That time we almost got scammed

building

Germany is full of honest, hard working, straight forward people who would never scam you, right?

Mmmhmmm!

We ‘almost’ got scammed here big-time. Like a few hundred thousand euros worth. I say almost because we weren’t actually convinced, and pulled out at the pre-pre-pre stages of anything happening.

Before I begin with my story, this post was inspired by Insider Accountant’s experience with his sister-in-law’s boyfriend getting scammed $3K.

And so it begins…

Preying on our vulnerabilities

A few years ago, my sweet husband (then boyfriend) was going through chemotherapy. If you don’t know what it’s like to go through chemo, it’s truly awful. You have poison running through your veins and are so sick you can die. More people die from chemotherapy and other conventional cancer treatments than from cancer itself.

Needless to say, Martin was very weak and we were both emotionally distraught. We were not thinking at all about finances but Martin was on sick leave and my income dropped 80%. We also had 2 households to support as we each had our own apartments that were 70km apart. So money was tight, but not desperately so.

Suggestion from a doctor

A few months after chemo, Martin is recovering well. His doctor approaches him about switching his insurance from DAK to Knappschaft. Both are public health insurance providers, but the latter has an extra top-up scheme that covers tests that only private insurance covers. Which means the doctor is able to monitor Martin better under the new insurance. He gives us the name of an insurance broker.

I didn’t like that the doctor was pushing for a new insurance. Knowing that the insurance biz is big money, I was certain he’d receive kick backs and therefore his recommendation would be heavily biased. But as I mentioned, we were emotionally distraught and if this doctor thinks it’s important to run extra tests, let’s just do it.

Knappschaft is still a public insurance provider which means it is regulated by the government, so the risk was low. This extra top up would cost a bit more than DAK, but it was reasonable and more importantly, Martin would be getting more coverage.

Meeting the insurance broker

Martin called the insurance broker recommended by the doctor, and he helped him switch over to Knappschaft easily. While we’re not thrilled with Knappshaft’s services, overall it’s fine. The part that wasn’t fine was this shady broker.

Him and Martin got along well. After he sold Martin the insurance policy, he was suddenly like ‘hey, I don’t just do insurance, I also do real estate investing! Why don’t I come over and teach you some good ways to save for retirement using real estate?’.

He said some more convincing things and Martin decided that sure, let’s hear what he has to say. I was also excited because I didn’t know so much about how things worked here in Germany, and had been wanting us to start planning for retirement. I figured that since Martin had such a positive experience with him already, that it couldn’t hurt to learn more from him.

Trying to gain our trust and playing on our (perceived) weaknesses

When he got to my place, he was friendly enough but I got the sense that he felt uncomfortable around me.

He was trying to sell us 2 things:

  1. Units in an empty apartment building in the middle of nowhere
  2. A 0% downpayment mortgage (Fremdkapital)

The building is owned by a real estate company who is selective about who they do business with. They only want investors who have stable, steady incomes – people they can work with long term. They will reject anyone otherwise.

The shady broker also said he himself is picky about who he works with, because it was a long term project and that he isn’t only interested in selling us something and then disappearing. He also kept name dropping the doctors who had referred him – how they’ve invested in his projects too and have made a lot of money as a result. Proof of how well they’re doing financially is their beautiful office (because of course practising medicine couldn’t possibly earn much since oncology is such a poor field!).  He kept stressing how WE could be sitting at the same table with DOCTORS, making business decisions together.

Wow! Is that really a bonus?!?!! My b.s. detector started going off big time at around this point. But I also found it hilarious because both Martin and I work in professional fields and hold advance degrees ourselves, so it’s is not uncommon or thrilling for us to sit with doctors. Plus, we’re talking about investments here, not healthcare!

What I did find helpful was learning about Fremdkapital, which is a 0% down mortgage but only for investment properties. I don’t know much else about it, but while this guy was rambling on, I had already decided that we could approach banks or other brokers directly about Fremdkapital if we were interested. Mr. and Mrs. W have used Fremdkapital to purchase an investment flat in Stuttgart, and are early retirees in Germany! So maybe the shady broker wasn’t that off conceptually – but just not with his product or services.

Buy it while it’s HOT!

The guy wanted our financial information right away, so he could start processing us for a mortgage pre-approval. He also wanted us to buy not one but TWO flats. We said thanks but that we still had to think about it, and he made an appointment for Martin to meet him at his office at 4pm on that Monday (we met him on a Saturday).

