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This fundraiser ended on 01/31/13

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Our insurance WON'T pay for my cancer treatment. Please help me beat this- every dollar counts. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

My hands full of groceries, I was walking up my steps in the pouring rain when my phone rang. I pulled it out of my jacket and my Dr's voice was on the other end. My Doctor began to talk slowly to me, I was excited..this was the phone call I was waiting for. The phone call that would tell me that I had a benign tumor- that's what all the doctors had been telling me it probably was anyway. They all insisted that it could be nothing more than a cyst and even when they found it was a solid mass, assured me it looked no more unusual than a benign tissue gathering. All the doctors, nurses and assistants I had seen assured that I was far too young to have cancer and their tests were just protocol. That's what I had been telling my mother as well, since there was no reason to worry her....My doctor continued, "I hate to do this over the phone..."

My heart dropped to the bottom of my chest. It was all she had to say, this couldn't be happening, "Your test results came back positive, you do have cancer."

Was this really happening? I just stared at the wall in shock as my mind began to construct a list of how my life was going to radically change. It all flooded in at once: I wasn't going to be able to finish college, I wouldn't be able to care for the kids I was getting ready to take into my home, I couldn't get a job like I had planned to help pay for the money I borrowed and the two rents we acquired while renting and furnishing a home big enough for the kids we were taking in....kids..Xaiden, my son..what was he going to do without a mother?

I pushed for more information, "Well, there are different stages of cancer- what stage am I?"

She replied, "No, it's not a stage honey, you have Invasive Ductal Carcenoma, I'm afraid it's pretty serious."

I wouldn't relent, "Like very serious, how serious?"

She responded,"Well, it's invasive. I'm so sorry, do you have someone with you right now?"

Of course not, I was alone..I was trying to keep it together for Xaiden, but I was about to fail miserably. My husband was at work and although he was eventually able to come home and with my mother on her way, the first hour was hell. I was in a complete panic crying uncontrollably. I was mourning my death as if I had already died and trying to figure out who would care for Xaiden after I was gone. I couldn't catch a breath between tears and just kept dialing numbers in desperation as if someone would pick up the phone and tell me I wasn't going to die. Someone actually did. I felt better for a bit, but then fell back into my misery. With my husband crying into my arms that night, I felt complete hopelessness.

The next morning was surreal. I began making lists...lists of times and places Xaiden had to be and what our bills are and when they had to be paid. I forwarded a google calendar to select family members that had dates and times of everything so if something happened to me, I knew my family would be taken care of. That was the longest day of my life...

The very next morning I wore comfy pajamas and brought a big leopard stuffie with me to my Oncologists office. Of course the room was full with my husband, sister and mother all waiting anxiously to find out what was to be done about my incurable condition. The Dr. was amazing, he made me smile right away..he reminded me of a sweet Robin Williams. He said that based on the ultrasound, if it had not spread- then I had only Stage 1 cancer (I knew there was stages!!) and only a grade 3 tumor. He looked at me and said, "This is no problem, I can cure this. This is totally treatable." I felt like I could breath again. Suddenly, I felt really silly with my stuffed leopard and slipped it onto the floor next to me. In my defense, my primary doctor made it sound as if I was terminal.

Ok...fast forward...horrible tests, blah blah...waiting...tests..waiting...decisions..(mastectomy/lumpectomy?)...are they ever going to get this cancer out of me??

Finally! My surgery date is set: December 3rd is my Lumpectomy! Woo hoo. Not really that exciting, but better than death. Although at this point, we don't know if it has spread and if I will need chemotherapy until after the surgery- we do know that I will be going through radiation treatments which are very expensive and without my insurance helping, it can be overwhelming. Even now, before treatment, I already have bills pouring in from the tests and Doctors visits. It can be a lot to handle, but I am staying positive. I am just happy to know that being diagnosed with cancer is NOT an automatic death sentence. Being healthy again does come with a large price tag though and I need help to fight.

I am going to beat this, I am going to live and I want to live without debt...without regret and without fear. I want to be fearless. With your support, I have hope. XO
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