My name is Brenna Derby. I am a current student at WKU, set to graduate in December. This past February, my then 49-year-old mother (just turned 50 in May) was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother is a strong, beautiful woman who has worked hard and raised two daughters.
All that we knew at the time was that a tumor was in her left breast, and needed to be removed. After her insurance company decided to deny tests and took weeks to take care of anything, she had a single mastectomy at the beginning of May. When the surgery was over, the surgeon talked with us about finding hardness in her lymph nodes.
A week or so later, the surgeon calls her to tell her that each lymph node he removed tested positive for cancer, so things became a little more serious. We chose our oncologist and set up an appointment with her in Tennessee.
Our first appointment with the oncologist went well and she seemed confident in her plans. At that time, the oncologist diagnosed my mother's cancer as Stage 3. She scheduled more tests to be done because she didn't seem too confident and wanted more detail than what previous tests had been shown. We believed she would begin chemo and once the chemo was over, she would then begin radiation.
This past week, my mother had a PET scan scheduled. Come Tuesday (5/30) morning, she received a call from her insurance company in which they denied the request for the scan. She then had two different tests scheduled in its place. Wednesday morning came, and she received another call, in which the computers were not working and she could not have one of the scans. We continued with the second scan, and returned home.
Today, June 1st, we had a follow up with her oncologist, and received the news no one would ever want to hear. The results of the testing has shown spots in her lung and liver, and the disease has spread to her bones. This resulted in the change of her diagnosis to Stage 4.
With this new diagnosis, comes a change in her treatment. Things were shifted slightly, in which there is no way to cure the cancer anymore, but the goal is to control it and make it manageable for her to continue living her life.
My mother is an inspiration, and someone who I have looked up to my entire life. To see someone who is deserving of all the love and positivity in the world go through such an event has broken all of our hearts. Cancer is mean, it is ugly, and it isn't fair.
Included in all these worries is the financial aspect. Due to her treatments, she will be unable to work anymore. Money will become tight, and I only wish to see my mother not worry about medical bills and any other expenses that come along the way. I want her to live the rest of her life with as little worry as possible.
I ask that you donate what you can, when you can. Even if you cannot donate financially, positive thoughts, prayers, and love will help her to fight this battle. Please share and pass along this page so that my mother's story and battle can reach as many people as possible.
Thank you all for listening and sharing my mother's story. She is a warrior and I will continue to fight for her every day.