Receiving a cancer diagnosis was challenging on its own. But along with the diagnosis I felt a lot of financial pressure.
I can see how people get caught in the credit trap. Before the diagnosis I was on JobSeeker and I usually topped up my budget with relief work. But after my diagnosis, there was no chance of me earning extra money.
Not being able to earn any money was a blow to my self-esteem, as I felt like I wasn’t contributing to the household budget.
Although I was on JobSeeker, because of the treatment I was having I couldn’t look for work. It was such a relief when Centrelink told me that I had qualified for the Disability Support Pension.
Living about 50 km away from the hospital put a lot of pressure on the budget. Fuel costs were a concern, especially when I had to drive to appointments three days in a row.
However, I sorted that out by talking to the staff about having all the appointments on the one day.
The car is also being used a lot more, so it needs more servicing which is an added cost. And I worry about finding the money to pay for repairs if something wears out.
It’s important to speak up and let treatment staff know if there are things you can’t afford to do, so they can try and help.
I was embarrassed to ask for help, but Cancer Council put me in touch with organisations that could help. The $300 payment off my phone bill was a great relief.
I learnt to speak up and let people know when I needed help.
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