Melissa Rand’s Battle Against Breast Cancer
First I want to thank everyone for visiting my page and for your interest in my story. My name is Melissa Rand. I currently live in Bakersfield CA. How I ended up here is a long story and not really pertinent to the "issue at hand". I can tell you that the journey here was filled with heartbreak and stress. Nonetheless I landed on my feet as best as I could and have been maintaining a pretty good life for myself and Helena, my little girl who is now six. That being said, I will just jump right in to the "issue at hand".
I am 43 years old and live with my little 6 year old daughter, Helena. I have recently been diagnosed with METASTATIC BREAST CANCER.
For those who do not know I will explain what metastatic means and what it means in my specific case. However first of all while I do not specifically blame the doctor for the delay in finding the cancer, I will say that I do go for my "annual exam" every year. My new doctor never did a breast exam. She did the "regular exam" (all the women out there know what I mean by that) and told me everything was fine. Then one day about 4-5 months ago I felt an abnormality in my right breast. (LADIES PLEASE DO MONTHLY SELF BREAST EXAMS, this move probably saved my life. I wish I had done the exams every month but at least I caught it myself !)
To be perfectly honest I had pretty good size implants placed many years ago and at first I thought that one of them had ruptured. I saw my doctor as well as a plastic surgeon. However I eventually went for the obligatory mammogram.
To my horror it was not simply a problem with the implant, it was a "mass". To anyone who has had a mass found on a mammogram you all know that at that point they cannot tell you if you do or do not have cancer, the dreaded "C word".
But at that point there was a very "high level of suspicion" that I had cancer. This meant a biopsy was in order. They were going to have to take a core biopsy and send it into a special doctor called a pathologist who tests the tissue and looks at it under the microscope.
Let me deviate for just a minute here, I DREAD NEEDLES! I HATE THEM! Just getting blood drawn is a big deal for me.
Nonetheless I have had some very serious health issues in the past and had gotten "used to being poked". Well as much as you can if you have bonafied needle phobia like me. Ironically I worked in the medical field for a while and was pretty darn good at drawing blood.
Anyway the biopsy came back malignant. I literally had to drive to the doctors office and insist that I get the results without waiting a whole month which is what they had scheduled. You really have to learn to be your own advocate in the medical system. The nurse almost grudgingly handed me a piece of paper with the biopsy results. You know how in movies sometimes things go into slow motion and the vision gets focused. There was a whole bunch of medical jargon but the word malignant popped out at me. At the risk of sounding "clicheish", it hit me, like a ton of bricks, OMFG I have cancer.
The doctors was not even available to discuss it. I left the office in tears. What does it mean, what next, how can this be, I'm too young, I AM A MOMMY ??? !!!!! I have a SIX YEAR OLD little girl to take care.
I am not going to give you all a whole detailed "blow by blow" of the ordeal of going through all of the tests and then being "graded and staged" as the doctors like to say. But suffice to say it is a real ordeal. One doctor after another. One test after another. Finally to make a long story short I was told that I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of the right breast with local metastasis. Not too long ago this was called STAGE III because the cancer has spread. But now the cancer doctors have reclassified the staging system. I have STAGE IIA, which basically means that the cancer has spread, but the spread is what they call local, just the lymph nodes right next to the breast have the cancer in them. This is at least a bit of good news. There cancer had spread but not to "distant organs". That would be STAGE IV and that is much harder to treat.
Before finishing my story, I want to say I am a very hard working person. I am also very entrepreneurial. I have started various businesses since becoming a mom so as to be able to be with my little girl during her early years.
I also have a background in health and fitness. I have been a body builder and fitness model and as well I used to help run a small supplelemts and nutraceuticals shop. I have therefore done a tremendous amount of research on the natural products to help augment my "conventional therapy" which will include CHEMOTHERAPY, RADIATION THERAPY, and MULTIPLE SURGERIES. I have started on a regimen of supplements and while there is solid scientific research on these supplements the insurance will simply not help pay for them. The ones I require are quite costly. They will not only increase my chances of suvival but will decrease my chance of reoccurance in the future, the dreaded nightmare of any cancer patient.
Additionally it has become very hard to work in the conventional sense. The CHEMO causes profound fatigue and it is all I can do to keep up the tasks of motherhood and try to work a little.
It is for these reasons that I ask for a little help. Help to cover the costs of the supplements and also to be perfectly honest to keep up with the bill collectors, house hold expenses. I want my child to be able to go here and there. Have a childhood that she will always remember fondly and help built a foundation of normalcy for her. Normalcy means at least being able to have a little fun now and then. A trip to the beach or the amusement park.
I have also many helped people in anyway I can. I have along history of that.
I am a proud person, hard working too, but have found myself in a dire position.
Your help in my case will be totally appriciated. The help surely will be "paid forward" when I get back on my feet.
I hope you can find it in your heart to donate to my cause.
Additionally I have decided to chronical my cancer treatment on various platforms such as TIKTOK , & INSTAGRAM.
Please see the links above. I must say that somehow it is a bit theraputic for me to share it and maybe my story of my fight against this dreaded disease will inspire other patients to "fight hard too". Because I am, I am fighting hard, for my life and so much more!
Thanks for your time and intrest in my story.
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