Carol is a 39 year old loving mother of a 15 year old son and has been married to the same partner by her side 21 years. She has two cute dogs, some chickens, and a few ducks. :)
Carol was diagnosed March 2018 with Tubular Carcinoma, which is a subtype of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer. The average total cost of care over a typical follow-up period is reported to be about $128,500.
Carol and her family are self-insured, meaning they pay out of pocket for any medical expenses. After having sinus surgery just this past November 2017, it was learned that self-pay could negotiate fees down substantially. As a result, Carol has successfully negotiated many of the current fees down from typical, so we hope to come in at a price tag much less than typical and will adjust the campaign request up or down accordingly.
Carol first noticed a lump in her right breast when performing a routine self examination in February 2018. When the lump was still there after a week, she visited her family doctor who ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. Due to those results, a biopsy was ordered. The biopsy results were reviewed by Woodlands lab in Pensacola and a second opinion was provided by Shannon E. Boye lab in Gainesville.
We have learned that Carol is at stage 1, which is very good. Her self exam caught the cancer early. Her doctor indicated that most often it is caught at stage 2 with a mammogram. At this time it seems the cancer has not spread, therefore Carol is not expected to need chemotherapy. The current plan of treatment is surgery by lumpectomy, followed by 5-6 weeks of radiation, which will occur 5 consecutive days a week. Upon the completion of radiation therapy, she will have take medication for a few years in the form of pills.
So far Woodlands Medical Specialists in Pensacola have headlined the treatment, but considering Carol is self-insured, the cost just to diagnose has mounted with the doctor's fee, mammogram fee, sonogram fee, biopsy, labs, and we still aren't at the actual treatment phase yet. The course of treatment has been swift and we anticipate surgery in the next week.
Carol has applied for Social Security disability (no determination yet). She also attempted to obtain insurance under the current health laws which allow pre-existing conditions, however open enrollment isn't until November and she was unable to obtain a special enrollment exemption. She applied for Medicaid, but they require a person to be at poverty level, so the family income disqualified her. There are many other programs and grants we are exploring, though most are intended for poverty level families. Though the family isn't at what government considers poverty, they are not in a financial position to handle the exorbant costs of medical in a situation like this. We will update this account each and every step of the way when we have more information. We will also stop the account if we have reached a level of donation that goes beyond any amount needed or if assistance is determined through another avenue.
We truly hope the cost is no where near what the data suggests and will donate any left over funds to a breast cancer research facility once Carol has won her battle.
Thank you to all who spread her word and/or donate. Even if you choose not to donate money due to your own personal situation, spreading her message of self-examination could potentially save another woman's life.
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