The next day we drove 50km to the address of the building to check it out ourselves. It was completely empty with no signs of any renos going on. The guy said it’s about to be renovated and the previous tenants were moved out to a temporary apartment, but would be moved back in after the renovations are completed. He said all the previous tenants want to move back in because it’s such a great deal for them to have a newly renovated space.

Having a look around the town, we weren’t really impressed. The neighbourhood was fine but there was hardly any infrastructure and for the price he was quoting (200+K for 2 units), it definitely wasn’t worth it. (Later our RE-investor friend said he would buy at least 20 flats for 200K, not only 2 flats)

Something doesn’t sit right – a sore loser

Martin emailed him on Monday morning to cancel the mortgage pre-approval appointment, but that if he had any future projects in big cities like Düsseldorf or Cologne, to let us know. He wrote back hours later and was a complete @sshole about it. He berated Martin and asked why the sudden change of mind, but then also said he would never deal with us again. He was MAD and pretty nasty about i too.

We found the whole situation to be distressing and upsetting. Because Martin was still recovering from chemo and this guy was connected to Martin’s doctor (we think they are related), it made Martin really uncomfortable to continue with his doctor. There were other reasons too, but Martin eventually switched to another doctor, only to stop seeing doctors completely.

A year later

Out of curiousity, we decided to drive by the building to see how the renovation was progressing. It had been a year and nothing had happened. It still sat vacant. Which means had we bought in, we would have been paying mortgage on a derelict building while collecting no rent, not able to sell, and possibly dealing with a bankruptcy from the RE company that owned the rest (or maybe our own).

In conclusion

We feel like we’ve dodged a huge bullet, even though we weren’t close to buying anything anyway. And we’ve reflected on the situation enough to walk away having learnt some valuable lessons. Some people just suck, and we’re lucky we didn’t fall for it. Real estate investing is probably not for us either, as we find it too finicky for our tastes. But maybe we will look into in the future – or maybe not!

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Measuring cancer healing progress + costs

garlic

Mr. G is doing so well healing his body of Stage I cancer!

Okay so we haven’t measured any progress yet, but if his oncologist won’t help him with the monitoring, then we’ll have to do it ourselves.

Oftentimes when you break away from conventional treatments, doctors shut you out. I don’t know if that’s the case with Mr. G’s doctors, but we haven’t communicated with them since Mr. G cancelled his surgery. It’s quite stressful to get turned down for help during a time you need it, so we haven’t asked them yet to shield ourselves from the stress/disappointment. There’s enough stress going on here, and we don’t need a doctor’s rejection bringing us down.

We’ll see whether we feel strong enough to confront them (that’s what it feels like) and if not, we’ll just do it ourselves.

How will we monitor Mr. G’s cancer healing progress?

We’ll have to prepare samples ourselves and send them directly to the lab. Blood samples are difficult, but urine samples are easy. The Navarro Medical Clinic has been recommended by Cancer Tutor as an economical way to monitor progress. The test will tell you ‘how much cancer’ you have in your body, by measuring HCG levels. As long as you compare the same tests results with each other (urine HCG test with the next urine HCG test), it will be comparable.

Cost of the test is $55 USD a pop not including shipping to Philippines where the lab is located. We also need to find 100% acetone to prepare the urine samples, and I’m not sure where to find it. We’ve been busy but need to start figuring it out soon. If Mr. G’s doctor is willing to help with monitoring, it will be covered under insurance.

The cost of alternative therapy

We are spending a lot of money. But surprisingly, not as much as we expected. I don’t know how much Mr. G expected to spend, but I have been budgeting for 30K EUR. So far, we’ve spent not more than 600 EUR, not including increased cost of food (since we eat mostly organic now).

The 600 EUR was for the naturopath visits and the natural medicines we bought. Mr. G is now on a therapeutic regime that has a morning and evening ritual. It’s stuff he can do himself (pills, creams, etc…).

But when he starts his IV treatments, that will cost some money. One naturopath quoted us 6K EUR, but the new one we found didn’t tell us how much (and we forgot to ask), because his practice is far from us and he wants us to find a place closer to us since it will be an everyday treatment thing.

We want to find a clinic and practitioner we like and trust. We want to feel comfortable, and will pay more for it if we must.

The real work is in massive lifestyle changes

The best naturopath and therapeutic treatment plan won’t work (or work as well) if you don’t massively change your lifestyle. We thought our lifestyle was great already, but actually it has tipped Mr. G over the edge of having cancer in the first place. Which is a clear sign that something has got to change.

