Thanks for taking the time to peek in! So with that being said, here's a little insight and background on my story.
September 21, 2012, 4:22 P.M. That's the date and time that one phone call changed my life. A phone call that would usually cause an erratic response from most but instead received "So what's the plan?" from me instead. It wasn't until I went upstairs to share the news with my Mom that I began to cry. Not for myself, but for her. As my Mom's ONLY child, it was overwhelming having to break such heartbreaking news. I couldn't imagine the hurt that she'd feel. The week after consisted of many needle pokes and Rolexes (AKA: hospital bracelets! LOL) during which I was initially diagnosed with Stage 3A (tumor is larger than 5cm and cells have spread to lymph nodes near the breast bone) invasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer). But upon further testing and findings, upgraded to Stage 4 (has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body, such as the lungs, distant lymph nodes, skin, bones, liver, or brain). In my case, the tumor was 7.5cm vertically & horizontally (4cm in depth & fixed) and the cancer had metastasized to my spine and caused multiple fixed lymph nodes 5cm in size. I eventually realized that I had breast cancer for almost 2 years and didn't even know! (I started noticing changes & complications in my breast shortly after my 23rd birthday.)
After much prayer, tears and consultation my treatment plan consists of 8 rounds of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, radiation therapy and reconstruction thereafter. Before I began treatment, I made the decision to have my eggs retrieved as one day when I am married I hope to have children. So my treatment begins. After the first session, my hair sheds and I ask my Mommy to shave my head and now I really look like my Dad's twin! No one can truly prepare you for having breast cancer, much less chemo. I had nothing to compare it to, it is simply indescribable but I know I must bear this so that I may be healed. I keep praying and asking God to give me strength and to keep a positive attitude. Some days are better than others but I know this is only a test and I will have a fantastic testimony. I am currently undergoing weekly chemo treatments with 6 weeks left! The tumor is now 3cm vertically, horizontally & in depth (not fixed) and the lymph nodes are 2cm (not fixed). I also recently received favorable news from my most recent pet scan results which shows that my body is responding very well to treatment (Praise God!). Talk about a transformational moment for me. I truly serve an awesome and amazing living GOD! I believe that God has given me total healing and restoration (By his Stripes I am Healed).
Outside of the cancer battle itself, I am also struggling financially. I was hired by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center less than 2 weeks prior to being diagnosed (how ironic!) and while they are doing their best to work with me during this trying time, my leave options are very limited. Unfortunately, I am ineligible for FMLA due to my short amount of employment time. I was unable to "actively" perform my duties about a month in. I've exhausted my RPL pay which places me as an inactive employee on leave without pay, leaving me to pay out of pocket to maintain my medical and additional benefits. My Mom & Dad have been troopers and (She's on FMLA intermittently from her job as a Para for special needs children at an elementary school in Louisiana to be with me as I live with my Dad in Texas & Dad is a HPD officer working multiple extra jobs to make ends meet, I'm the eldest of his 2 daughters) are doing the very best that they can to finance my expenses (along with their own). But honestly with co pays, prescriptions, parking, groceries, gasoline, car payments, insurance, basic hygiene necessities and other incidentals, it's very difficult to keep above water and stay on top of things. I have applied for grants and assistance from various foundations but am on a waiting list. I need help - your help. Any and all donations/assistance of any kind will be greatly appreciated. I'll be forever grateful for the continued support, prayers and encouragement from my family, friends and supporters!
In His Grip!
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