My journey with breast cancer began back in October of 2018. Well, actually, I guess it started before that! I began my annual mammogram in August 2018. I began getting mammograms at the age of 35 due to my mother being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. I never thought it would happen to me. When I got the test results in September, I knew something was different. I really started to prepare myself then. I got the official news on October 16, 2018. Yes, “you have breast cancer, and it is very aggressive”. “We are still waiting on tests to tell you anything else”. That was the worst week of my life. What do you know with the news of “aggressive cancer”?
After meeting with my surgical team and nurse navigators, I really started to understand my diagnosis much better. I started to be very optimistic and realized that my diagnosis could be a lot worse. My tumor was discovered very early and I was staged at stage 1. Of course tons of testing was done, but they stated that I was only going to need surgery and radiation. No chemo! I thought that was the best news. I had genetic testing done and all of the results came back very good with no genetic relations. I thought this was going to be an easy battle! I had surgery scheduled for December 13, 2018. I was scheduled to be off work for the surgery. I was very blessed with friends and family to help during this time with my kids activities around Christmas and everyone wanted to make me food.
Everything was healing great. The surgery went well, the lymph nodes were all cleared. I was preparing for radiation in January. That all changed…I went to the medical oncologist, who stated that my Oncotest came back and he did not like the margins of cancer return statistics. He was recommending chemo! I was very angry! I understand his reasoning, but I was told from the very first day…chemo is not going to be necessary. It took me about a week to wrap my head around it, but I finally came around to this being the best for my future longevity.
That is when I became very scared about not only my health, but my family finances. My husband was laid-off from his job in November of 2018. I had been off work since December of 2018 due to surgery. How are we going to survive if I have to do chemo? Things became very financially tight. I was then told about the StringsforaCURE organization by my doctor’s office. I am so truly thankful for being granted the Living Expense Grant and paying 3 months of my mortgage! This will allow us to make payments on other debt and also pay on some medical expenses. I have returned to work during my chemo, but my hours are less than before. I still have a long road ahead with chemo not being scheduled to be finished until June 2019, then radiation will begin.
I am looking forward to a healthy future, cancer free! I can not say thank you enough to your organization! You are truly a blessing from God!
March 7, 2019