This is what we are changing:

  • diet/nutrition – switch to raw vegan
  • increase physical activity – daily
  • stress reduction – no more commute, positive thinking, meditation, forgiving the past, yoga soon!

Even though we were eating a vegan diet before, there was much to be improved. We ate a high fat, high protein vegan diet, with probably too many processed foods. Now we have switched to a mostly raw vegan diet (high carb, low fat, low protein diet) with no processed food except oats. And we feel great!

Some of our friends and family have doubted our natural/alternative approach. Mr. G was already vegan before his second diagnosis, so what makes us think another vegan diet will suddenly cure him?

Why don’t we do vegan diet PLUS conventional treatments?

Good question! Although vegans are not immune to cancer (obviously), diet and nutrition are linked to diseases in mainstream clinical and epidemiological research. Short synopsis is: animal proteins (meat, dairy, eggs) are carcinogenic in humans, while whole food, plant based diets are healing. It’s just that these studies never get publicity and pharma trials (paid for by pharma or by the money you donate to cancer research FOR pharma), take front-stage-centre even though they have low survival rates and a ton of side effects. The nutrition studies are largely ignored. Which is a gigantic travesty, because more people are getting killed by cancer treatments than cancer itself.

Or like Mr. G, he was never ‘cured’ from his cancer after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy the first time around. He is now dealing with chemo side effects, liver damage, and secondary cancer. And he is not alone. These results are considered ‘normal’. Which makes me so angry.

If he was given a choice based on a mainstream research, then a raw vegan diet + stress reduction lifestyle should have been part of the treatment options communicated. Not only surgery/chemo/radiation. Cuz guess which option we would have chosen if we had known? The gentle, curative approach (not covered under insurance), or the unnecessary, harsh, invasive, non-cures that f*#$ up your body (but that are covered under insurance). Grrr!!

Mr. G had switched to a vegan diet at a time when he still had cancer. While I do believe his vegan diet was enough to prevent cancer, it wasn’t enough to heal him from the cancer. Which is why we are “sending in the army” (as I call it!) by going mostly raw with a strong focus on the cancer fighting foods. A raw vegan diet is a very powerful detox diet, which is exactly what your body needs if you have cancer.

A lot of people are finding my blog when I tag it with ‘cancer’, so I’m thinking of starting a separate cancer blog so my cancer entries don’t get mixed up with “I want to FIRE!” type entries. It’s also easier to blog when there is a distinct theme, and I don’t know if I want this blog’s theme to be expat living + FIREing + cancer healing. All over the place!

Freelancing – is it for me?

decision

Career has been on my mind a lot lately since I’ve just quit my job and am scrambling to figure things out.

My company has given me counter offers with more flexibility (home office, reduced hours, leave of absence, etc…), but no mention of money. And I’d like a raise too! To be fair, I didn’t talk about money when I was explaining why I quit – my thoughts were all about flexibility and that’s exactly what they’re countering me with. But I thought it was obvious that money is also an issue since I asked for a raise a couple of months ago. 😕

It’s in my interest to consider freelancing as it will grant me ultimate flexibility. I can set my own hours, say yes or no to jobs, and work from wherever. The money will probably be 2-3x my current hourly rate, depending on how I negotiate it.

So there’s no real benefit to me staying, even if they meet all my flexibility demands.

I’m a bit nervous to broach the freelancing subject with my bosses though. But I have a 3-month notice period, so have some time to get comfortable with it. Here are some things I am considering:

What’s in my favour to freelance

1. Specialized field – I work in the STEM field, and it’s hard to find suitable candidates for my role. We’ve been looking for someone for our team, and it’s been painful. Not even headhunters are finding us the right people. The job requires a related PhD, strong technical knowledge, good business and communication skills. (*I* don’t even fit the criteria…!)

2. Doing good work with different departments – I started in my company with Group A on a 1 year contract. I was doing so well that they reduced my probation period and gave me a permanent contract after a few months. I worked in Group A for 6 months, when they were forced to give me up to Group B. Group B is a powerful new group that was able to pick and choose people they wanted to work with. They chose me! So I’ve been with Group B for the last 7 months, and have been liking it a lot. Having worked in Group A before coming to Group B gives me great exposure to both groups. This means 2 strong areas I can tap for potential freelancing projects.

