. Or maybe they don't and I'm looking for something more complicated than it really is. All the best with your treatments. I should know in the next week or so about the results of my CT scan. Not knowing if it has spread, over the last few months I haven't had much appetite, been nauseous, super tired (nap after walking the dog around the block), and losing weight (over 25lbs in the past month). I don't know if that's because of the cancer (if it has spread), if it's due to stress from not knowing or if it's due to something else. Since I haven't started any treatments I'm just wondering if you experienced any of these conditions before getting treated? Maybe if you didn't it might mean it's all just stress on my part. It's possible in my situation that if the results come back negative, I'll suddenly get my appetite and energy back and be totally back to normal within a few days. We'll see. Thanks again for messaging me with your input. I'm leaning towards making the purchase now. :-)

Interesting, I had the opposite thought - to spend - why save for later not knowing the future, or the quality of the future. I have spent more money on myself in the last 6 months than I ever did in years. Most of it on items I didn't need but have wanted, related to my hobbies and comfort. I'm figuring that if things get back to normal, I'll continue to enjoy them, and if they don't, I will have enjoyed them.

As I'm still in treatment and now waiting for another biopsy result, conscious spoiling of myself is a way of dealing with that.

13 Posts

I was diagnosed back in January and went through quite a series of tests as well however all those tests help them to determine what is the best course of action for you, including sentinel lymph node surgery. The final piece is when they open you up and eyeball it. In my case, no lymph node removal was done as the node biopsy was negative, the eyeball test was negative and results were optimistic. Radiation followed.

Unfortunately a new tumour appeared a little ways away from the original site and I'm going through all those tests again - biopsy, CT Scan and ultrasound done, node biopsy and blood tests next week and whatever else they need to do to give me the best results from the next pending surgery. This time they WILL be removing lymph nodes, that's a given apparently.

Try to hang in there with the tests and just know that it's to give them enough information to do the best they can for you.


13 Posts

Hi Richard, I had no physical impacts from the MCC first time around and I have none this time around either. I can't speak to what's happening with you specifically. I had no weight loss, no tiredness, other than the mental exhaustion of keeping up with work while going for tests at the drop of a hat and trying to keep my immediate circle in the loop without unduly alarming anyone. Maybe you can discuss how you're feeling with your care team? Hang in there.


99 Posts

. . . For example, I really need a new recliner (my main chair in the living room) because the one I have is worn out and uncomfortable. But, not knowing if I'll be around in six months…a year…etc, I don't want to spend money on the chair in the event of a worst case outcome.


You could figure it this way:

(Method 1)

. . . How much per day would I spend to rent a more-comfortable recliner ?

. . . Multiply that number, by the number of days in your life-expectancy.

If buying a recliner is cheaper, and you can afford it, buy it.

(Method 2)

If you've got lots of money, so that you'll be financially comfortable forever, whether or not you buy the recliner, just go out and buy it:

. . . You'll enjoy it for as long as you live,

. . . and then it'll be somebody else's worry.😀

I've found it useful to ask this question:

. . . How much mental effort is this decision worth?

When you find yourself spending emotional effort to settle issues that don't really matter, it's time to re-jigger your decision process.

. Charles

103 Posts

Get the chair, get anything that will make you more comfortable, you may be around 6 months or 6 years, You will have a comfy 6 months or years. Unless getting the chair is going to take food off the table.

I had a good friend with a very aggressive neuroendocrine cancer, given 6 months, That was 7 years ago and although on different treatments for 7 years, she is still here and has a decent quality of life.

Buy the Chair and whatever else you need for your comfort.

Dianne (Dauntless)

22 Posts

You're not alone in this type of thinking. I have a friend whose cancer came back and she was terminal. Her big decision was whether to buy a new fry pan or not. It sounds silly, but she didn't think that she would get her money's worth from the purchase. That was 3 years ago and she is still here enjoying life. There seems to be new treatments all the time for all types of cancers. Spend the money and buy the chair. Relax in comfort.


Yup. And I'll admit it can be pervasive. I remember the first time I was buying laundry soap after my terminal diagnosis. I love the Kirkland pods from Costco but I remember looking at the container and wondering if I would live to see the end of it. Living alone and only doing a couple of loads a week, three years later I'm looking at buying another one and I'm thinking the same thing.

I had a chair so it was whether to replace my laptop or not that was the more serious decision. My old one was getting long in the tooth and I had repaired the hinges a couple of times. After about eight months in things were looking and feeling so I did it. A month later we found progression. Fortunately there was another drug and after two and half years I'm really grateful that I upgraded when I did.

Though one it comes to chairs I'm probably not the guy to talk to. My favourite is an old secretaries chair, the oak kind with no arms. Put my feet up and lean back. It just fits so well. They don't make'em like that anymore.

One of my mantra's is “I'm more than a cancer diagnosis.” And that seems to me to give me permission to enjoy life. Yes I've taken up some hobbies. And I've found some really interesting projects.

