About 2 months ago my life changed, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hogdkins Lymphoma. It still seems impossible to me my body is so riddled with cancer at such a young age. You never think something so unfavorable could happen to you or your loved ones until it becomes a reality.
I hadnt been feeling well for months prior, but I just assumed it was from over exerting myslef at work like anybody else my age. My visits to the doctor for flu-like symtoms became more often and inconclusive as the months progressed. Towards the end of October when my doctor had done every test possible on my body and blood, I was reffered to a surgeon. I had noticeable "bumps" on both sides of my neck that had been disregarded as swollen lymphnodes that were of no concern.
I was turned away from 4 different surgeons for a biopsy of the "bumps" due to the high risk of the surgery. The potential nerve damage and close proximity to the jugular vein made finding a willing skilled surgeon very difficult. Especially with no insurance or health coverage of any kind. I finally found an amazing surgeon that specializes in Lymphoma. I called the office and explained my situation, they arranged an appointment for me the next day for a hefty cash price.
When the surgeon came into meet me this was when i realized the severity of my illness. Her first words to me were after staring at me for about 15 secs were; "Oh my goodness why did you wait so long? I started crying immediately in shock, her words confirmed my fear of having cancer without any tests. She calmly looked at me and said "dont worry I can fix you, I wont let you die." Within 10 minutes she had me in a different room with a nurse and they did two needle aspirations of two different "bumps" on my neck. She explained to me that she believed I had cancer and the small procedure would confirm if so within a few days.
My surgeon contacted me about 5 days later explaining the procedure had revealed lymphosites and cancerous fluid which are common with Lymphoma. She scheduled me for an open biopsy surgery on my neck a two days after Thanksgiving. I was terrified but also grateful for such a confident and persistent doctor who was willing to help me.
The procedure went exceptionally well, the lymphnode she removed was deemed 90% cancerous by pathologists immediately after the removal. When I woke up in the recovery room she soon explained all of this to my family and I. She also told me I will need chemotherapy and possibly radiation to treat my illness and that I would now be a patient of Florida Cancer Specialists.
My first appointment at FCS was a humbling experience to say the least. Being 28 years old at the time and sitting in a cancer center surrounded by terminally sick elderly people that dont have nearly any life left in them made me realize how fragile life is in an instant.
When I finally met my Oncologist he was very straight to the point. He explained his treatment plan for me was many more expensive procedures such as PET scans, CT scans, imaging, blood tests, pulmonary tests, echo cardiograms, and port placement for chemotherapy. He also told my family and I that its is crucial to start treatment ASAP. We discussed that I had no health insurance and had been denied by medicaid at this time but would need close to $90k worth of treatment total. Chemotherapy alone for 6 months is the price of a small house. I became panicked when I learned this information considering my treatment is crucial and urgent, but I have no way of financially funding it. Honestly im not sure how anybody can afford this realistically.
I started applying for grants for my necessary procedures I had to complete prior to chemotherapy. I successfully was able to have my PET scan and echo cardiagram covered with grants, but my family and I had to pay cash and setup payment plans for basically everything else. Which currently totals $21,735.74 in medical bills, surgeries, prescriptions, office visits, procedures, and one chemotherapy infusion. Also I am not able to work which has put all my regular bills and expenses in debt as well.
I will be undergoing 6 months of chemotherapy, im very concerned financially as to how im going to keep everything in order. My family has exhausted their funds for my treatment already and im in debt. I have 11 more chemo treatments to attend plus 6 months atleast of oncology and procedures.
If a donation is possible myself and my family would be greatly appreciative for your support in my time of need. If a donation is not possible a simple prayer is just as important. Thank you all for taking time out of your busy lives to take an interest a making a difference in somebody elses.
God Bless you and yours,
Jacqueline C. Pelton & Family
- Jillian Delk
- Rob Magnotti
- Linda Smith
- Ginger Dussault
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