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This fundraiser ended on 12/18/11

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The family and friends of Cinnamon Allen are coming together to raise money to help her battle breast cancer. Please show your support.

Cinnamon was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, 2011. By the time she was diagnosed it had already almost reached stage 3. She had a mastectomy in July, 2011. The mass was much larger than the doctor had originally thought and found that it had touched the wall of her lungs and was detrimentally close to her lymphnodes. So chemotherapy quickly followed. She started her menstrual cycle very close to chemo and it has caused major complications. She has come very close to bleeding to death on numerous occasions. She is now in the hospital at least once a week for blood transfusions. She had a DNC October 26th as an attempt at stopping the bleeding.
Since she has been so sick, she has missed a lot of work. On top of that, her husband of 20 years, Marshall, lost his job as a result of taking her to her appointments and the hospital. They have 2 daughters, Sage (15) and Piper (10). Both girls are exceptional in school. They're both on honor roll and are both part of extracurricular clubs. The family is now facing eviction among other utilities being shut-off, lack of food and the worry of paying for the medical expenses that the insurance doesn't cover.
This is where they really need your help. Whatever donation you can give, would be greatly appreciated.
We are planning a benefit on December 3rd from 11 - 4 at Fat Mikes at The Market, 17045 Stuebner-Airline Dr., Spring, TX 77379. If you are in the Houston area, keep your eyes open for more details as we get everything in place for that.

