My story really begins with my mom. She was diagnosed in June of 2007 and died October 1, 2007. She had no insurance except for state aid, which took care of the necessary tests, but the wait time in between her treatments was months because of her doctor seeking approval.
She had a PET scan in August after waiting two months since the lump removal. At the same time she was undergoing treatment, my father was on his death bed. The day she got her results, I said “Mom, how did the test go?” and her answer was “great, no worries. How is your dad?” The day of his funeral, she said “now I can let go”.
My brother returned to Arizona to find her in the hospital with metastatic breast cancer and completely septic. In the hospital as I was bathing her I noticed these huge blisters on her and asked her nurse what they were from. They were from chemo. It was then that I promised her that although she fought alone, I would be her voice, and I thanked her, because at that moment I realized how much she loved her kids. In her greatest time of need she still thought of us first so we could care for my dad. We buried our mom exactly 1 month after my dad’s funeral. She had hidden how sick she was so we wouldn’t be burdened with two sick parents.
6 months later, I found a lump, had no insurance, and fought for a mammogram. I turned to my friend, Raynell, who just listened and, being the person she is, had a positive look on it always. She sat with me at the hospital and listened when I needed her to.
My doctor no longer wanted to treat me because I disagreed with his diagnosis. He said I was being paranoid and had fibrocystic breasts. I knew in my soul I had cancer, and after months of playing games, Raynell and I walked into Arrowhead Hospital, handed the nurse my papers and xrays, and the nurse said. ”Oh, you do have cancer after all”. Had I not fought for myself I would be dead.
I remember meeting with my surgeon and he said that my options really at that time were total mastectomy and, because of family history, he recommended a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. My oldest daughter at the time began sobbing. She immediately thought of my mom, bald, and full of blisters. I agreed to the surgery and told God “Get me through my surgery with no chemo, and I will become whatever you need me to be”.
I am now almost a 3 year survivor and I fight breast cancer.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.