When you have cancer, your car might last longer. Or not.

My wife and I have two cars, and mine hasn’t been driven much the past four years. At times I went for months without driving. I was too tired, and often the drugs I was taking for various side effects were undermining my sleep or preventing it altogether. Other drugs affected my concentration more directly; those pill bottles carried the “do not drive or operate heavy machinery” warning.

So for a while my car sat in a darkened garage, all by itself. It became quite lonely.

My wife’s car, although a year newer, soon had more miles on its odometer than mine did. That’s partly because it logged so many extra miles hauling me back and forth for my oncology visits. The round trip was over a hundred miles, and there were a few stretches of radiation treatments when that route became our daily cancer commute.

If any of this sounds familiar, keep track of those miles and include them with your other medical expenses. Ask your accountant; there’s a possibility that all those miles could have tax implications.

And if you have another car that’s now sitting idle, start it up and let it run for a while every week or two. It’s good for the engine, and if you don’t do it regularly you may eventually learn that your battery has died. Don’t ask me how I know.

Finally, when you do return to regular driving after a long pause, be extra attentive the first few hundred miles. You’re out of practice.

Author: alcambronne

Retired photographer, author, and cancer survivor living in northwest Wisconsin.