Cinnamon's story:
My name is Cinnamon. I have breast cancer. I had a bothersome spot in my left breast for about 2 years and thought it to be no more than a fybroid cyst. I didn't have the money or time to take off of work to go to the doctor either. We had recently moved to a new house and new schools for my girls. Plus my husband of 20 years, Marshall, had lost his job shortly after the move. I was covering rent, bills and living expenses for the 4 of us. Marshall worked odd jobs here and there which helped.
We have two daughters. Sage is 15 going on 16 this December. She is a hard working sophomore at Spring Woods High School, honor-roll, pre-AP accelerated curriculum, dedicated theater student and looking forward to homecoming, learning how to drive and working on an acting career after graduation. Our other is Piper who's 10, a fifth grader this year, honor-roll and member of the safety patrol at Westwood Elementary. She is in rehearsals for the schools holiday play this year.
After 2 years, the irritating area in my breast started getting bigger and hurting constantly. I called my gynecologist in June and scheduled the diagnostic mammogram. Marshall had been working a new job for a few months and things were looking better.
I went in for the diagnostic mammogram on June 10. The techs knew immediately that I had tumors and ordered an ultrasound while I was in the office. As luck would have it, the day I was in for the procedure, Dr. Stephen Rose was in the office promoting his new mammography machine technology. He personally looked at my mammogram results while I was there and ordered the ultrasound, which he performed himself and a second was done by a technician. He asked me why I waited so long to come in and told me I was going to need to take it one day at a time from this point on because I had tumors and needed to be tested. A biopsy was scheduled within the week. I received the devastating news June 23rd, while I was at work. I was positive for breast cancer, and it was stage 2B lobular breast cancer and I had multiple tumors throughout my entire left breast. Beginning the next week I found myself with appointments for the surgeon, the oncologist, MRI’s, cat scans, consultations and the pre-op visit. It was all so much bare. I was in mastectomy surgery July 13th. We opted for surgery prior to chemo so that the cancer could be removed immediately and not have a chance to spread any farther than detected so far. I also didn't want to miss much work from chemo. And the holidays were around the corner and I didn’t want to be in surgery and recovery for the holiday season. Mostly because I wanted to be well for my girls, and be able to work. I had only just found out I had cancer and within 3 weeks I was having my breast removed and was to start chemo immediately.
I was off work for 6 weeks after surgery and receiving short-term disability payments from my insurance, which was a percentage of my regular paycheck. At this time my girls were headed back to school from summer vacation and we had all the expenses that comes with that (my youngest still requires school uniforms as well), on top of additional expenses incurred from the medical situation and surgery. Gas for doctor visits, co-pays for visits and payments toward my insurance deductible, increased food costs to feed the family while I was in the hospital and home in recovery. All while maintaining rent payments and bills, etc. - just daily living expenses.
The kids school year began August 22nd, and I went back to work August 24th (6 weeks after surgery), with orders to take it easy. Chemo began the same week I returned to work. My first treatment was Monday, August 29th quickly followed by sickness and fatigue. The nausea meds work but not well and eating and drinking is hard for about a week after.
Sage began rehearsals for a school play and Piper was pulling long hours at her school for safety patrol and holiday play rehearsals. Marshall was stretched to the limit with getting them to and from school and activities and me to and from chemo, doctor visits for lab work, to and from work and picking me up early when I was too sick to stay at work. He was working long hours on night shift at Valero (the store by our house), from 3 or 4 p.m. until midnight. Coming home and getting 4 to 6 hours sleep at night before having to get up start the routine all over again. His sleep and appetite were shot. The IRS started garnishing his wages for past due school loans, so his earnings were diminished. Since I no longer receive short term disability, if I miss work I don't make the money since I am an hourly employee.
I began my first menstrual cycle since starting chemo, on September 25th and it has not stopped yet as of this writing on October 24th. I have been bleeding non-stop since that day. Within 1 week of my cycle starting, Marshall had to call an ambulance on Saturday, October 1st, because I had so much blood loss in one week that I fainted in my bathroom. I was dizzy and lightheaded and my chest hurt and I couldn’t think straight. The ambulance took me to the hospital and I was admitted immediately. They began blood transfusions right away. I got 2 units and the next day they gave me a 3rd because my hemoglobin count was not safely high enough. I was in the hospital for 3 days and released on October 4th. I missed these days of work and subsequently many days after. I am still bleeding continuously. I was arriving to work late and going home early because I was so sick and weak from the blood transfusions and chemo. I was scheduled for the third chemo treatment, October 10th. Immediately after the treatment I began to bleed heavily again and it lasted all week. I wasn't able to go to work for about 3 out of 5 days of the week. Marshall called in to his work the previous Friday because I was feeling really bad and was not sure if I was going to need to go to the hospital again. He conveyed this to his manager and said he could come in the next morning. His manager told him not to come back and he was fired on the spot for missing the shift.
Monday, October 17th, I was back in the hospital for another 2 units of blood from the heavy bleeding. I spoke with my gynecologist regarding what we were going to do about my bleeding. It did not seem to be stopping, but getting worse. We decided on a DNC procedure and scheduled it for October 26th. I again was not able to work much during the week of Oct. 17th and by that Friday, October 21st, I was back in the hospital for another 2 units of blood because my hemoglobin count had fallen to critical levels. My chemo doctor suggested I take it easy. However, I went back to the doctor on Monday Oct. 24th for another blood test and my levels were only up 2 points and I am still extremely low. My chemo nurse has ordered me to bed-rest until my DNC procedure on Wednesday, October 26th because the activity is stressing my body while I am bleeding and I am not producing it fast enough. Again I am missing work because they said any activity is taxing to my body which is trying to produce necessary blood that I am just bleeding out as quick as I am getting it put in.
We are hoping the procedure works.

I have missed so much work and since Marshall was fired, we have lost his income too. I have also missed so much with my kids school stuff as well. I missed Sage's play that she worked so hard on (I was in the hospital for the first transfusion for that one). I missed back to school nights at both schools and missed parent/teacher night at Piper's school. Marshall has had to get up and walk both kids to school when we don’t have gas in the truck. Friends have been bringing food by regularly because we just don’t have enough money to keep food in the house. We are all on my income and falling behind quickly. My last check was about half my normal take-home due to the bleeding issues and being in and out of the hospital and now I am falling behind in rent and bills. I can’t get my gas/heat service turned back on because I can not afford the necessary city of Houston inspection that is required before they will restore service. This inspection is a minimum of $500 base price, so the family is still without heat or hot water because I don’t have the money for the inspection.
We are struggling to hold the family together and stay in our house and schools and get me though cancer and chemo. I just want my kids healthy and happy and not burdened by my illness. Marshall gets the brunt of everything because he is the rock right now, taking care of the kids and me and himself as best as he can.
The first thought in my head when I was told I have cancer was: “I can’t afford to have cancer.” I was right, I CAN’T afford it and my family is suffering for it. Sometimes it is all just too much. But all I can do is keep going.
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