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Sorry, No Room in the Budget for Lemons


I am at a loss for words.  I have to tell ya’ll, I have written this post, erased it, written it again, deleted it.. Ya’ll get the drift.  This is not a feeling with which I’m accustomed.  Usually, I’ve got too much to say and I have to tone it down a notch. Today, I find myself staring at a blinking cursor and it’s not that my mind is devoid of words it’s that there are so many words and thoughts and different directions of thoughts that I can’t quite pin anything coherent down.  I’m sorry, ya’ll. This entire post may be hard to follow and rambling.

My mom was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Man, seeing that in black and white is unsettling.  Anyway, all of my focus has been on that and not much else.  I know that this blog is about debt and I’ve been trying really hard to write a post about our debt but I just can’t. I’m sorry.

We feel good about how early it was caught and her treatment will start soon. I feel like it’s important at this point to say something about my faith but I don’t really know what to say.  I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that there is a God in heaven that loves us.  I can’t say that I belong to any certain religion.  I grew up Catholic and my husband was raised by his Baptist minister grandfather.  I think all religions have some merit but they also all have things that I don’t agree with. I am pretty sure I’m making a mess of this but ultimately the point I want to make is that prayer is very important to me and I believe in the power of it.  I have felt the presence of God and I have no doubt that He is with myself and my family.  We are scheduling all the appointments she needs to prepare her for treatment and I am praying my fool head off.

I also have another depressing thing to add.  My husband has a coworker who recently lost her second baby.  For some reason her body rejects the baby when she is almost through her pregnancy and the baby does not make it.  This has happened to her twice and both times she has had to carry the baby to the end before they can take it. My heart breaks for her.  His work took a collection up to help she and her husband with burial costs.  We put in a $100.  There are some things you just can’t budget for.

I’m sorry this has been so depressing and hopefully it’s not a bunch of gobbledygook. I am going to do my very best to get back to posting about our debt next Thursday. I hope you all are well.



Just a Cajun girl wanting to live in a debt free world. Follow along with Steph as she and her family blast through their debt and learn that credit can't buy everything.

Latest posts by Stephannie (see all)


  • Reply Lynn |

    I am so sorry for your troubles and am sending you a prayer of healing for your mother. Try to hold onto the fact that cancer treatment now improves on an almost monthly basis and is no longer an automatic death sentence a it once was. Hubs was diagnosed with two separate cancers within a 10 month period 4 years ago and because of early detection and treatment, is doing beautifully. I know it isn’t easy. Bless you and your family as you go through this difficult time.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      I’m so glad your husband is doing well! You’re right it’s not like it used to be and we are really trying to be positive. Thank you for the encouragement, I really appreciate it!

  • Reply Eviva |

    Stephannie, am so sorry to read about your mom. Yes, prayer is powerful and just sent one up for your mom, and you too.

  • Reply Kiki |

    Your post resonated with me in many ways. I too grew up Catholic. When I was 19, I knew I had to make a personal decision to follow Jesus or not, and I did! Like you, I don’t go to any organized church. I was also diagnosed with cancer 14 years ago, had surgery and treatments, and I’m still here. I was so grateful for my doctors and the care, but I know that God gives life.

    That was very kind of you to donate for the funeral of that poor mother’s baby. How very sad. I don’t have the answers to any of life’s sorrows. I only know that I walk by faith. Peace be with you, Stephanie, during this journey with your mom. “Have no anxiety about anything…”

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you so much, Kiki! It helps me so much to hear stories from people who have gone through something similar. I’m so glad you’re doing well and you’re right, God does give life!

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    Stephannie – your post resonated with me in so many ways. I am thankful that your mom’s cancer was found early, and that her prognosis seems to be a good one. Your faith will sustain you as you walk with her through this journey. My mom is dying and I keep my phone close by and cringe anytime I see a number from her area code come up on my caller ID. I leave several hours away and go help with her care just about every weekend – hence the financial part. We are working hard to become debt free, but when “Life” happens, it’s very very difficult to keep that focus. If she is feeling up to eat, we ARE going out to eat because that is what she enjoys. This to me is yet another reason I wish we had gotten ourselves in a better financial situation earlier. I would NEVER begrudge the monies spent to be with her on these weekends (or the monies spent during her four hospital visits this year alone), but it does take it’s toll on a budget when you are spending each week on extra gas, food, etc. I would encourage everyone to take a look at their budgets if they have elderly parents and start an entirely separate account for the “when life happens” moments. Someone may need that plane ticket at a moment’s notice, someone may need weeks of hotel stays to be nearby a major hospital located away from hometowns, whatever…this could obviously happen just as easily to a spouse, child, etc. Be prepared so that if it happens, your budget can run on autopilot and be one less thing you have to worry about. I could be the poster child for this cause. I will be saying a prayer for your mom and family as you begin this healing journey. May God bless you all.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you so much for the prayers and I’m so sorry to hear that about your mom. Y’all will be in my prayers! I hadn’t anticipated anything like this happening. My parents are fairly young and healthy so this has been a huge shock. It has really opened my eyes about trying to be more prepared for things that I haven’t considered before. Thank you for the sweet words and God bless you and your family!

  • Reply Maggie |

    Prayers to you you Mom and hubby’s co-worker.

    But I do think this is related. This is real life. Sometimes you have to suspend the big push and go with the current waves. Once you can think more clearly, you can talk about is how you will handle your finances. Will more have to go to convenience foods? The donation for burial costs are another good example. How will make room for that money in the budget? Reduce your debt repayment this month?

