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Financial Wellness After Breast Cancer

woman-money-calculator-7804840Small by Beverly Vote

God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us. 
— Joel Osteen, Joel Osteen Ministries

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can have devastating effect in all areas of our life, physical, personal, emotional – and financial. Many of us never talk about the financial aspects of our diagnosis but have you ever had any of these thoughts?

If only I didn’t have to worry about money.

I worry that my health creates a financial burden for my family, so I don’t always ask for things that I need.

I wish that I had the energy to be more financially responsible.

Please, I can’t deal with any more problems.

Our journeys on earth are as individual as we each are. Carol Adrienne heard the shocking words from her husband just days after she had returned home from the hospital after having a mastectomy.  “You look old and ugly and I want a divorce,” he said without hesitation.

In what felt like a blink of an eye, Carol was experiencing a personal earthquake of her own as she watched her life being turned upside down. She was forced to accept that she was losing her spouse, her home and possibly losing her life. Carol had mounting debts and she was soon to learn her husband hadn’t paid income taxes for several years. Carol had arrived at a place in her life where she had no visible emotional or financial support and no where to live, all happening while she worried about dying.

Fast forward, Carol Adrienne divorced her husband, wrote the bestselling book The Purpose of Your Life, appeared on the Oprah show, loves her flourishing career as a numerology expert and is in a new long term loving relationship.

Neither life or creditors wait for us to get our financial house in order. Life doesn’t wait until chemo treatments are over, doesn’t wait until we get healed from breast cancer, doesn’t wait until we have the energy to find a great job, and doesn’t wait for us to win the lottery.
Perhaps you didn’t suffer significant monetary problems as a result of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but many of our pink sisters face serious financial hardships and many faced financial hardships prior to their diagnosis of breast cancer, and now face compounded situations.

Perhaps you feel uncomfortable discussing money or worry that you are under-paid and under-valued. Perhaps you accept that there isn’t anything you can do about your money woes or living your heart’s desire and life purpose.
Money touches almost every aspect of our life, and sometimes it is one of the elephants in the room that we don’t want to discuss and many times seems to grow more insurmountable every day. For many it may feel very unfair or impossible to have to deal with financial issues at the same time of facing such devastation as breast cancer. There is no avoiding that our financial well-being has to be evaluated because money affects our quality of care and our emotional and mental states of mind, all of which impacts our well-being.

For many women diagnosed with breast cancer, it just isn’t a wake-up call to make drastic healing changes. Breast cancer has become their wake-up call to realize their real self worth and how this affects their financial results, their life’s calling, and their way forward to help heal from breast cancer in profound and lasting ways. Some women believe what they learned in their journey is what led them to their true destiny.


How did Carol go from being in physical, emotional, and financial devastation and overwhelm to having a healthy and prosperous life?

Necessity is a powerful driving force that moves one’s life in a new direction. Carol Adrienne looked beyond her need to please others and began to listen to her true calling. Through her life’s experiences, Carol learned that life purpose is found in what you do easily, and what you can’t help doing. She wondered if she might do some writing and she swears that is when God heard her.

Quite easily Carol found found a place that worked perfectly for her writing cottage, and the book The Purpose of Your Life, Finding Your Place In The World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, And Uncommon Sense was born. “One of the greatest gifts I received as a result of having breast cancer, going through a divorce, and learning how to change my financial conditions was the gift of trust – learning to trust what I needed would be provided for me, and learning to trust myself and that I had something of value to share with the world,” said Carol.

It proved valuable for Carol to hone her intuitive skills and to seek expert help from someone who had been in deep financial holes herself. Carol had the opportunity to work with Karen McCall and learned first hand how to apply financial principles that continue to this day to make a remarkable and long-lasting difference in Carol’s financial well-being.


Financial recovery begins with taking simple, yet powerful steps

“Financial recovery begins with taking simple, yet powerful steps in the direction of your desires and passions,” said Karen McCall. “True financial recovery isn’t about traditional budget-planning or the latest money-making trends or the hottest investment. It is about addressing one’s core relationship and attitudes about money. I have learned that everyone, whether they have a lot of money or a little, deserves support and compassion to improve their relationship with money.”

