As someone who has had regular routine breast cancer screenings, this was very devastating to me. (Yes, I've had people ask me how come I didn't know and didn't I have a mammogram.) In early October during a routine weekly self-exam, I had NO lumps. By mid-October 2017 I found what I thought was a 3.5” lump. After 5 rounds of antibiotics to treat what I was told was likely an infection because “Breast cancer doesn’t hurt,” (boy was that inaccurate) only a punch biopsy and clinical assessment from my oncologist were finally able to determine what I had. By then it was Stage 3.
This is an aggressive, invasive form of Breast Cancer that shows up within 3-6 months. All of my Mammograms and Ultrasounds to this day are normal and have no sign of breast cancer. There are no tumors, just liquid cancer cells.
I am currently in my 2nd month of an aggressive chemotherapy treatment protocol, and after my next bimonthly treatment, I have 12 more weeks of weekly chemo to go. Because of the nature of the cancer, I was told that if the worst happens and the chemo doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, I would need to go to clinical trials on the mainland. That is not covered by my insurance. In addition, my husband and I are self-employed small business owners. Not surprisingly, as many small business owners do, we have sometimes struggled to make our overhead even without facing a catastrophic illness like cancer. This puts us both in a precarious position, as I am not able to work anywhere near as much as I used to, and being in entertainment, many people don't want to hire someone they perceive to be sick; and he's often having to take off to accompany me to various medical appointments and procedures. If we don't work, we don't get paid. We don't have paid leave or medical leave.
As you can imagine, this has created a lot of stress in our lives. As many of our friends, business associates, and clients can attest to, we both have an insane work ethic and are not used to having to reach out and ask for support. I'm so not used to reaching out for support (especially financial support), that I hesitated to create a gofundme campaign for months...
Any amount donated would at the very least immediately help to alleviate some of the financial burden and stress on my husband, whom I worry about, because he also has high blood pressure, diabetes and is 5 years post double bypass surgery himself, and at most enable me to get the treatment I need if the worst case scenario happens. If you can help us by sharing this or even making a small donation, we would greatly appreciate it. ￼
- GARETH H AU
- Francine Crail
- Josephine Vegas
- Alysa Yamada
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