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Maggie, thank you for the thoughts and prayers! You’re absolutely right all of these things will affect our budget and debt payoff. I’m going to start figuring that out and that may very well be my next post.

  • Reply TPol |

    So sorry for the hard times you are faced with. Keeping your mom and your husband’s co-worker in my prayers. I am not Christian but I know God hears us all.

  • Reply Mary |

    I am sorry to hear about your Mom and your husband’s co-worker. Sometimes, when life happens, it’s hard to concentrate so I understand your troubles with posting. It might be helpful while you are going through this, to write when you can ahead of time, then you’ll have a post ready. Certainly, no worries right now though. You have a lot going on.

    As for your husband’s co-workers baby, I feel for her and her husband. It’s hard to lose a child at any age, let alone a tiny baby. Maybe that’s a sign to adopt, I don’t know. My son was born severely mentally and physically disabled so I’ve been through my share of issues with him but I am thankful for every day I have with him. I have such a soft spot when it comes to babies and children. As for your budget, there are going to be times when you have to put these things in the budget. It’s not a budget buster, but rather it’s “doing the right thing”. I call it good judgment.

    Take care. Sending prayers your way.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you for the advice and prayers, Mary! I’m slowly getting my senses together and I’m hoping to be more functional in the next few days. My mom has a scan Tuesday that will tell us if it’s spread so I think after that I’ll breathe a little easier knowing exactly what we are dealing with.
      The issue with my husbands coworker just really tears me up. I can’t imagine losing a child and I know God has a plan but it certainly doesn’t make it easy to understand. I want to tell you, I really admire you for dealing with something as difficult as a sick child and being able to see that he’s such a blessing. I truly think you must be an awesome person for God to have trusted such a precious soul to your care. I’ll be praying for y’all, as well!

  • Reply Jocelyn |

    I’m so sorry Stephannie. I’ll be praying for you and your family and your husband’s coworker’s family.

  • Reply Meghan |

    I think Mary from SC has the right idea about a fund for elderly parents, or even ill ones. I would even encourage a line item in your budget toward those expenses at this time. Even if one month you don’t touch it, you may need it the next month for gas, hotels, eating out, etc.

    My mom and her siblings had started a “slush fund” for my grandparents when they started to get up there in age and it was a godsend when it eventually became needed. My grandfather was sent home from the hospital for what was expected to be his last days, they lasted almost a year. A blessing to us all, but a financial toll as hospice nurse visits and family and friends from all over the world flew in to say their last goodbyes. While our family is blessed to be large enough (the year I took my husband home for Christmas to meet the family, my grandfather told him that a lot of people couldn’t make it that year so there was probably only going to be about 35 of us!!) and close enough that we were able to provide him the round-the-clock care he needed, all those people certainly adds to the grocery/ utility/ laundry bill and that slush fund helped my grandparents to not have to worry about stretching their fixed income.

    As for the donation to your husband’s co-worker, money very well spent I think. As a mother, I could not imagine dealing with the grief of losing a child, and the thought of then having to worry about final costs almost makes me ill. What a blessing that you are able to contribute toward easing that worry.

    Your family will be in my family’s prayers as you anxiously await the results of your mother’s additional tests.



    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you, Meghan! I think a slush fund is a good idea and all this has me rethinking our current budget.
      On a happier note, I have a large family too and it’s the best, isn’t it?

  • Reply Nic |

    My heart goes out to you & agree with others who say this is related. It’s real life. Your words hit close to home. Over a decade ago, my father had a significant stroke and my mother was diagnosed with cancer. These two events occurred within 6 weeks of each other. I lived hundreds of miles away, in a different time zone.

    When I got the call about my father, I dropped everything, got in my car and went home. I was there for months, and the impact to my finances was big. It’s taken years and a lot of hard work to recover from it, but if I had it to do all over again, I would make the same choice. No regrets.

    Fortunately, my story has a happy ending. Both of my parents survived, recovered and are doing well today. My advice to you? Remember to breathe. Take care of you, too. Both you & your mom will be in my thoughts.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you for the kind words, Nic! I’m so glad to hear that both of your parents are well now. I feel very much the same way in that if it costs money for anything while we deal with this I’ll spend it without a second thought.

  • Reply Maytecilla |

    My friends and I prayed for you and your mom last night.
    I’ll keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.
    Greetings from Mexico!

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Thank you so much, Maytecilla!! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate those prayers!!

  • Reply Hannah |

    I am so sorry Stephannie. My husband was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and it came back again last year, to be banished ( hopefully for good!) with chemo.

    So I know that dread and fear with such news. It’s scary! But there is hope that modern medicine has amazing results.
    My suggestion? Try to simplify life right now, because you’ll find a lot of time is spent focused on her and her heatlh, and you will not have much spare time. Also, you need time for yourself too.
    It’s important to at least get several hours of sleep and feed yourself very healthy foods – you need the nutrients and energy so that YOU don’t get sick also. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of her.

    • Reply Stephannie |

      Hannah, I’m so sorry you and your husband are having to do this for a second time! My thoughts are with y’all as he gets rid of it once and for all!
      This has been such a roller coaster. One minute I’m feeling positive and hopeful and the next I’m in tears and terrified. I think you’re spot on with the suggestion to simplify and I’m going to really try and do just that. Thank you so much for your comment, turns out this community is helping me in ways I never would have imagined.

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    I’m so sorry for all the that is going on in your life right now. It is indeed scary, and I pray for the best for you and your family.

So, what do you think ?