Hi Everyone! First of all, thank you so much for reading my story. Even if you can't donate money, your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me. I will admit that this feels weird to me to ask for financial help in this crazy time in my life, but we are at a point where we are really struggling to make ends meet and this seems to be a wonderful way to share my story and gain some support.
My name is Amy Ashby and I am 40 years old. My husband is a police officer and I am a nurse and we are raising three amazing teenagers. On July 5, I woke up and noticed a rather large lump inside of my right breast. Now I can tell you that this lump was not there the day before. We had been painting the kids bedrooms that weekend and I must have hurt it somehow and it caused a bruise. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I went to work the next day and the doctor I work for thought I should have a mammogram and ultrasound. Needless to say, after numerous tests and studies, I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer by that Friday.
Triple positive breast cancer is a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer and the treatment is quite different than other breast cancers. As well, the chance of recurrence with this type is extremely high. My tumor is growing very fast and in fact had grown in just one week between the mammogram and the MRI. I have been so blessed to have an amazing team of doctors, nurses and support so far in my journey. I will start my first round of 18 weeks of chemotherapy tomorrow. The chemotherapy is very aggresive as well to treat this rare cancer.
Honestly, if I was just facing breast cancer, I would probably not have done this but this isn't the only medical "journey" my family has experienced. My husband was diagnosed with a rare blood clotting disorder 4 years ago. Since then he has been in and out of the hospital and doctors office on a regular basis. Last July, he had a seizure while he was sleeping and his heart stopped. I performed CPR until the paramedics arrived at our home. Our 3 teenagers were with me and experienced seeing their dad not breathing and me performing CPR. This was super traumatic for our family and quite frankly, we are still recovering. Thankfully, he is doing ok now but this last year has been an incredible time of doctor visits, tests and healing. The medical bills for my husband have reached an impossible amount and we struggle to try to pay some on these each month. Now that I have breast cancer and will be missing so much work, our financial future seem very scary.
The cost of this treatment is mind blowing and even the medication needed to help with nausea is $200 every three weeks. That is after insurance. I do have medical insurance which I'm thankful for but my out of pocket expense is still 20%. Each chemo treatment is $9000. Yikes!!! I have chemo for 5 months, surgery and then another 6 months of a special targeted medication. That totals 1 year of missing days of work, recovering and paying 20% of all the treatments.
I am still thankful to God for all of the blessings he has provided me. I love my husband and kids. God has given me a strong, positive personality and I know He is in control of my life. I trust Him to provide for us during this time. Thank you again for reading my story and sharing in my journey. I will begin posting pictures from all of my treatments and anything of interest along the way.