Diana's Cancer Crusade

This fall I had pain in my right breast and I had found a lump. I went to my doctor right away. After a mamogram, ultrasound and biopsy, I was diagnosed with cancer.

The irony is I received my diagnoses on my son's 18th birthday. My son was born with kidney failure and throughout his life has been on both types of dialysis and has had two different transplants. My diagnosis was aggressive invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2 with triple negative receptors.

What does that mean? The cancer is in the breast ducts and invades surrounding tissue which is where the pain comes from. It's aggressive which means it grows fast. The triple negative receptors means most treatments don't work, so the treatment options are more aggressive and stronger than normal.

Within 3 weeks of being told I have cancer my treatment began. During this time the tumor continued to grow. My oncologist said I will not be able to work for at least six months because this type of treamtent plan is very intensive. It was a hard start. I formed a blood clot in my neck on my port side, which was very painful. I was placed on blood thinners to help with this. Then normal monthly menses happened and I started to hemorage. Normal menses while on blood thinners caused excess blood loss, resulting in the need for a blood transfussion. Due to the different types of chemo I will be doing, we had to wait until my second type of chemo was started to be able to schedule a procedure to help with this. I am now scheduled for a uteral ablation at the end of January and am also in my second type of chemo. I continue to have problems with my port and it might need to be replaced as well. For now my treatment plan is weekly chemo for the next 12 weeks, surgery, radiation during recovery from surgery with more chemo. At this time we are still not sure whether the surgery will be a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

I am 48 years old and have worked at our local hospital for 15 years. I don't have disability or cancer insurance because I had been covered under my ex husbands until our divorce a little over a year ago. This summer my rent was being increased as well and instead of paying more rent, I got a loan and bought the property next door to my mother's home so that I can help her in the future. The plan was to only live in a camper trailer for a year during which time I would be clearing my property to have a home placed on it. Normally my paycheck paid all of my bills. Up to this point I was able to use my leave and sick time as well as donated time from coworkers. I was also supplimenting my income with selling smoked cheese and nuts as a way to earn money in a way that allowed me to feel like I was not soley relying on the kindness of other. 

I am now behind with some bills because of medical payments. Next month not only will I face  a lack of income, but my FMLA will be running out as well and to continue to have insurance I will have to pay for it with whatever means I can come by. I am needing help with both monthly expenses and medical bills for the duration of my treatment. 

Thank you to anyone who has the ability to help. Every little bit is appreciated and does more than you know at this time.
  • Melissa Stellfox 
    • $75 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 40 mos
  • Robert Selby 
    • $30 
    • 40 mos
  • Jo Wayment 
    • $25 
    • 41 mos
  • Melissa Stellfox  
    • $75 
    • 41 mos
See all


Diana Sushak 
Shelton, WA
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