Cancer WILL NOT Kill Karen

Cancer WILL NOT Kill Karen

Cancer is a good teacher. One of the hardest lessons for me has been to not only accept help, but to ask for it. What I need most right now is your financial help and continued prayers. I'm single and cover all expenses by myself. I drive a 12 year old car (which leaks in the rain) because a car payment is not an option. BC (before cancer) my paycheck was enough. However, AD (after diagnosis) my monthly expenses are more than my income, and my savings safety net is gone.

My medical team includes my general practitioner, oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeons, acupuncturist, nutritionist, massage therapist, physical therapist, social worker, chiropractor, gynecologist, dermatologist, and more. I've had MRIs, PET scans, ultrasounds, biopsies, genetic testing, BRCA testing, oncotyping, and more blood test than I can count:and all of that is just the conventional/traditional modalities. I strongly believe in complementing western medicine with a holistic, natural approach to disease prevention. I take at least 26 medications and/or supplements each day, most of which aren't covered by my insurance. Organic meats and non-GMO food are not cheap. Far infrared sauna and hyperbaric oxygen treatments are also not covered by my insurance.

This journey began in July 2010 when I was shocked to find I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (breast cancer). Two weeks later I had a double mastectomy. Horrible complications during and after that surgery followed. Without the help and prayers of many friends and family, I am certain I would have died. My sister was my rock as she kept calm (at least in front of me) and organized it all. I said back then that cancer was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned things about myself and my strength and met wonderful people I otherwise would not have known.

Two years to the month after the initial diagnosis, there was a recurrence. I found a lump in my chest even before the oncologist's blood tests could detect it. How can you get breast cancer when you had your breasts removed? That's part of the evilness of this disease. Take away its favorite place to grow, and it will grow elsewhere. It was growing in my chest muscle. Women who die of breast cancer don't die because they have tumors in their breasts. They die either from the treatment and what it does to their immune system, or because the cancer spreads to a vital organ.

Before I could have the new breast cancer tumor removed, I was diagnosed with melanoma. (I know, I'm just lucky like that!) Between biopsies and surgeries on both cancers, I had stitches in one part of my body or another the months of Oct. and Nov. On January 3, 2013 (the day after my 48th birthday) I started 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments. I have been struggling ever since with side effects: fatigue, stress, weakened immune system, fevers, depression, infections and more. I have not had a single week in over a year that I haven't been to either a doctor's appt or treatment of some kind. Next week I will have a pelvic ultrasound. Each test brings the fear of a new cancer diagnosis.

People tell me I "look good" and ask how I'm doing. I do look good compared to the walking skeleton I was nearly 3 years ago. I have not been able to find the words to explain how grueling it is to live each day in the shadow of this disease. Stress is a killer and cancer is one of its tools. My immune system is weakened and so I live each day with the goal to do what is necessary that day to strengthen my immune system so it can prevent another cancer diagnosis. It takes determination, energy and money. I am still determined to beat cancer for good but I'm running very low on energy, and I'm out of money. I need help. Relieving my financial burden would allow me to release that stress and focus that energy on health.

My goal is to raise at least $10,000. My cancer-related debt is much more than that, but I'm not worried about the money I have already paid. I am asking for help to continue to pay the bills going forward so I can beat cancer for good. Your donations and your prayers are very much appreciated. Thank you in advance! With love, Karen Martinez

  • anonymous 
    • $130 
    • 82 mos
  • Judy Cooper 
    • $50 
    • 91 mos
  • Beth Cooper 
    • $100 
    • 91 mos
  • ESHS Class of 1983 
    • $70 
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  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 93 mos
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Karen L Martinez 
Annapolis, MD
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