Interesting question, thanks for raising it.


88 Posts

@RichardB Hi Richard. So very sorry you had to find us. Your question on spending is valid. I have stage 4 lung cancer. My wife and I love to fish and wanted a boat. We debated and after a lot of doing that we decide to buy a used boat. We just wanted a small boat ( 14ft ) and looked at several used ones. Coming home from looking at one we come to the conclusion that we didn't want to settle on some one else's boat and decided to buy a new one. We worked our whole lives and although we're certainly not well off, we felt we deserved a new one. It's parked under the carport as I type this 😁 So if you can afford it buy a nice new comfy chair. Odds are with all the new treatments available you'll outlast the chair. Oh… consider how comfy it will be for naps before you buy 😁 We're all here for you and ALL questions / concerns are valid !

595 Posts

I lost my post/ Welcome there are groups for chats, jokes , faith and interests to keep active . For myself, but when first biopsied . And all the uncertainties around the cancer and pandemic . I was complying to as others but cancer I was not going to let it run my life until I got a better idea . Thanking the Oncologists doctors I really did not know but met or talked to during scan discovery process talking to their secretary . Noticed over Christmas holiday long lull of my results a place to comment online of their hospital BC web home page . That asked what patients , families , or caregivers thought in feed back . Surprised, I did I get a response sooner .

I got my family girls together around a fire 🔥 and told them , sooooo “ let’s just carry on as normal ! “ And giving it another name Ie Humming Bird then was chosen . And so we could be open talking within earshot of others and not be anxious of the impact cancer has for most ! Whom do not want to hear or talk of illness , disease especially ”C.“ synonymous to morbidity , death , being real and true . Which makes this so surreal like the pandemic as it happens to you . Sometimes put in shock, so guard yourself .We each make it what we can deal with , Some said it was better in denial , others live the non ending symptoms question is it the cancer or the treatment . This is where you can check the reality of what is cancer and not cancer here with others living with cancer .

Honestly your thinking until you get the full picture being assessed with a copy of the letter , prognosis etc . Your mind desires to go back to that comfortable routine of what was normal for you . But u have to now give your focus 🧘‍♂️ to tackle , crush , take on the challenge the cancer and to live to survive Speak Life ! …Almost angry cynical , or pleading , and fighting the doctors . Fight the cancer and go in your corner and rest ! Ok

How can you defeat this , listen , agree to beat this if your not relaxed ? Someway to be relaxed get zzz 💤 along wmissed with other nutritious comforts, after a hard day or weeks of scans poked , pricked in the arm for veins and blood 🩸 And bc like most , your in up and downs rolercoaster 😛 🎢 emotionally or stuck 🆙 or down⬇️ on a Ferris wheel 🎡 So that’s what was straight forward level headed thinking and routine b4 has gone the direction of the cancer’s unknown agenda . Out the window baby and all , of what u thought, or will change maybe delightfully !

So that your main priority is now in treating , fighting , battling this monster cancer and commitment to work with medical staff as Oncologists , as with your own GP doctor filling in your appointments in added taking time from your calendar 🗓.Hopefully it comes to calm with rest in your new chair , grateful u can relax without pain or physical sickness 🤮 I actually started to feel better on treatment . Treatment will be the rest of my life but you may go into remission . I am hoping NED , no evidence of disease ! 👍

Get the chair ! I am on my own too with no one to pamper moi at home get stuff done in the house chores or fixes or improvements with no private work place extended health care benefits either ! Always paying out , I cannot afford and miss out on some treatment meds others get with coverage for now surviving some weird pains I did not have before . It’s elections so a form letter or petition may be there available . On your cliniciens front desk ?
But there is Complimentary Therapies , massage , a whole team Chiropractor ,or alternative treatments your grandmother or papa knew from the garden land . ‘ Thats where a Physio Therapist comes in handy. U know from sports injuries ! ! My first from soccer on the street here was a concussion .‘ U still can get a basket ball net too with your chair ! Not sure of contact hockey with cancer ?…… I cannot fathom what u will or to be treated but see u have a person here to share tips & make sense of this ! I am glad 🙂 This province does not have Universal health care where I live .

