Hi! My name is Kelly Exum. I am a 39 year old single mother of 5 (6-23 years old), and I have been diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. Before being diagnosed, I was a full-time mom, with a full-time job as a store manager for 11 years; I’ve been with the company for a total of 13 years. I found a lump in my right breast in January. It looked like a small knot, but it was painful to the touch. I knew then it was cancer. I finally went to get it checked in February. My gynecologist didn't think it was anything to worry about, but sent me for a sonogram anyway. I went for the sonogram on February 18th. At that time the radiologist told me I needed to have a biopsy and he could tell me that it wasn't a cyst. I was then sent to a breast surgeon, had the biopsy on February 24th, and received the phone call that would change my life on February 27th, 2014. “I’m so sorry, but your results came back; you have breast cancer.” After all the testing I finally had a lumpectomy with the removal of a few lymph nodes on April 9th. I began chemotherapy on May 14th. I have to have eight rounds of chemo and then about five or six weeks of radiation. Prayerfully, I will be finished with everything by November. I am half way through chemo and it is *hard*; I have my good days and bad days. But I thank God for being the source of my strength and giving me a wonderful support system which includes my family, church and friends.
Several weeks ago, I tried to return to work, after being out for 2 ½ months and not being able to pay bills, but it had become too much; my doctor had to pull me back out of work again. After a few days of being out and feeling a little better, my doctor agreed to let me go back to work a second time around, but this time not at my full capacity OR full hours. Now I am currently not working because of those restrictions. My job has yet to allow me to return because they are still trying to figure out if they can accommodate my restrictions or if I will have to stay on a leave of absence until I’m able to return at full duty. Between missing work for a few months already and now again, I am terribly far behind on all my bills, not including the doctors bills I have gained during this horrible disease. The insurance I have through my employer does not cover everything, including the surgeries I had to have.
I’m asking for HELP!! I know times are hard for many of us, but if you or anyone you know has ever experienced a serious illness, you know how hard it can become financially. I’m just trying to cover the bills I already owe and prepare for whatever comes my way as I continue this journey so that my children and I can focus on faith, healing, and each other. God bless all that can and are willing to give and also those that may want to, but don’t have the means to give. I ask that you would help me in sharing my story with your social networks. God bless you all!
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