I would like to introduce you to my daughter Jasmine. Two months before her 28th birthday Jasmine was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. Let me tell you a bit about her journey. One ordinary day in December a little voice said to my daughter, “Check your breast”. When she did she found two lumps. We took her to the doctor and the doctor found two additional lumps and scheduled her for an ultra sound. The results from the test came back as “fibroids” and “benign”. At first we were relieved, we heard the news we wanted to hear. However, the little voice inside of Jasmine told her that something wasn’t right. She pushed for more testing. This time they found multiple tumors that were diagnosed as Stage 2 cancer and one in the lymph node near her sternum that moved her diagnoses to Stage 3.
Her prognosis is good, however, the day to day stress of living with the realities of cancer, finding childcare for her three year old daughter, not being able to work, facing multiple co pay bills and worrying about her daily living expenses (rent, food, car payments, etc.) are taking their toll. Her treatment for the cancer consists of 5 months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiation, a year of maintenance injections every three weeks and 5 years (maybe 10) of maintenance and hormone therapy. To complicate matters, when Jasmine was 19 years old she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Her MS is currently being controlled, but at one point there was uncertainty about the interaction between her MS medicine and one of her Chemo drugs. Due to her white blood cell count being extremely low (100) she had to go to the hospital every-day for injections. Things are back on track now as long as she can keep her white blood cells up. If not then her routine will include injections 3 to 5 days a week to help maintain her white blood cell count. We are applying for assistance but already the co-pays have far exceeded our expectations and budget. Jasmine’s doctors are optimistic about her chance for a full recovery and so is her family.
I am reaching out to you, not only for help but to also increase awareness about breast cancer. Cancer is a terrible disease that does NOT discriminate. Please tell your mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends to be vigilant about performing monthly self-breast exams. The life they save may be their own. Just ask Jasmine.
- Dani Munger
- Debra Bell
- Nancy Pelton
- Candice Pines
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