Seven years ago, Stephanie went through a double mastectomy. Six weeks afterwards, Patt Bush, her mother, had a biopsy and ultimately went through the same procedure. This was at the same time that Patt’s husband, and Stephanie’s Dad, Howard, was being treated for Lung Cancer. Their plight was so extreme that a Connecticut news station came to visit them at their home and their story appeared on the evening news. Sadly, Howard passed away shortly after the news story aired.
Thankfully, Stephanie is cancer free. At this Holiday Season, the news for Patt is not as lucky.
In January of 2017, she began to have trouble swallowing. This made eating almost impossible. Patt began to lose weight, and suffered from malnutrition. Screening tests uncovered the sad fact that the breast cancer returned, and spread into her lungs and bones. Her doctors developed a treatment plan of radiation and chemotherapy. Before it could begin, Patt had to have a feeding tube inserted in her stomach, so that she could receive enough nourishment to be able to withstand the treatment. She is now receiving radiation, and will have 30+ treatments by year-end; then chemo will start. After chemo, Patt will receive a treatment regimen to prolong her life beyond what is typical for patients with metastasized Breast Cancer.
Patt was a Nurse for over twenty years at Middlesex Hospital, followed by a position as a Pediatric Nurse at a physician’s office. She, Howard and Steph lived in a beautiful home Howard built in East Hampton. Howard was a mainframe computer engineer at Aetna, and also worked for a dish antenna company after leaving Aetna. After he passed away, Patt was a Nanny for several families until she recently became too ill to care for the children.
This family has suffered so many misfortunes over the years. Yet they keep on. Patt adores her two grandchildren, Amanda and Brandon, and mourned the loss of the passing of their father, Reid Johnson (Stephanie’s ex-husband) several years ago. She and Steph are both single mothers, who struggle to make ends meet. Yet they are the strongest women you will ever know.
Patt is known affectionately as “Ma Bush” in East Hampton. There has never been a moment of need when the “Elves” – Bush family friends - were not there in a minute to help keep up the house while Patt lived there by herself. Pat’s friend John lives with her now, and has been a great help with getting her to medical appointments and offering emotional support since this second diagnosis.
Cancer treatment is brutally expensive. Through Social Services at Middlesex Hospital, Pat has arranged for the current treatment. However, there aren’t any funds for cost of living, including her house, food, transportation, and all the rest. This is not going to change, as Pat’s disease will need ongoing management. It is not likely that she will ever work again. Help from her friends and Community is URGENTLY needed as funds are depleted.
The Cancer will not be leaving. Patt still has years of life in front of her, and we are grateful and thankful for the available treatment. At the same time, she needs our support to have a roof over her head, food on the table, gas in her car, as well as help with the myriad of medical expenses not covered by Social Services. Thank you with all our hearts for your donation of any amount and your sharing of this Campaign, when Patt needs our help the most.
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