Support my journey through cancer

$26,050 of $35k goal

Raised by 334 people in 11 months
Larissa Podermanski  BERLIN, CT
I am thirty years old. Three months ago, I was settling into the house my fiancé and I bought last year. I was celebrating my engagement, planning a fall wedding, and thinking about starting a family soon. After five years of working for another agency, I was also really happy to be out on my own, setting up a nonprofit to provide services to people with developmental, physical, and intellectual disabilities. My nonprofit, Community Navigators, was about to be approved by the State of Connecticut.
Then I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy this month. When I developed some new pain, I went to the emergency room. They found that the cancer had already spread to my liver and now I'm stage 4.
I would still like to run my nonprofit, provide services to others, be married and have children. But now I have to change my plans. I am starting treatment immediately. I’m not going to have time to freeze any eggs or embryos first  (as I originally planned) and for now I can’t really think about having children. Maybe later. My fiancé and I are planning a much smaller wedding in May. And I am going to do all I can to stay healthy during my chemotherapy and hormone treatments so that I can eventually get back to my job.
The problem is that this could not have come at a worse time for me financially. Both my fiancé and I are self-employed. If I can’t work for a few weeks, I’ll have no income. And when he’s taking care of me, he can’t work as much either. We have health insurance like we’re supposed to, but our deductibles are high ($5000) and my own out-of-pocket maximum this year is $6,850. I’ve learned that I may have to go out-of-network for the specialty care and consultations I need, and those bills will add thousands more to our out-of-pocket costs. And we still have a mortgage and other bills to pay.
We are economizing as best we can. Our families and many friends are also helping us out. But the healthcare bills we have right now still have to be paid, and somehow we need to get the money to pay those bills and more to come over the next weeks and months.
So, as difficult as this is, we are asking our friends and their friends for help. We’d like to try to raise at least $25,000 to help us through this time. And we promise that if we raise it, we will never forget to pay it forward in the future, when our friends and their friends need help from us.
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Update 18
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
27 days ago
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Thank you everyone who is following my journey and all your support through donations. My GoFundMe page has been very helpful but since my journey will continue for as long as I breathe, we decided we should create another way for people to follow my journey. With this thought we created my blog, Metastatically Speaking. The name explains itself I hope! It's a blog about our struggles with Metastatic Breast Cancer. I see more and more how important it is for people like us to share our story publicly, because nothing ever happens unless we make our voices heard. (That's the same as with any advocacy!) My personal goal is for Metastatically Speaking to become a very small non-profit in the future to help raise money for others with my struggle, and also so I know that when my time comes people will remember me! We all have fears, and my new fear -- which at times outweighs my fear of my cancer -- is being forgotten a week after I pass! So please feel free to continue following my journey and thank you all again for your continuous support! All donations are so very appreciated! I will continue to post to this GoFundMe page but I will be posting more often at www.MetastaticallySpeaking.com

You can also subscribe so you can get email notifications just like you do here. Again thank you all for your support and truly it helps!
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Update 17
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
2 months ago
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Now that 2017 has begun, the reality that my cancer journey will continue throughout the year has set in. I’m grateful for the opportunity to fight my metastatic breast cancer, but the continuous treatments are not easy. I spend my time juggling the many doctors appointments, treatment side effects and mentoring my husband at the non-profit I started -- Community Navigators Inc. It looks like I will never have kids, but it's comforting knowing my legacy of helping people with intellectual disabilities can live on through CNI after I'm gone.  

The new year also means new deductibles and more money out of pocket to continue to battle my stage 4 breast cancer. I want to thank all of you for your continuous support so far.

January 2017 will be a very busy month for me medically as I continue on Taxol ( a type of chemotherapy), as well as shots of Nuelasta to increase my blood counts, my bone shot a painful treatment used to strengthen my bones since they've been weakened by my breast cancer metastases to my pelvis, rib cage, back and collar bone and lastly my lupron shot that keeps me in menopause that is followed with my very fun hot flashes and the occasional mood swings that could be a figment of my husbands imagination!

Two weeks from today I will go back into the hospital to finish my breast reconstruction as well as have another liver biopsy, which will be sent to Sloan Kettering for genomic testing. I do not know what to expect pain-wise from the reconstruction surgery, but I have had a liver biopsy before and I know that it will be uncomfortably painful. I’m prepared for the reality that my body will not bounce back the way it used to due to the chemo. I’m also very aware that I need to be extremely careful while recovering because infection can be very deadly to people with stage 4 cancer, like me. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, (the day before my 31st birthday ) I will have my quarterly CAT scan, and will be praying for positive results as I celebrate my birthday weekend with family.  

