Overcoming Cancer for the 3rd time

    My name is Nina Hampton and I'm overcoming Cancer for the 3rd time. My journey began in 1996; I was just getting started on my second career as a cosmetologist. I was insured but would soon leave the job security of medical coverage to start this dream career in cosmetology.  I was blessed with a Dr.  who stayed on me about getting a biopsy. He kept telling me "You needed to get a lump, that I'm not pleased with, biopsied".  Several months later another lump appeared in my breast. Dr. O once again said "get it removed"! This time the lab report came back that the lump was malignant; the diagnosis Stage 2 breast cancer.  I was shocked, scared and not sure what to do. I was in a fog. no insurance.  Now what?  Dr. O said, ‘’ call the American Cancer Society they have a program for uninsured’’ and I did just that.  I was able to get in the Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer program and was treated at the Washington Adventist Hospital. I had a lumpectomy, 4 rounds of aggressive chemo and 31 treatments of radiation.  I was Cancer free! Statistics show if you make it past your first 5 years your chance of survival is very promising. 18 years went by,  in 2016,  to my dismay... I was diagnosed with Stage 3 'Triple Negative Breast Cancer'.  Let me just state, of all the breast cancers a person can be diagnosed with, this is not the one anyone wants to be told they have.  I told myself "I can do this because I have been through this before", so here I go again.  16 rounds of aggressive chemo, double mastectomy and reconstruction. Once again, I am Cancer free! I was Cruising right along not thinking about getting cancer again, after all I had both breasts removed. In December 2017,  I had a routine follow-up visit to the doctor which consisted of blood work, scans …..etc., the markers looked good and the results came back showing I was still Cancer free.  Then  in January 2018, I noticed a red rash on my breast. I thought "OK let me put some hydrocortisone on it". knowing I was scheduled for a follow up with my surgeon the following week I wasn't very concerned. I thought "this couldn’t be urgent; it's just a rash".  Dr. B, said "most likely your implant is infected, I will put you on antibiotics and see you back in the office back in 7 days". Since there was no change to the condition of the rash when I went back for a follow-up with the doctor; a decision was made to scheduled surgery.  2 days later I was placed on the operating table. My  reconstructed breast implant was replaced, the pocket was cleaned out and a sample was sent to the lab. One week later, on my post op visit, Dr. B, said , "it’s not an infection... it’s aggressive inflammatory stage 3 breast cancer".  How is that? I don’t have any breast tissue.  This is the million dollar question. Everything was done by the book double mastectomy, chemo no breast tissue so I didn’t need radiation. lymph nodes were all negative. I was tested for 32 cancer gene markers and they all came back negative.  Now what?  This brings me to "Round 3" of my "Survival Fight with Cancer". After meeting with a slew of Dr’s it was determined that my treatment would consist of an aggressive regimen of 4 chemo drugs for 6 rounds; to be followed with 1 year of specifically targeted cancer treatment therapy.  Currently I am going to the hospital for infusions once every three weeks. After completing the 6 rounds, I will have surgery then 31 rounds of radiation. Going through all of this, I know I am facing many hurdles.  With the power of Prayer, my support team and the love and encouragement from friends and family I am getting through this fight with a focus on Winning . I feel like I am one of the fortunate ones.  Each time I have been faced with cancer, the side effects were manageable. This time however, it's taking a huge toll on my body; I'm not sailing through it like I have in the past.  The side effects are devastating, but I refuse to let it get me down.   My body lets me know when enough is enough, so I just rest and relax, that’s something that doesn’t come easy for me. I have been self-employed for the past 20 years and have always endeavored to work hard, even through my health issues. I am a woman of modest means who has always believed in helping family, paying my debts,  and serving my community. My fight in 2016 with cancer put me in grave financial debt. I had 6 surgeries and 6 months of chemo.  However, through my physical battle to win, I was able to work; I learned to cut back my load. I returned to work one week after my final surgery with drains, to make sure I could continue to pay the bills. Why am I telling you this? This time it’s different. My body is telling me "You can’t do what you did the last 2 times", mind you,  I said,  "My Body". "My Brain" tells me "You have to survive" – "No Work No Money".  My body is winning.  I have to slow down because the fatigue creeps up on me and there is no pill for that.  I see fewer clients, having to space them out, and rest in-between.  With the large cut back its difficult to meet my financial responsibilities.   I am now reaching out to my friends and family for financial and emotional support.  What I need from you? I need financial assistance. The bills from the treatments, surgeries, hospital visits, testing, etc. have and continue to accumulate: i.e. $6200 for self administered post Chemo treatment shots. I need 6 of these shots after each treatment. This is just one medication. The doctors tell me to remain stress free, it will help. I know I need to remain focused; stress free fighting this battle. However, not being able to overcome my bodies weakness while trying to earn the fund I need have begun taking a toll. My minds strong  determination is still with me and my clients have remained loyal and understanding. I am determined not to let cancer win. This does not have to be a death sentence for me.  I know tomorrow is not promised to any of us and we all have our burdens to bear. I'm currently battling two burdens; the biggest "Cancer",  the second is a by-product "Increasing Debt". My prayer each day is that I will be a living testimony.  I pray that I will get through this bump in the road of life and be an inspiration to someone who may be going through a difficult challenge.  I try to keep a smile on my face (no matter how rough it gets) and have a positive attitude.  I hear all the time that I am strong and that I’m handling it well. "You would never know you were going through cancer".  These comments makes me smile even more because I know that is God doing his work, answering our prayers!  I am determined to paint a positive picture even when it gets rough, I tell myself no matter what - be happy, be encouraged, and don’t give up the fight! Praise Report:  After one round of chemo the inflammation is gone, the redness is gone and the tumor that was visible is gone. The Dr. was so excited and said "I am responding well to the chemo, my lab work looks good all my numbers are normal". I was told  "I am a gold star patient, keep doing what I am doing". All I can do is smile, God is answering my prayers! I couldn’t do it without the help and love from my support team, friends and family.  I am truly blessed. The Dr.’s and nurses are impressed with the number of my team support members who show up for each treatment. Your love and support make going through this much easier. I know this is just the first phase, next is surgery, then radiation, but I know I got this. With all the prayer warriors praying on my behalf, I will have another testimony of how once again I overcame CANCER! This is another battle to be fought. My goal is stay strong and positive; to focus on being triumphant and win the war. Once again what I need from you? I need financial assistance. The bills from the treatments, surgeries, hospital visits, testing, etc. have and continue to accumulate. I also need your continued prayers and support.  Thank you. To my family, old friends, new friends, and the mighty team of prayer warriors....I love you all. Please share my story with your family, loved ones and friends. Thank you for your financial support; your love and prayers. I love you all, Nina.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Sonja Carroll 
Organizer
Pasadena, CA
Anita Hampton 
Beneficiary
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