About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Thursday, 11 September 2014

WILL Power!

Since 1997, my finances have been a little bit on the ropey side.  This was worsened when I met Ruth in 1998.  Spending increased and to be fair so did income; but at the same rate!  We lived reasonably comfortably in Newcastle after our student days and also when we moved down to Sussex too.  There was enough money for everything we needed but nothing left over for a rainy day.  

This was the same until the turn of this year.  Ruth became entitled to higher amounts of benefits and for once we had more coming in than we could spend.  I am in the process of tweaking the income and expenses so that we do not have to go without and there is money available for the kids to enjoy being kids.

But essentially this is all background noise, the main thing I want to put out there is around the finances of death.  Not a great or gripping read (or write) I must say but all the same, we are all going to die!

So what can you do to make life easier for those who are left behind?

1. Make a will - Seriously, make a will, I am in the process of doing mine now it's cost £120 via my bank but will save a lot of time and effort when the time comes to execute it.
2. Put as much into joint names as possible - this means that it automatically goes to your partner in the event of the worst happening.  Fortunately for us, nearly everything was in joint names!
3. Even put the kids accounts into joint names! - Halifax forced me to close the kids accounts and wanted me to bring in their ID again to reopen them!  Doubtless to say, I closed them, then moved them to another more(?) caring(??) bank!
4. Make a list of your financial holdings - obscure bank accounts, online shopping accounts, anything that has a value - makes it easier to track it down.  Also a list of passwords for your digital life will make life easier for those you leave behind.  Ruth had the foresight to email me a list of passwords when she moved into the hospice.
5.  Did I say, MAKE A WILL????

The benefits system is great in this country but they don't come to you, you need to approach them and tell them what has happened.  The only time they come to you is if you or your former partner owes them money!  Again people like the hospice and MacMillan are very supportive but you need to ask.  With all of the offers of help you get at this vulnerable time, what you really need is specific offers of help and not just the generic ones.  

I have joined a support group whom I will eventually meet up with others like me through but there is a very good list on there of things to say and not to say to a widow!  

This leads quite nicely onto the next section in this little story, coping with / dealing with and moving on.  Until then. MAKE A WILL!!!

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