In her recent NY Times article When a Couch is More Than a Couch, author Nina Riggs chronicles one YA’s shopping journey while living with terminal breast cancer. She draws some interesting conclusions and even finds hope through shopping.
As a fellow “terminal cancer mom,” I can relate to this article more than you might imagine. I often find myself waking in the middle of the night from panic, anxiety, pain, or several hundred more reasons. While I have vowed to stop shopping at 3:42 am, I. Can’t. Turn. Off. this. Stupid. Phone. Days later, a cashmere poncho shows up on my porch! Darn, I did it again!
This is bad. It’s bad from a financial standpoint: I was forced to leave my job to take care of myself, I pay hefty medical co-pays, my monthly Cobra payment is a big expense, and I spend a lot of money on other therapies that aren’t covered by insurance. Put simply, our bank account lacks discretionary funds. My shopping habit is especially silly given my mommy/medical patient wardrobe of yoga pants, fancy yoga pants, cotton t’s, and countless hoodies. And the worst part? Pre-cancer I was not a shopper!
This begs the question: why? I don’t have money and I don’t wear what I buy.
I suspect my shopping habit is more about maintaining control over a a seemingly uncontrollable situation. If you are a young adult living with cancer and you have a similar shopping issue, why so you think you do it?
And what’s your worst purchase ever? My worst was at 3:00AM: an unreturnable, Black Friday “on sale” Apple Watch! I had taken Ambien and had no recollection until I was emailed the shipping confirmation! Sorry, hon! 🤗