What would you do for £161,000, cash, tax-free?
How about having cancer?
Occasional readers of this blog may recall a post outlining my own experience of basically having an early non-invasive cancer, which teetered on the point of switching semantically, from “benign” to “malignant”. The sort of thing that I would confidently reassure a patient about, but it’s a different perspective when you’re in the middle of it.
My surgeon was positive though. To paraphrase him: “I think that even if it’s invading there’s too much radical surgery done for these. I’m pretty sure we can cut it out and get some radiotherapy”. Radical means a stoma, or as they say round here “the bag”. So, I could have officially had cancer, AND avoided the bag, in theory at least.
Which is where the £161,000 comes in. A Critical Illness Policy, I’ve been paying into it for years. One of those ‘just in case’ things when you marry, have family etc etc. You hope you never have to need it.
On the other hand, some kinds of cancer are pretty survivable. Here’s the stats:
Patients who are diagnosed at an early stage have a much better prognosis than those who present with more extensive disease. Over 93% of patients diagnosed with Dukes stage A (the earliest stage of the disease) survived five years compared with less than 7% of patients with advanced disease (Dukes stage D).
Over 93%!! Not bad. They’re the UK figures for cases diagnosed over 10 years ago. They may well be better than that now. They probably are. Of course the ten year survival won’t be quite as good, but even so.
However, my policy specifically errs on the side of NOT paying out for my stage of the disease. Just a tiny bit of invasion would have done it. So how do I feel about this loss, given the number of splendid Mercedes coupes currently available on Autotrader? Just fine actually. It really wouldn’t be worth it. I know that to most people this sounds like a no-brainer, but most of us would find £161,000 cash fairly life changing. It’s a strange sort of dilemma.
Anyway, I’ve still got the policy. All I need now is one really small heart attack. Minimal damage. That would do it…