My sister, Wendy, has always been known as the sweetest, most giving, and compassionate person to everyone she meets. She has an AMAZING attitude, HUGE heart, and great a love for life. (Even through all she's been through in her 33½ years of life.)
In October of 2012, she felt her first lump in her right breast. Being concerned, she scheduled her first doctor visit. The first doctor told her not to worry too much about it, and that it was "probably just a common cyst" and that at the age of 31 she was "too healthy, and too young for it to be Cancer." This was an opinion my sister wasn't comfortable with and knew she couldn't count on.
She tried several attempts to get a mammogram, but everyone involved denied placing her on their schedule, because of her "good health" and "young age," (despite our vast family history of Breast and Ovarian Cancers).
She decided to let things go "temporarily" due to a tough schedule, lack of time, and lack of insurance (at that time), but in the coming months, she discovered a NEW lump in the 'opposite' breast that felt ten times the size as the first lump! Out of shear fear that the first lump maybe spread quickly to the opposite breast, she scheduled an emergency appointment with a NEW doctor.
She told the new doctor about all the previous appointments and information and advice given to her to "not worry about it." This new doctor decided to follow what we later found out to be the correct procedure; she ordered the Mammogram. In the Mammogram, it showed a solid, bright white mass, right where the lump could be felt. After noticing a worrisome, concerned look on the doctor's face, she knew she had something to start really worrying about. :-/
Wendy's worst nightmare, the one she had been praying so hard about, might be coming true before her very eyes on that screen. Then she was sent to another room to receive an ultrasound. In the ultrasound, the same concern was noticed except this time, the doctor stated that he was almost positive that it was a Cancerous tumor and he needed to see an MRI to prove him correct.
Later that evening, the MRI was performed and not even an hour after, Wendy received a call that it did in fact appear to be Cancer on the right side and just a large "Cancer-free" cyst on the left side, but she still needed to have a biopsy performed to officially type it. It's now official; she's dealing with the evil that is Cancer. This was Wendy's biggest fear coming true! :-(
Everything she had done to this point was done without medical coverage, resulting in HUGE bills. At the time, she wanted the lump removed and results provided. There was nothing else more important than to know what she was facing, so she OK'd having the procedure done and having them bill her directly for it. (She'd figure out how to pay for it later, because this was WAY too important.)
The next step was the partial mastectomy that she had done on July 16th, (our Dad's Birthday). This was a very painful process, and took weeks to recover from. In total, they removed the Cancerous lump from the right breast, and eleven lymph nodes. When she received the results, she got triple confirmation that the lump was in fact Cancerous, and two of the eleven lymph nodes also contained Cancer. This is what declared Wendy as having "stage two" Cancer.
Since then, she has been in several times for various tests and treatments. Has had several Body Scans, MRI's, Ultrasounds, Blood Work, Genetic Testing, Chemotherapy, and a shot every other week to replace lost blood cells that the Chemo erases. Once Chemo was over, she then moved onto Radiation treatments, (but this didn't occur until January of the following year).
On August 19th the doctor ordered a surgery to place an uncomfortable port in her chest. This is, "standard procedure" for people undergoing Chemotherapy, but it was a bigger procedure than she had thought. I think the hardest part for her was not having had much time to recover from the first surgery.
Her first Chemo treatment was set for August 29th. We knew that Wendy would be sick, but we had NO idea just how bad. Wendy was sick for five days straight. Even the doctor was surprised. To this day, we think she had the flu on top of her treatment. The doctors struggled to find the right nausea medicine for her. They all gave her worse side effects than the nausea itself. For instance, massive migraines, weakness, loss of appetite, and bone pain, (to name a few). They never did find just the right nausea med for her.
Inevitably, two weeks after her first Chemo treatment, Wendy began to lose her hair. This was a REAL tough experience for her, as Wendy has ALWAYS been "known for" (and proud of) her long, thick, natural, and beautiful hair. It was truly heartbreaking, to say the least. Once it became evident that she was going to end up completely bald, and after much convincing, Wendy finally decided to let someone finish shaving off what was left of her hair. (See picture below. It shows Wendy's hair before Cancer & her hair after her Chemo treatments started.)
(It has since started growing back as you can see in the main photo of this site.)
I am using this site to seek help from ALL that care for and/or can sympathize with her situation.
The medical bills from before she had insurance are coming after her for their money. The prescriptions are adding up, (as there are many of them). From a preventative standpoint the doctor is ordering whatever he feels is necessary, esp. since Wendy tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation, (meaning she has the genetic form of Cancer and even after all of the treatments she has gone through, there is a "good chance" it will come back and/or she'll develop Ovarian Cancer somewhere down the line).
In order to try and prevent that, Wendy underwent a "Radical Hysterectomy," (pictured below is Wendy in recovery after having just come out of that surgery), and she STILL has ONE MORE surgery to go... her 7th in fact; a mastectomy on her remaining breast and reconstruction of both removed breasts. :-(
You will never see Wendy go against doctor's orders or recommendations no matter how traumatic they are to her and her body, both mentally and physically and no matter how expensive they are.
Although her current insurance is pretty decent, the surgery for the port still cost her 2k out-of-pocket. That's not bad in that it would have been WAY worse without insurance, however it still scares her as the bills just keep piling up with every new treatment and added surgery! She is seriously afraid that she will never be able to catch up on all of these Cancer related expenses. (Not to mention being able to afford to pay all the expenses that come with being a mother of two who will once again be on strict bed rest and therefore unable to work.)
Please help me help my sister, Wendy, through this terrible battle with the evil Cancer. I want to be able to give her the best approach in battling her Cancer. Wendy WILL win this battle!!! In fact, the doctor declared her "in REMISSION" around Christmas of last year, (however she must still have the final surgery to help prevent it from coming back and that surgery is scheduled for June 8, 2015 and she NEEDS at LEAST $2,500 before then or they will not perform the surgery).
ANY contribution(s) you can make, no matter how big or small, will be GREATLY appreciated and will NOT be forgotten!!! :-D (Even if you can only afford to donate $1.00, or even 1¢; EVERY single penny helps!!! I'm not kidding. It especially helps if you also share this fundraiser on your Facebook, Twitter, and whatnot pages and reach out to others who also end up donating.) ;-)
I/we really appreciate your time in reading this fundraising mission! Thank you for your time and any and all help you may be able to give, even if only a supportive, encouraging, and/or uplifting message. (Which you can also leave on this site, even if you do not donate. Simple words can, and do, go a long way and will help encourage her to keep fighting this horrible Cancer.)
God Bless my fellow, "Wendy's Warriors." <><
PS As mentioned above, you do not need to make a monetary donation in order to leave a message for Wendy. I will make sure she sees each and every one of your wonderful messages to her!!! Thank you SO much! :-D
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