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Financial situation

I would like to know how  do you survive financially   cancer,  for my part as an independant worker, travailleur auronome, I didn't have any insurance and I couldN,t receive welfare , because of an inheritage in France which consisted of agricultural lands divided into 10 persons that I couldn't sell. I couldn't work, being operated from an ovarian cancer stage 3 AC, and chimio for 3 months, I had to ask a loan  to the government  through my chimio,   going to the admnistrative tribunal with no more hair to ask to the judge for a loan . a loan that i am currently reimbursing . thank you for answering


  • midcanada
    Oh dear grazie, that sounds like an awful situation.

    Can the Cancer Care Social Worker help you?  That's where I would start.

    Best of luck.

  • Hello @grazie.  Not knowing your province I am not sure what to say.  If you are in Ontario why would you not be able to receive ODSP funding?  You are not benefitting from the land with any income correct?  You cannot access it.  I think you should be able to access ODSP.  I suggest you contact a free legal aid clinic and ask them because they help with getting people social assistance or call the ODSP office near you.  I hope this helps.
  • Hi @grazie.  I am sorry to hear of your difficulties finding some financial help and that you had to get a loan to help you through treatment.  There are different municipal, provincial and federal programs available but they do vary based on individual circumstances and provinces.  In Chapter 7 of By Your Side, our guide for women with ovarian cancer there is an extensive section on financial support.  If you don't have a copy, you can order it online at:

    It sounds like you are now finished treatment as you say you are paying back the loan so I don't know if there is anything that can be done now to help you. @midcanada had a good suggestion about talking to the social worker in the cancer centre or hospital where you were treated and possibly a free legal clinic where they may be able to help you negotiate reducing the loan amount.  If you have not considered this, it may not be too  late to investigate further.

    It is hard enough dealing with a cancer diagnosis without having to worry about money.  Your stress and anxiety levels must have been very hard to cope with.  How did you deal with it?

  • In fact, i was in quebec, I used all i could . I went for the free legal aid, to discuss the situation at the admnistrative tribunal,three times. My social worker could'nt help me really. It was really an awfull time, And I don't wish it to any body. when i saw I couldn't get any help I did a fundcrowding and i did a benefit show last year, and I did an agreement with the governemnt to reimburse that loan,  now my head is better, it has been 5 years since i had my cancer, and I don't know why it didN't come back after all struggle

    Now, i wrote my story , and i want to make a show to show my story, as I am a clown i will tell with the clown tone. I want people know how you can struggle after a cancer because you don't have means to survive, AND WHAT IS THE AFTER CANCER.How you can find a job after a cancer.

    I would like to know how people survive financially during  their treatment and after. thank you vrey much for listening

  • The simple answer to your question grazie is I live hand to mouth so to speak.  I am living on ODSP(government disability funding) month to month on my own.  It is very difficult especially for healthy food.  Not much fresh veggies.  I have used the food banks in the past.  I just do without.  
  • Jackie
    Jackie Peer Support Vol

    My finances have been a serious issue for me since my cancer diagnosis six years ago. My situation makes me particularly vulnerable because I’m single, self-employed and do not have insurance to cover long term illness or disability. I got help from the appropriate social workers and I’m currently on assistance from the Alberta government. The actual process of applying for assistance was almost as bad as my cancer treatment!  It was a long and difficult procedure, Albertans who apply for AISH complain that it takes many months or even a year or two to navigate the almost never-ending bureaucracy. 

  • I struggled with finances too during and after treatment.  We cut back where we could, my parents helped out with some money and my mom gave us some freezer meals for the days where I wasn't up to cooking.  I was on employment insurance but once it ran out it was tough.  The government makes it really tough when your sick and need assistance.
  • yeah, i think it is really bad, when you have not only to fight for your life, but as well to ask for Financial survival, the procedures  are so hard to go through, what i lived was inhumane, therefore i want to make my show and speak about it
  • Would you be eligible for CPP disability? Even if you're self employed you still have to pay into it so if you can't work due to a serious illness you may be eligible. Here is the link if you want to look it.
  • thank you but nobody told me at that time, i am a bit more reassured if something happen to me again
  • Flowergirl
    Thank you @terrylee for the reminder about that resource.
  • You're welcome. A friend if mine actually told me about it. Before my initial appointment with the oncologist I was told by my surgeon and NP to be prepared for the possibility of treatment which involved finances. I am self employed so other than deplete my savings and take out of RRSPs, CPP disability was my only option. I actually called them and asked if I would be eligible as it states that you need to have a chronic, long term or life threatening diagnosis on their website. (I think cancer can count as all 3). Of course they can't tell you for sure if you're claim will be accepted but he was able to tell me what I would get per month if I was. Fortunately, I did not require any additional treamtmen but it was nice to be prepared just in case.