3. Accounting in favour of freelancers – Group A never replaced me, and are swimming in too much work. They can’t hire a my replacement either, but there’s room to hire freelancers. Freelancers cost a lot more than employees, but freelancers look better on the balance sheet since they don’t increase headcount and are reported in a different bucket. (Gotta please the shareholders!) I’ve kept in great contact with Group A the entire time, and though I haven’t spoken with my old boss yet, another colleague assures me it is very likely I can freelance with Group A. It is uncertain to me whether my current Group B will need/want me on a freelance basis. I’d prefer to do Group B work because it’s more fun, but hey, money is money and I’m also happy to take on Group A work if they’ll have me. :mrgreen:

4. Hardship factor – Okay, I know it’s icky to use Mr. G having cancer to generate sympathy. That’s not what I want to do. But I’m also aware that it’s a consideration factor and politically, it makes it easier for me to manoeuvre my upcoming freelancing career when I have a hardship reason. Which, turns out, I do! Because this whole cancer thing – it’s hard. No joke. I’m pretty adamant about not talking about cancer too much, because it makes me feel uncomfortable. When people look at me with those sad eyes, gahhh, it really gets me. We can live on Mr. G’s income, but I prefer to have my own income in case something happens to Mr. G or his job. Plus, it’s faster to FIRE!

5. I’m a ‘people person’ – Although I’m an introvert and need a lot of alone time, I really like people and people tend to like me back. It’s not hard for me to connect with others, and I don’t have a shortage of friends or allies at work. The company I work for is a very friendly place, and we’re encouraged to mingle and network with each other. A big part of the job is knowing who to contact to get stuff done. I’m pretty good at that.

What’s NOT in my favour to freelance

1. New girl – I’ve only been at my company for ONE year, and I’ll need my company to be my biggest client. I’m still considered new and also quite junior.

2. Lack of education – I don’t have the PhD that most people in my role require. I do have a mildly related MSc, but there’s a big gap between a Master’s and a PhD.

3. Lack of knowledge – It’s true, I’m not as technically/scientifically strong as my PhD colleagues who really know their sh!#*$. I wouldn’t consider my job very easy for me, but I do enjoy it and try my best.

4. Personality type I’m an INFJ, which is not a hardcore business type. I’m more the type to want to give everything away for free if it can help people. And if it can’t help people, then why bother doing it? I’m also not that great at negotiating, and I would be relying solely on my company as my big client. I don’t have the energy (nor skills, probably) to find other clients.

5. One client only – My blueberries will all be in one basket! In Germany, freelancers cannot earn 100% from one client. The Finanzamt doesn’t want you to freelance as an administrative step. My workaround this would be to grab work from another freelancer, and bill through her company. Since I haven’t even spoken to this freelancer yet, I’m not sure this is possible. So I’ll have to contact her to see what she says.

Health insurance issues

Everyone needs to be health insured in Germany, and insurance is pretty expensive. I spoke with an independent insurance broker and I have to stay on public insurance if I go freelance. That means I’ll have to pay 14.9% of my gross income to insurance, with a minimum of ~400 EUR per month. During the slow months at the beginning, I’ll be running at a loss. That’s okay to me, but I do prefer to make money!

My long term career goals

I’ve always wanted to be location independent. I don’t like being stuck in one place. I want to be able to travel, spend time with far away loved ones, and to work while at it. Plus, I’d like to try running my own business to see if I’ll like it.

I’d also like to retire early! If I wait a few years until I go freelance (my original plan), I’m wasting all these prime income generating years. Assuming freelancing earns me more than working as an employee (I think it does). Of course, freelancing is dependent on clients. But I think I’ve stumbled on a really needy client who has no shortage of busy work. If projects ever dry up, hopefully I’ll be retired by then. If not, I can probably get my old job back!

Basically, I really need to give freelancing a try. As much as this is a stressful time of change for Mr. G and I, it’s equally a period of growth and opportunity. It’s all about how we choose to define this moment. I’m choosing to leverage it to forge a life we truly want.

Why I don’t like to talk about cancer – at work

Perfection

Well, I am stressed.

Sorry to put that on you, but as an introvert, I prefer to write about it rather than talk about it.

Which is a problem, because this is the week my boss is back from vacation, and the week I’ll have to talk about my job, and my plans, and my situation.

The situation is that I’m quitting my job because my husband has cancer.

And I don’t want to talk about it. At least not at work.

Because every time I talk about it, I cry. I feel too vulnerable, and that’s NOT how the reality is.

And who the heck wants to cry at work?!?!

