As I journeyed through the treatment process, I became a much stronger person and a better advocate for myself. While talking with a friend and fellow Breast Cancer survivor at a class reunion last August, she told me that every woman diagnosed with Breast Cancer has the right to receive a prophylactic mastectomy. I was shocked. I now feel that I was intentionally mislead by my surgeon. I believe that he purposefully ignored my stated desire and directed me to the surgery HE felt I should have. He never mentioned or suggested that I could have a double mastectomy, but made me believe that a lumpectomy was my only surgical option.
As a result of the lumpectomy, I also had radiation treatment in June 2016. I found radiation even more difficult than chemotherapy. I suffered severe fatigue which resulted in an emotional breakdown in August 2016, causing me to leave my job. In addition, I found the changes to the breast tissue as a result of radiation very disturbing. The affected breast is shrunken and sits higher on my chest than the non-affected breast. The tissue is so compressed and hard, it physically hurts when people hug me.
I cannot describe how angry and betrayed I feel that I could have avoided radiation altogether had my surgeon properly informed me that mastectomy was an option for me. I am also very disappointed in myself that I did not seek a second opinion or do more research.
In addition, my family has a strong history of Breast Cancer. My mother and her mother both died of Breast Cancer. My only sister was also treated for Breast Cancer in 2012. I want to have a double mastectomy because I fear a recurrance. At this point in my life, these breasts are just time bombs sitting on my chest. They may never go off, but, I want to remove the risk, nonetheless.
As a result, I have consulted with another surgeon (a woman this time), and am scheduled to have a double mastectomy on September 7, 2017. I have delayed this surgery for several months, hoping to save enough money to cover my household expenses during the anticipated 8 week recovery period. However, I have been unable to save enough. In fact, I have no short term or retirement savings. I live hand-to-mouth.
I have considered putting off the surgery again in order to save enough money to cover 2 months of living expenses. But, I am currently covered by Medicaid, and in the current political climate, I fear losing this insurance. I doubt I could afford health insurance on the "open market" based on my age (55) and pre-existing conditions, which include, chronic depression and hypothyroidism, in addition to cancer.
As a last ditch effort to obtain funds so I can go through with the scheduled surgery, I am asking for your assistance. I would be incredibly grateful for any contribution you can make.
Thank you for your support!
- Jenny Harbert
- Mark Getsy
- Nancy Wheelock
- David/Michele Newman
- Matt Watson
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more