This month I posted an update about Brandi, a remarkable young woman who passed away from a breast cancer-related infection and who touched my life in the most positive way. Although I never met her, she and I shared the bond of stage 4 cancer and she was an amazing person. It's so difficult to watch as others with my same disease suffer, but their stories and posts and positive attitudes help me learn about my disease, how to cope with it, and how to hope for the future. 
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Update 16
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
2 months ago
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Since my diagnosis it has been a rollercoaster of many different types of emotions. So many moments of gratitude as my community and beyond showed their support, sadness for myself and others like me battling for their lives and moments like now where someone similar to me passes away from this terrible disease.

Brandi McWade passed away yesterday Jan 6th 2017. I never had the honor to meet her but she too believed in sharing her story to help empower woman like me to keep our heads up, stay positive and stay alive. Brandi’s last wish while being surrounded by family was for all donations or flowers be donated to me.

I’m so sad about her passing. It’s absolutely terrifying to see amazing woman with metastatic breast cancer pass away. It’s beyond humbling to be in her final thoughts. As 2017 starts, I am faced with many uncertainties, possibilities of new treatments, more procedures and whatever else cancer has in store. Brandi was an avid advocate for metastatic breast cancer and didn’t hold back sharing her story. And in her honor I will share her story, my own and others to continue to share the life so many of us have to face.

Learn about Brandi’s fight here: https://www.gofundme.com/brandaid
To another hero passing
RIP Brandi
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Update 15
Posted by Larissa Podermanski
3 months ago
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I know I have not done a update recently and I promise I will soon! But for now I need your help! Ellen posted the video my amazing infusion nurses helped me make during Chemo this past Tuesday! Help us by voting to make my dream to meet Mariah Carey come true this holiday season! Attached is a video instruction on how to vote!
Help make my wish come true! VOTE NOW
All I want for Christmas is You Mariah
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Read a Previous Update
Amber Fuchs
2 months ago
1
1

I am so sorry you are in this fight. No one should have to go through this, especially at such a young age. I admire your strength and I thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best.

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Angela Puccinelli
10 months ago

I hear your struggle I have been battling medical issues since I was 19 when I was diagnosed. With that being said I sadly cannot donate. I have a go fund me of my own, but I can give you prayer and send energy your way.

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Marah Johnson
10 months ago

I am praying for you and know that you can kick this cancer and I am so sorry that you have to go through this, just know you got a lot of people who care about you. Sending so much prayers for you

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Lashawn Jones
10 months ago

god love you

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Lynn Cooper
11 months ago

Will donate next week. Praying the best for you and your family

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$26,050 of $35k goal

Raised by 334 people in 11 months
Created April 17, 2016
Larissa Podermanski  
$50
Bob Plante
27 days ago
MP
$60
Monica Piehel
28 days ago

Donation is respectfully given to you in memory of Brandi McWade. Lots of support given to you!

KG
$100
Karen Greenwald
1 month ago

In loving memory of Mother Wolf. Stay strong Larissa.

CM
$50
Carol Mawhinney
1 month ago

In loving memory of Brandi and her beautiful spirit... many blessings to you Larissa.

SC
$25
Sandra Cerussi
1 month ago

In memory of Brandi- Wishing you strength and hope.

PM
$25
Paula Moriarty
1 month ago

In memory of Brandi McWade

$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
SH
$50
Sean Holmes
1 month ago

In loving memory of Brandi McWade

KB
$50
Katy Barrett
1 month ago

May brandi's strength transfer to you!

AO
$50
Arne and Joan Oberg
1 month ago

In loving memory of Brandi McWade

Amber Fuchs
2 months ago
1
1

I am so sorry you are in this fight. No one should have to go through this, especially at such a young age. I admire your strength and I thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best.

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Angela Puccinelli
10 months ago

I hear your struggle I have been battling medical issues since I was 19 when I was diagnosed. With that being said I sadly cannot donate. I have a go fund me of my own, but I can give you prayer and send energy your way.

+ Read More
Marah Johnson
10 months ago

I am praying for you and know that you can kick this cancer and I am so sorry that you have to go through this, just know you got a lot of people who care about you. Sending so much prayers for you

+ Read More
Lashawn Jones
10 months ago

god love you

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Lynn Cooper
11 months ago

Will donate next week. Praying the best for you and your family

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