Well sometimes my beautiful busy younger family surprises and asks with a weekly check in taking turns .Your supports may come from community unless , a brave couple of friends stick by U to laugh which helps ! I have not ordered groceries online but just once. With too many mistakes online to refer to for me was difficult ( being always online for cancer research or terminology )from a large store , if items not there was costly hassle for moi .
So I popped into smaller grocers , and made more for singles on their own ; for ready made chicken , beef sandwiches ( no nitrate sliced meats ) and Cobb salads from the deli area and packaged kale medley with seeds . Also do delivery 🚚. You will most likely be advised what u can or should eat , certain fruits with lots of vitamin C , E , as your skin is your first line of defense 📌 Grab some nuts for fibre and OJ . As digestion may be affected. Told to have some handy products Ie anti nausea tea or candied ginger , gum to chew . Even special soap pre surgery , clean sheets ! Yes !
Or make some packed sliced meat. Fish eat Mediterranean diet . Pre cut, in the freezer ready , add your lettuce tomatoes slices cukes & cheeses , fresh zucchini & condiments ! You may be dehydrated , so more watery veggies like peppers , or fruits 🍉 cantaloupe , toast n honey , fill that gap to sit in your lounge chair . Crackers come in handy . Ho ho !
Oh and have a steak 🥩 with roast potatoes ! I just cook in an small toaster oven most my meals ! With other meals to stock up ready made meat mash potatoes, from the deli but check salt content or ask them to make for you to take home . I store some ready in freezer when too tired , busy or low appetite for my fridge up until warmer weather disappears !

For later in oven or crock pot meals of beef broths / stewS of veggies for colder weather meals you like 👍 Call a dieticiens line for nutritious food ideas, chart to refer too , avoid the dirty dozen , funny laughing . Or recline in your chair watching cooking shows for inspiration besides sports with fast junk foods .
You need this support accessibility too through your community , meals on wheels perhaps 🤔 other suggestions where u live .

Hmmm 🤔 Meds pharmacy costs to avoid . I heard Costco was best for little or no fees . Ask around as u may want deliveries . Transport for relief of times in not maintaining your car , or truck while your cold and sick . Or taxi 🚕 fund jar , just in case ✅ this site CCS has suggested links on their home page ( go to bottom black portion ) .

While u sink to relax , try sitting cosy in your lounge chair in a favourite sweater and uninterrupted . If I plan it just right timing to keep my regular meals or eat smaller portions more often . I often nap off adding a pillow , comforter or my dog . I got 2 loungers attached with wifi plugs & compartment push button reclining on tent sale for less than the price of one . One side stopped working not looked yet why .
Does this sound like a plan to at least have something daily to look forward to @RichardB
I know myself , between all the work u have been use to doing your self anyways .Some matters now with cancer are required to put in place legally last will etc care plans , DNR, POA . Ask your clinic , book for longer time to see a family doctor, who maybe is relieved to discuss these matter of factly or compassionately take the burden off of you more informed . Give u a print out of something like POA and knowing the community referrals names best u will respect . Most men traditionally don’t bother with a doctor of their own , being too tough to get sick , and pride . It’s humbling that’s why they are interested and doctors ! Let them do their job too . Some men IGNORE to go to see a GP but you want to live , don’t you… § … <%)))x … besides the good ones will help direct you medically , get a sense to know you as a person !

….. Just pacing yourself is now part of healing journey and in all you do anyways being single to maybe indulge in planning hopeful for your retirement activities and , “ carry on life as normal but back up plans in place with # to call .
Because u r not your cancer !

Cynthia Mac
3299 Posts
Hi, RichardB‍ , I read your post, and see that you’re looking to know if anyone else has had these thoughts. As best I can, I relay below what I believe were my Dad’s:

Dad always wanted to buy a particular “fancy car.” Let’s pretend it was a Cadillac - that’s really quite a pretend, as he hadn’t been a “Chevy guy” since the early 1980s. Anyway, he always wanted this fancy car, but he didn’t buy it when he retired - instead, he waited until a few years later, and bought a “kind of fancy”, lower model in a similar brand. Still, he wanted that “Cadillac.”

Mom could have been one of the “barricades” to him living that dream, but even after she passed years later, he didn’t buy the car. “The old one is still working good,” he said, even though it was now 12 years old, and he had just been diagnosed with stage 2 or 3 lung cancer. Then, in 2019, his cancer came back, with Mets, and he wound up back in treatment. That winter, he finally found “his dream car,” (used, not brand new) and he decided to spend the money. He only got to drive the car a couple months before we ended up in the first lockdown, and, with his immune system compromised, had to have other people bring his supplies in to him. Then, just a couple months after getting through that, he ended up in hospital for the last time.

Even though he probably only put 1000 km on the car, I’m really glad he had the opportunity to have it, even for a few months. It’s now in the possession of another family member. My only wish is that he’d bought it years sooner.

To add my own experience, I once lived in a house with a bathroom cabinet that was a “builder’s special.” After living with it for over a decade, I finally “splurged” and had it re-faced with two banks of drawers. From then on, the functioning of that cabinet was so efficient, I wished I had done it when we’d had the room painted 12 years earlier! In this house, as soon as the 20 year old appliances were replaced, I made that “new-to-me builder’s special” cabinet top priority. The last of the parts will be coming later this week.

So many people re-thought their living space after that first lockdown. Suddenly, being comfortable in our homes has become paramount. To me, this is especially true if you are house-bound due to surgery or an illness. I won’t tell you what to do, but I think I’ve left enough space between these lines for you to see my answer!
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