Life Lessons from a Cancer Survivor

life lessons

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My wife and I currently live in an apartment complex. There are plenty of aspects that I appreciate about renting, but one of my favorites is that our complex has a hot-tub.

I’ve always loved hot-tubs. I spent many summer nights at friend’s houses relaxing in the hot-tub and talking for hours. There’s just something about it that encourages deep conversations about life.

My wife and I go a few times per week. It’s our time to connect with each other, de-stress from daily life, and have peace from distractions (namely our 2 pups and cellphones). We value this time together a lot, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Most of the time we’re the only people at the hot-tub, but every now and then we’ll meet someone new.

Recently we met an elder man, for the sake of the story we’ll call him Frank. After some small talk we got to talking about life. He opened up about how he had battled throat cancer, underwent 33 weeks of chemotherapy, and finally beat it. This difficult experience gave him a new perspective on life and made him feel grateful for every day he had.

The conversation then steered towards finances, as he talked to us about how expensive the healthcare costs were. From what I could gather it seemed like he was still doing ok, but he passed along a great deal of financial wisdom.

Frank strongly emphasized how important it was to start saving and investing young. He explained that his son was in his mid-thirties and finally starting to get his finances in order. This was a lesson he had been trying to pass along to him throughout his life.

The reason that starting to invest at a young age is so important is that it allows compound interest to work in your favor. The longer your money has to be able to grow, the bigger it will get. Frank mentioned that “you need more money than you think to feel comfortable in your old age.” Now I have no idea what his spending habits are like, but I think it essentially comes down to how expensive healthcare costs can be and also having a financial cushion to be able to support yourself in the midst of unforeseen circumstances.

These are all valuable lessons that we can takeaway from this short conversation:

  • Start saving and investing at a young age

  • Create a financial cushion, because you might need more money than you think

  • Never take life for granted

You never know where you’ll find inspiration or learn something new. Be open to those possibilities, and be grateful for each moment. I’m glad we were able to meet Frank and hear about his perspective on life, and that one conversation has helped me be more thankful in my own life. I love learning lessons from people who have already lived much more life than I have. Try to take these lessons and implement them in your daily life.

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