I want to live!

Hello everyone!  My name is Stephanie and I would like to share my breast cancer story with you.  In February of 2014, I had my 2nd mammogram performed on an existing lump in my left breast,  the first time being in March of 2012 and was told there was nothing to worry about so I didn't until late 2013 when I started experiencing much more lack of energy at work, my job was extremely physically at demanding being an order filler at a Wal-Mart distribution center for 8 years. I was 32 when I started there and by age 40, that in itself had taken its toll on me. I literally lifted 50-100,000 pounds of cases of groceries daily! Whew! And I did it well. :-)
Ok, back to my story,  I didn't worry about the lump until that and the fact that it clearly was getting bigger and made my nipple inverted along with some still unknown pain in my chest and back.

I had quit my job in January of 2014, in hopes of withdrawing my 401k and pursuing an education finally. Along with that I lost my health insurance but I don't regret that decision because I think my timing was just right.
I got the news that I do indeed have stage 3 breast cancer around St. Patrick's Day in 2014. I thought no big deal, I'm strong, I got this!  I was setup with a surgeon and an oncologist to map a plan of action out. My surgeon didn't want to waste any time and I had a double mastectomy  and had 23 lymph nodes removed from my left arm, 18 being positive for cancer.  My surgery lasted for 8-10 hours and I handled it like a champ! Almost immediately after being released I has some help applying for disability and was almost immediately approved for which I am forever grateful.   But I only received Medicaid for 2 months.  Once they increased my benefits I lost that and was placed on a 24 month waiting list for Medicare which I'll be eligible for in July of 2016. 
Since having initially being diagnosed my condition was upgraded to stage 4 in July 2015. After completing a total of 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 3 different types and 33 rounds of radiation therapy to my left chest wall ending 12/23/14, it had spread into my bones, my left hip had been hurting since February and I put it off thinking /hoping I had just hurt it. That wasn't the case so back to more treatments! 20 more radiations to my hip and 12 rounds of Taxotere chemo. And then 20 more rounds of radiation on my right ribs. During the Taxotere, this demon managed to spread to my lungs and liver in October 2015. So we started back on a chemo called Gemzar. That one has been the worst yet, dropped my platelets to 12,000 when a normal range is 200,000 or better.
AND in January 2016 we discovered 3 spots in my brain! I just completed 20 rounds of radiation on the 12th of February and will finish the last 3 doses of Gemzar starting March 7th. I don't know when I will have some current scans and or blood work but I'm praying it's working. I don't receive enough money per month to cover my prescriptions and  necessities. I want to live! Life is great, I want to be around, I need help, I want better treatments,  I need a miracle,  I want to walk unassisted again, play with my dogs properly, play with my friends properly!  I receive very little help from my family,  my mom has been my primary care giver for almost a year now. She, herself had some personal matters last year that caused her to lose her job and apartment so I took her in *temporarily* until I became dependant on her. And she has been great, an absolute blessing, stronger than I ever expected but 2 people living off $1208 a month in my condition with $168 a month food assistance is a strain to say the least! My father cut me off in October with the exception of a few clothes and a pair of shoes. He's told my mother and brother that I am going to die soon anyway so I guess that's his justification.  That anger within me for him makes me want to fight even harder. Help me, people. I want to live! I graciously thank you for your time and support. Please help me.
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Stephanie Brown 
Dothan, AL
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