Two years ago in Jan, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was found in a routine mammogram screening. I had gone every year, and most years I had been re-called due to dense breast tissue, so I was not very surprised when I was re-called again. As I was going to the recall , I felt that this time it was different, but I tried not to worry.
Ironically, I had recently turned 50yrs old and was silently congratulating myself that I had made it longer than my beloved mom who passed away at the age of 48yrs from non-hodgkins lymphoma. I myself had follicular thyroid cancer at age 31.
I am a medical assistant in a rural family practice, so I saw my result when it came in. The doctor I worked with told me that I had to get a sterotactic biopsy immediately. I knew in my heart that it was not going to be good. The biopsy confirmed what I had already felt. Before I could mentally absorb my results, I had to drive 2 hours to the hospital where I was to have my surgery. I opted for a lumpectomy with centinal node removal. I was very fortunate that because of early detection, my lump was not even palpable yet, however it had broken out of encapsulation. I was able to get localized brachiatherapy radiation, and was ecstatic that I did not need chemo, but was put on Tamoxifen.
Now the bills started rolling in. I did have insurance, but with a high deductable. I was a single mom with a daughter in college and a son in high school. I started worrying about the debt. I was advised to contact the American Cancer Society who referred me to UBCF. There I found wonderful compassionate help from Jennifer Spina and later Beth Reichart. I was awarded a grant which helped put a decent dent in my bills. It is very hard to find anyone to help when you have insurance, but I do not have a sizeable income. Just knowing that some financial help was coming my way, helped aleviate my stress level, especially when you are trying to heal. Again I thank you.
Fast forward 1 year. I was now healthy and my dear boyfriend who had been a huge emotional support , changing my dressings, etc. , and who was my high school sweetheart ( we re-connected 30 years later), asked me to marry him. We got married in April, 2013.
One day, UBCF sent me an email saying they were doing a drawing for a vacation in Colonial Williamsburg. I was interested. When I found out that my name was drawn, I was very excited. We were able to pick a date in April 2014 and celebrated our 1 year anniversary. It was a wonderful trip and Beth Reichart could not have been more friendly to work with.
Every experience I have had with UBCF has been uplifting and positive. I am very thankful that they exist.
So, in closing, I would like to say “EVERYONE GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS”!
Enjoy life as it is precious.