Karen McCall, financial counselor, founder of The Financial Recovery Institute, creator of MoneyMinder® and author of the book, Financial Recovery, developing a healthy relationship with money, has personally experienced extreme financial contrasts in her life – experiencing authentic poverty in her childhood to pretentiously living high in an exclusive neighborhood near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco while working in a corner office in a prestigious professional district with a spectacular view of San Francisco Bay.
The Wooden Bowl System Doesn’t Work

In spite of all the perceptions of a successful life and career, Karen McCall kept what she calls a “dirty” secret to herself. She was broke, close to financial devastation and ruin. But Karen continued to ignore her elephant in the room, and hid this growing problem the best she could. She put a big wooden bowl on top of her refrigerator and threw all of her bills that she never opened into the bowl, even purposefully ignoring bills from the IRS. By keeping the looming bills out of site sight, it was easier to keep these fears out of her mind. The wooden bowl served as a catchall to store her unhealthy secret and she thought she was safe from others knowing how bad off she was financially.

Karen’s turning point away from a financial tsunami came in her life when her friend Tom kept showing up at her door with self-help audio cassettes. One of the first programs that touched her deeply that Tom shared with her was Move Ahead with Possibility by Robert H. Schuller. What spoke so deeply to Karen was when she read Robert’s words “Once you act, more possibilities will open up for you.”

For the first time in a long time Karen found the courage to get honest about the state of her financial condition, to explore her history with money, and to explore ideas and possibilities how she could begin to manage her life differently. She also found the courage to take the wooden bowl off the top of the refrigerator.

Karen took an honest assessment of her life and finally faced that she had an unhealthy relationship with money. She acknowledged that her relationship with money had been filled with fear, self-doubt, guilt, pain and embarrassment. Karen worried that the world would not provide what she needed, perhaps a carryover poverty mentality that she had been conditioned to as a child and that she tried to cover up with designer suits and the perfect attache case. Karen wondered if her past childhood poverty experiences were back to haunt her until she finally learned how she could be financially well.


Karen McCall’s life purpose was calling her

As Karen continued to take positive actions, more doors opened up for her and she began the path that would turn into her life’s calling – helping others with financial recovery after devastation.

Karen remembers the life changing moment when she found herself standing on a rocky shore looking out across the Golden Gate Bridge and realizing that no matter what her financial circumstances were, she would find inspiration and renewal. She had been in despair for so long that it felt like it would take a miracle to lift her spirits. Karen remembers, “I felt a powerful surge of energy, inspiration and courage. Yet nothing about my circumstances had changed, but I felt somehow that everything had changed because I knew deep down I would find the way. I felt the power from a source much greater than myself and realized this power had always been there for me, even in my darkest moments, and that I knew I could make it across to where I wanted to be, and that I would cross that bridge, the bridge of Financial Recovery, one step at a time.”

Today, Karen loves to help others cross their bridge from despair to positive action. She knows what it feels like to be broke, embarrassed and devastated. “Unless you know what to do about your finances, the feelings of devastation don’t go away by throwing them in a wooden bowl on top of a refrigerator,” said Karen.


What is Financial Recovery and What Does It Mean for You?

The Financial Recovery is a process that helps the participant to develop a healthier relationship with money that is life-changing. It enables you to understand where you are, how you got there, how to change your financial circumstances in the present, and how to maintain a healthy financial way of life long into your future. Financial Recovery simultaneously addresses your internal needs and your external behaviors, because there must be harmony with each other.*


Karen McCall founded the Financial Recovery Institute® to bring her innovative, transformational approach to as many people as possible. Her website offers free downloadable articles and resources to support a financial recovery including a free subscription to her blog which offers inspiration for keeping on track. Her book, Financial Recovery and The MoneyMinder® products including money management software and the MoneyMinder® Personal Autobiography workbook are available for sale on her website. Karen spreads her passion for her work by training counselors and money coaches to build their own successful practices. A popular speaker and workshop leader, Karen lives in Sonoma County, CA.


*Excerpted with permission from Financial Recovery, developing a healthy relationship with money