Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A Call for Help...
I have cancer (oh wait, you already knew that)! It has gone from being simply in the left side of my chest to being in my espophogus, in my lungs, my stomach, and around my heart. Basically, it is following the lymph system that runs all throughout my body. The first set of chemo drugs they gave me last year for six months didn't kill the cancer, the radiation I had over the summer for two months didn't kill the cancer. The surgeries, double mastectomy and reconstruction did not kill the cancer. Now, I am on another chemo drug daily and guess what? It's not stopping the cancer either. What it is doing though is slowing it down, making my cancer progression slow up a bit while I wait for someone to invent a drug that will work on my cancer. Basically, I am in a holding pattern....until????
I have taken cancer research into my own hands and my own computer trying to find what is out there, what is new.... what can help save my life. I have heard all about shark cartilidge, essential oils, grandmas's secret recipe, and illegal drugs to boot. But we have decided to stick with the medical route. So, I am my own advocate, showing magazine articles to my oncologist with new cancer meds that I think might help, looking for clinical trials online, seeking out 2nd or even 3rd opinions from other doctors more renown than the last. I am in a minority when it comes to my diagnosis, because basically, I shouldn't have cancer at all. I never smoke or drank, I nursed all four kids religiously, I don't have any family history of any type of cancer, and I am too young and basically too healthy to be in any "at risk" group. But, alas, here I sit and I don't sit here with anger in my heart because I feel the Lord has a plan for me, just as he does for each of us, and this is part of my plan. And I feel blessed every step of the way. I don't live in a hospital, I pretty much still get to raise my own four children (with some help), and I look to all the world like a normal 32-year-old young mom.
But, back to my point..... Cancer is expensive!! Seriously, I kid you not. Even though my husband has a wonderful job and we have amazing insurance thanks to corporate America, the medical bills for surgeries, chemo, ER visits, weekly doctors visits,etc all still add up. But now I am standing beside the point.........Here is where I need your help. I have decided thus far that I didn't need any fundraisers or running events or bake sales. But, there is something I REALLY want to do that I think will help my medical case more than I can ever do on my own with all my researching and seeking.
On February 25th-27th in Orlando Florida there is going to be a medical conference for young breast cancer patients under the age of 40. It is geared directly at what I am facing. I am hoping to leave with a brain full of encouragement, ideas and most of all hope. Hope that I can watch my kids have their own kids someday. I applied for a travel grant from Susan G. Komen and was accepted, so my registration fee for the conference is covered. I also have an aunt on Morgan's side of the family that is graciously sponsoring my flight to Florida. But there are still hotel fees, food costs, and possibly a t-shirt commemorating my trip.
So, I am reaching out to you, my friends, my blog readers. If you can donate a dollar or two towards my trip I would be soooo grateful and I even promise to post pictures when I get home of me smiling next to other ladies in my same medical boat. If you want to donate, just click on the "donate" button on the right side of my blog. If you don't want to donate, just send your prayers and love our way just like you always do. I can't even begin to tell you how much your love and comments have bouyed me up the past year.