When The Doctor Says “Cancer”

I’ve been worried about my husband’s health since I met him. He’s had some niggling issues that, one by one weren’t alarming, but altogether just didn’t seem normal. Often he would come home from a day’s work looking pale, as white as a sheet even. He sometimes complained of feeling a little “high” from the chemicals he uses (he does furniture repair and often uses solvents and other scary stuff). When we would go on vacation, he would feel a lot better after a few days away from the exposure.

As a family man who takes his responsibilities very seriously, it was hard for him to even begin making a transition out of his profession, even with my encouragement. Recently, however, his hand has been forced. After a couple of weeks of worsening and increasingly worrisome symptoms involving his heart and lungs, he ended up in the urgent care of a local hospital twice.


At the moment, we’re not exactly sure what’s wrong. The Doctors seem to be leaning more towards the issue being his lungs, not his heart. He could have inflamed blood vessels in his lungs, or it could be tumors… yes, cancer is a possibility and needs to be ruled out. He goes back to the Doctor on Friday for more tests. Obviously, we’re hoping that these suspicious things in his lungs can heal on their own if he does the right things, and that it isn’t cancer. He’s only 36. He’s never smoked, has led a clean life, eats well (thanks to me!) and is no couch potato.

In the meantime, the Doctors said that he needs to quit caffeine and alcohol, and his work. 

They think the toxic chemicals he works with are slowly killing him. He’s been running a successful business for almost 15 years, and has been very busy since we’ve been married, something I’ve always been thankful for, since so many have lost their jobs or had their businesses slow down. He has enough work to schedule out for 3-4 weeks at a time.

Thankfully, he has a plan to keep money coming in. Right now he’s giving work to sub-contractors. If he can continue doing this and expand the business to include other related work, we’ll be fine. Better than fine, actually. It could eventually mean more money and less wear and tear on him physically, because he’ll be managing others instead of doing all the work himself. He hasn’t raised his prices in years but plans to now, which is only fair. (Every other business we patronize has!) Things will work out.

I’m keeping a positive attitude instead of getting stressed out. As I keep telling my husband, sometimes life gives you a big painful jolt that forces you to change, but in the end the changes end up being positive. Besides, I have a habit of asking myself whenever things seem to be going wrong, “What’s GOOD about this?”. And I ALWAYS find something.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • After a transition period, the business and income may actually grow, but he won’t be working so hard.
  • Hubby’s overall health will improve.
  • Since he won’t be taking furniture home, we will be able to move into a house with no basement/garage/workshop. Yes! I HATE basements. We’ve been wanting to move for some time, but these limitations made it difficult to find a new place. No longer!
  • We’ll be able to sell off supplies and tools which will give us some margin financially.
  • I’m thankful he has an existing network of customers, clients and peers who trust him and his integrity.
  • We have an emergency fund.
  • Both our cars are paid for.
  • And we could sell his work car if we had to.
  • We have my income, which isn’t enough to support us, but certainly helps.
  • I know how to be frugal. I’ve had financially tight periods in my life, and I know how to deal with a falling income.  I’ve done my fair share of Possum Living. I know how to eat a healthy diet on the cheap.

I’m not going to lie. The word “cancer” is scary. And unfortunately, we cancelled hubby’s medical insurance because once the “affordable” health care act was passed, our premiums went up every single month while our deductible doubled, and it was no longer feasible to keep up the policy. All his health care expenses are coming out of pocket, which is challenging.

So that’s what’s going on with us.

About Carrie

Happy wife, homeschooling mom of 7 curious kiddos, autodidact, author, blogger, head chef, wanna-be French girl and barefoot walker. Residing just outside Atlanta, usually found reading a book.


  1. How scary. I will pray that your husbands health problems are easily solved. It sounds like you have a good plan to move forward and help improve the situation.

  2. That’s so scary but I love your positive outlook. In fact positivity is the best medicine against cancer (if that’s what it is). I’ll keep your family in our prayers.

  3. Glad that you can find the positives in your husband’s situation, and it will also probably be great for your family to have him home more if he can subcontract more of his work/work from home.

    And, ditto on everything you said on ACA. I had to buy in because my new job doesn’t offer a plan (but they are greatly subsidizing my costs). The plan I got is way worse than what I had at my old job and we have to practically give up every doctor we love because they’re out of network.

  4. Oh wow! Praying for you my sister! The new work situation sounds great though, hope it will all go smoothly. I can’t imagine not having health care- here in Canada everything is paid for. It’s not a perfect system, but at least it reduces a whole ton of stress. May Jehovah be with you and your sweet family xox.

  5. Thank you. The health care and insurance system is a mess in this country, but it’s beyond fixing in this system.

  6. Thanks Candi! Trying…

  7. Russ, it’s a total joke isn’t it? If a person can even get any coverage at all through that useless website…

  8. Sorry, to hear about that Carrie! I hope it all works out for guys and its nothing to serious. Sending luv and prayers both your ways. xoxo.

  9. Thanks Elizabeth

  10. Oh goodness, I’m so sorry you guys are going through this. We will be praying for a good outcome. Hugs!

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