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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

The Meaning Of The Experience


The Meaning:

  • People often express the need to understand what having had a serious health condition means to their lives. 
  • Many people report changes that can be very positive. For instance:
    • That the experience causes them to look at life in new ways. They may reflect on spirituality, the purpose of life, and what they value most.
    • Their diagnosis gives them a wake-up call and a second chance to make life what they want it to be.
    • Feeling lucky or blessed to have survived treatment and take new joy in each day. 
  • For some, the meaning of their illness becomes clear right away. For others, the meaning changes over time. 
  • It is also common to view the experience both negatively and positively - sometimes at the same time.
  • Often, people make changes in their lives to reflect what matters most to them now. You might spend more time with your loved ones, place less focus on your job, or enjoy the pleasures of nature. You might also find that going through a health crisis gives you renewed strength.  

Finding The Meaning

You may have already given a lot of thought to these issues. Still, you might find comfort by exploring more deeply what is meaningful to you. 

There are a variety of ways to do this. For instance:

  • Talk with someone close to you, a member of your faith or spiritual community, a counselor, or a trusted friend.
  • If you seek spiritual answers, a trusted clergy member or professional counselor may be able to help you with life questions. Or you may find that talking to others at gatherings and services at places of worship is helpful. 
  • You just want to take time for yourself. You may want to reflect on your experiences and relationships. 
  • Keep a journal in which to write down thoughts about what gives meaning to life now. 
  • Reading helps some people find comfort and meaning. 
  • Others find that prayer or meditation helps.

Using The Experience

  • Think about helping others who have or have had your health condition. 
    • For some people, reaching out and helping others helps them find meaning. If you want to help, many local and national disease specific nonprofit groups need volunteers. Or you may prefer to reach out to help people you know. 
  • Think about taking part in a research study. 
    • Research studies try to identify the effects of health conditions and treatments on people. Joining a research study is always voluntary. It could benefit both you and others.
  • Share what you learned with your family and the people close to you.
    • Consider writing an Ethical Will that passes on what you have learned in life and family history that may otherwise be lost. An Ethical Will doesn't have to be in writing. It can be anything that works for you, including scrap books or videos. Despite its name, an Ethical will is not a legal document. 

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