I’ve already cried to one boss, and he now walks by my office very gingerly and speaks to me way too gently. He is otherwise, a very direct (but kind) person. I don’t need these kid gloves!

Mr. G and I are doing well. We are eating well, physically active (we try to be given our schedules), and have a plan that empowers us.

So while the people I work with (the few who know my situation) are thinking I’m super fragile because my husband has cancer, I’m actually super fragile because I have to make hard decisions about my career and life.

Of course, Mr. G takes front and centre. But as I am positive he will be well soon, I’m more worried about how I can have a career while (essentially) being a house wife and living in a small town.

I am not the house wife type! I have tried really hard before to make it work, but it drives me nuts. Plus my career is going really well right now, making it hard to leave.

But, I also know my career will always be second to my family life. Which is why it’s so ‘easy’ to quit.

To be honest, I want it all. I want the career, the money, the balance, the socializing, and the health. And what I am realizing now, is that I can’t have it all. Which is the painful part.

How cancer affects my career

quit

On Tuesday, I handed in my resignation.

My notice period is 3 months, so I’ll be working until October.

It was surprisingly easy for me to quit. Especially when I realized there was no big risk for me to do it.

Even if I regretted it, I could re-apply and get back the same job – except I would ask for more money. None of this waiting around forever for [maybe] a teeny raise, which is what I was doing.

Or, I could go freelance and charge 3x my current hourly rate. This is more what I’m going for, but I’m waiting for the dust to settle before negotiating it.

There is also a chance that I won’t quit, even though I’ve already quit.

Because while I didn’t anticipate this at all, my 3 bosses are pretty distraught that I’m going through hard times, and they want to support me + don’t want me to quit.

They’re going to counter me with options to stay, that we’ll discuss next week when they’re back in the office.

It’s very nice, but it’s actually causing me some distress. Like gahhhh, I’ve already made my decision! Now I have to go back and think about it again?!?!?!!!

I was totally taking solace in the finality of it all. *sigh*

Even though I’ve made some quick decisions, it doesn’t mean it was easy to go through it. It’s been absolutely exhausting and emotionally trying.

I don’t actually want to think about career-stuff right now. That’s why I quit!

My top priority is Mr. G and our life together. I need space to do that.

We know that cancer is telling us to make massive changes in our lives. We can give ourselves a big pat on the back that we’ve gone from vegan to raw vegan, but our big sore spot is not nutrition – it’s stress and our long commutes.

So I told my bosses that I require a lot of flexibility, and that I quit because I didn’t think I could get that in my job. I said I’m moving 100km away, and that since we are trying alternative therapies, we may need to travel for it. I also said that at this moment, we don’t have the answers yet. No details. Just big general themes that we’re working on, and the details will come later.

What it looks like to fight cancer naturally

Cruciferous_Vegetables

Our lives now revolve around FOOD.

We are constantly eating and buying fresh, organic produce.

For starters, we raided the organic sections of Lidl, Aldi, and Edeka. They don’t have everything we need though, so we’ve started travelling to organic supermarkets (denns, pro biomarkt, Biohaus). By far, our favourite is going to the organic farms and buying directly from them. If you’re in Germany, use Bioland to search for organic farms near you. The food is usually cheaper and so deliciously fresh!

Every cancer patient who is going the natural/alternative route needs to have a cancer diet. Mr. G’s cancer diet is a raw vegan diet with a focus on cruciferous and allium vegetables.

This is how his daily food totals look:

  • 8 cups of freshly juiced carrots/beets/ginger
  • 4 cups of fruit smoothies
  • 8-10 cloves of raw garlic
  • 50-100 mL of aloe vera juice
  • 2 humongous salads (red & green cabbage, baby spinach, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, leek, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, sunflower seeds)
  • fruits and veggies as snacks
  • liberal use of cancer fighting spices: turmeric, oregano, cayenne

We track everything on CRON-O-Meter – to keep a food record but also to make sure we’re eating enough calories. So far we’ve been under in the calorie department. We’re working on it as we aim for the recommended 2500 kcal for men and 2000 kcal for women. We are killing it in the micronutrient department though. 🙂

I’m also on the same diet so I can support Mr. G. We’re in this together!

And we feel great.

trampoline

We bought this used for 15 EUR!

Everyday we rebound (aka jump on a trampoline) to help our lymphatic system, and we go for hour long walks and take some time to think in the park. On weekends we go for a run if the weather is nice.

It’s a very positive and empowering way to fight cancer.

I’m not worried about Mr. G physically. If he had chosen conventional treatments, I’d be worried sick.

