Raelynn Petrovich Fundraiser
Hello Everyone! So this is my story. As most of you know 5 yrs ago I was diagnosed with stage zero breast cancer. This normally would be good news because the cancer is still in the duct and since I had a double mastectomy, my "cure" rate was near 99%. However, 7 months later I found a lump and it was cancer again. I went through 6 months and 6 rounds of chemo and then 38 days of radiation. I also had my ovaries removed because my cancer is a hormone positive cancer and ovaries release estrogen. I have been taking medication since the second reoccurrence to block the remaining estrogen in my body that some of my organs continue to make. The road back to feeling somewhat like myself had been very challenging. The chemo and the surgery to remove 9 hymph nodes left my right arm with lymphadema which is permanent swelling because they lymph system can't work correctly. I see a physical therapist on a regular bases (2-4x/m) in Louisville who helps me keep my are from getting too stiff. My arm is at a high risk for infection. My tear ducts sealed shut as a result of chemo and the list goes on..... We were dealing with it all after almost draining our savings because the first two rounds ran over 4 insurance deductible periods. Then, about a month ago, despite being VERY aggressive with a stage 0 cancer, it came back and this time we discovered it is in my bones. It was in my hip bone and that explained the pain I have been having in my hip for about a year now. We thought it was my static nerve. Now I have stage 0 metastatic cancer in my bone. So, breast cancer in my bones. There is no cure for this at this time, so technically this is terminal. As you can imagine, this is not good. They say I have 2-10 years. They explained it to me like this. They will put up a road block for the cancer with treatments and drugs but the cancer is smart, so it will find a way around that treatment. Then they will try something else. However, eventually (as things stand right not) there won't be anything else they can do and the cancer will take me. The frightening thing to me is that each of those years I will be on treatments, taking medications, and having tests done the costs are unimaginable. When the cancer shows that it is back we will have to have more tests, change treatments, see several different doctors and deal with all the side effects on top of the ones I already have. There won't be a year that I am alive that we won't meet our deductible and then some. This scares me because Insurance rates go up each year, coverage goes down and deductibles and copays go up. My last two rounds cost us out of our pockets around $60,000. I only say this because many don't know that even with insurance and a decent income, medical bills can be devastating. I hate asking for help, but it horrifies me to think that trying to keep myself alive to raise Kayla, who is only 10, may bankrupt my family. Thinking of 10 years of medical costs like this scares me to death. In addition to this the drugs are very hard on people. They make you feel sick, tired like you have never been tired before and my brain gets so foggy I can't remember much of anything. These symptoms don't last for days, they last for the rest of my life and my husband and daughter have to take care of me through this. I am not telling this so people feel sorry for me, I just want to be honest. This is what is happening to us. I am not trying to be greedy or selfish. We have worked hard in our lives and try to take care of our own "stuff", but this is bigger than we ever expected. We tried to save for a rainy day, we just didn't expect to live in a hurricane. I am so grateful to my wonderful friends and family that have blown me away with their love and support! I am so blessed and loved, humbled and grateful! If you can help in any way, I thank you so much! Please remember that this is going to be a long road, so anything and everything is appreciated more than you will ever know. Also, after I am gone, Mark will need help. He is resistant to asking for help, so for those of you who know him, please insist. He is a wonderful man. Kayla, oh my sweet girl- please give her a hug when you see her, she has so much love to give and if I am not here, please kiss her and hug her and say "That is from your mamma."