Kicking Cancer out of my life

$4,175 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 7 months
I have cancer. It's ductal carcinoma in SITU. Which means it's early. And if I go full force fighting it... I'm going to win. So....I am. I have a beautiful 11 yr old daughter that is my gift from God. I was told I would never have children... And ended up being blessed with her. She's smart, sweet and empathetic.. And needs her mom. I will fight. I will win.
It's a long hard journey and several surgeries. And the bills are already pilling up. I'm scared. But I like I've been saying... I've got this. But the idea of escalating bills is making my journey scarier. I need help. Plain  and simple.
I had skin saving surgery on January 11th. What was supposed to be out for two days and back to work ended up being out a full two weeks. I had complications but I got through it. I had a bilateral masectomy on January 25th. That one went fantastically I'm told. I'll be out of work for another 4-6 weeks minimum for the second surgery. I've got three more surgeries to do. At a minimum.

In case you don't know, a law was passed saying insurance companies must pay for reconstruction. Which is wonderful. Except....a lot of plastic surgeons are not in network. And the ones that are in network either chose to NOT do them because the difficulty and length of surgery doesn't prove worth it for the money. And the ones who do it... Can't get you in for consultation until March. All the ones who've looked at my files said the same thing. You have to get the mastectomy as soon as possible. And then... In five months we'll go on and start the reconstruction. This is sad. Waiting that long would cause excessive scarring and more difficult surgeries... and possibly more surgeries. Also, waiting that long is detrimental to a woman's mental health. I can tell you.. right now..I look awful. My chest is gone. It's almost concave. I have expanders in because I found one wonderful doctor who squeezed me in.. he said it was an emergency and he would take me on as a patient. He's not in my network. But his staff is wonderful and working their tails off trying to get deemed in network. I chose to go ahead and do the mastectomy and reconstruction together. It's less stress and surgeries and since I'm paying for most of it... More cost effective. Honest. But or is scary how expensive my life has become.
I've had genetic testing done and luckily I don't have the cancer gene. So my daughter doesn't have it. But that test alone was $16,000. $16,000!!! My breast mri not covered at all... That's $800. Luckily I did it because they found my cancer early. Best $800 I ever spent. The oncologist surgeon needed $1200 BEFORE my surgery on the 25 of January. And the hospital wanted $3000 before the 25th also. My debt is going through the roof and I'm basically using credit cards because I don't have endless cash lying around. And my bills are only getting  bigger. I don't even know what the plastic surgeon is charging yet. He's going to be expensive because he's not in network. I'm home now and unable to do anything. It's amazing how weak you are after a surgery. You live as if you are a TRex. No arm use. And things you took for granted are difficult. Showers? Being dressed by yourself? Nope. And I tell you.. I've had so many people looking at my chest, I'm no longer shy. And I think they should throw beads. I've kept a sense of humor about this. I make jokes. I try not to let anyone see how much it hurts. How scared I am. I'm the most positive cancer patient you've ever met. On the outside. On the inside I'm a panic stricken woman trying to get through. I will. I don't have a choice.
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I'm off to another oncologist today. Which is scary. I've been arguing with my insurance. They are denying the reconstruction. Right now they say I owe $97,000. I went with a doctor out of network. None of the ones in my network could fit me in until May. All agreed I needed surgery in January. I found a more qualified surgeon and he's wonderful. But my insurance says I should have waited. The doctors i see say otherwise. That's my current battle. I'm still fighting them.
My chest is hurting non stop now. I'm told that's normal until I get my expanders out. Which is in 6 days!
I'm still positive and I know I did the right thing. Thank you for your support and help!
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16 days and counting until the next surgery. I'm excited and worried. I found out that the surgeons removed more tissue than expected. I'm really concave now. My reconstruction will be harder and more expensive. Also, I'm being sent to new oncologists before. Like I needed that additional stress and worry. But I'm getting through. Thank you for sticking by me so far.
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Three surgeries in 8 weeks and then two months of weekly doctor visits to get infections to expand the skin.... And I'm waiting. My next surgery is June 25. My spirits are high and feeling good. I'm getting stronger and preparing for the next surgery. I'm currently fighting with the billing of the past procedures. The medical system is broken, that's for sure. I'm just resubmitting and resubmitting. I'm hoping they get figured out.
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I ended up having another surgery. #3, unexpected but needed. I rejected the biologic and there was a bacteria infection BEHIND the expander. That's why my right side wasn't healing. The surgery went great and I am home recuperating. I have a drain again. #5. And am on stronger antibiotics. And I'm forced to take it easier this time BC of the location of the drain site. Dang it hurts! I'm hoping to have it out soon so I can go back to work soon. And work a month before surgery #4. But..I have to remember that all the cancer is gone. Which is the best news.
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$4,175 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 7 months
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MM
$500
Michael Marsico
3 months ago
CR
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Christa Rock
5 months ago
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6 months ago
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