What I am worried about is how he is feeling. He’s the type to keep his feelings to himself, and I’m concerned about how he’s taking it all. Whether he is stressed, scared, upset, frustrated, etc… He is all of these but what we are doing gives him strength, he says. I cuddle him a lot for extra measure.

The root of the problem is that Mr. G’s immune system is too weak, which is why the cancer cells have built up (tumour). Cancer cells are normal, but a strong immune system will kill/detox it. Since we are interested in curing him rather than managing his symptoms, we’re overdosing on nutrition to support the body in healing itself.

Cancer Tutor is a fantastic resource, and Chris Beat Cancer gives his first hand experience of curing Stage 3 colon cancer, plus interviews of other natural survivors.

Mr. G and I feel so fortunate to have all these resources at our fingertips.

We will also speak with a Heilpratiker (naturopath) soon to see what alternative treatments he recommends, and whether we need to tweak Mr. G’s cancer diet. We’ve spoken with a few Heilpratiker already but didn’t click with them or their treatment plans. But we have high hopes for this upcoming one.

This second cancer diagnosis threw us for a loop. I seriously was never planning to blog about cancer. But we’re on such a positive path that it feels good to share. Maybe this can help someone out there. I know it’s helping me.

Should I quit my job?

lucky

As I mentioned in my cancer and finances post, the last time we were faced with a cancer diagnosis, I practically quit my job by reducing my hours to 1-2 days per week. I needed to be there for Mr. German, plus I was too upset to work more than that.

This was doable because my old company was a small ~25 person company. They knew that either they let me work reduced hours, or I’d quit.

Now, I work for a large international company with a HR department. My employer does not do reduced hours. It’s pretty much I work my hours or they find someone else who can.

So, it’s time to quit!

I think.

I still need to meditate on this, but it seems to be the best way for us to bring simplicity to our lives.

Mr. German and I work far away from each other, and we both have long commutes in opposite directions. In the near past, we have had lots of stress and arguments about where to live. If I quit, we are no longer bound to this town and will move within walking/biking distance of Mr. German’s office. Thus, optimizing our lives (as Mr. Money Mustache would say).

Of course, it seems maybe counter intuitive for the non-sick one of us to quit. At first I also assumed it would be better if Mr. G quits so that he can focus on getting well. But, depending on how things go, Mr. G may end up going on sick leave. There’s no sick leave if there’s no job!

Sick leave may be inevitable, and the security of a steady stream of income during a time where we need income is very helpful. We can be frugal and wind down our expenses, but we cannot afford to skimp on organic food or alternative treatments which cost $$$.

Mr. G also makes almost twice as much as I do. So giving his income up to live on mine may not be so smart. He also works less than me and has more flexibility (!), but is not able to freelance.

My job on the other hand, is not so flexible but there is a strong precedent of going freelance.

By quitting my job, I mean quitting on very good terms and then negotiating a freelancer’s contract. I would need my current employer to convert to my big client. This should be doable.

I’m scared though, and need some encouraging words!

It’s a bit of a delicate situation, as I’ve only been working at my company for a year. I’ve tried to bring more flexibility into my job by asking for more home-office days (denied), and that raise that I asked for is currently being pushed.

Going freelance now could be offsetting to my bosses. Especially because I haven’t really ‘put in my time’ yet. From my company’s perspective, I’m still *new* and not very experienced.

I do have some good things going for me to negotiate a freelancing contract though, but it all boils down to handling it correctly and not coming across as screwing them over while using Mr. German as an excuse.

I very much like my job, so actually spent the day crying about it (today is my work-from-home day, so it’s fine). I needed to release the stress and clear my head. It took a lot for me to get here, and to give it up seems almost criminal. I’m also not the homemaker type – I like to have [paid] work.

Things are happening so fast here, I don’t even know if I’m thinking straight.

But I do know that I’ve been meaning to freelance in a few years, so why not now? Yeah it’s a bit early, but I have a good and valid reason to go freelance, that no one should take offense over.

Worst case scenario is that I go freelance and lose my company as my client, and then won’t get re-hired as a regular employee. I think this is very unlikely.

No – worst case scenario is that Mr. German gets sicker, or that I get sick from exhaustion of having to balance it all. That is much worse, and more likely if things continue this way.

Cancer is a big wake up call that something needs to change ASAP. It’s not about something happening *to* you. It’s about taking control and seeing what you can do to make it better. These steps are not always easy, but such is life.