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Pam's Breast Cancer Fund

$9,650 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 13 months
Wow-I'm so far out of my comfort zone here, so please bear with me.

I consider myself a fairly strong person, but after going through several years of struggling-with the loss of Ray's job in Connecticut, moving our family back to Georgia in hopes of finding employment, watching Ray suffer through a heart attack and three subsequent surgeries, I have to say that I was thrown for a loop when I heard the words, "You are positive for breast cancer." I mean....C'mon, things were finally looking up for us. Ray was working again, Alex was doing well in college and Conor was a sophomore in high school. Yes, Ray had sold band equipment, and we had gone through any and all savings and retirement money to survive, but we felt very blessed to have our family together and Ray healthy again. And now, seriously-BREAST CANCER??!

On October 3, 2016, I received the official diagnosis: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma-a pretty aggressive form of cancer. Grade 3, Stage 111C, Estrogen-Positive.

Once my Oncologist explained my planned treatment protocol, I prepared myself mentally for the 16 rounds of chemo, a modified radical mastectomy (complete removal of the right breast as well as 11 lymph nodes), and 33 radiation treatments. What I was NOT prepared for were the financial difficulties that would arise along the way.

With a lot of love and help from my family (especially Ray who did everything from feeding me-to changing bandages and drainage tubes) I made it through chemo, surgery, and radiation, but I am still in need of additional medical care. I need CT scans and tests along with treatments for some cancer-related issues. I also am still in need of reconstruction surgery. And NOW, we are without insurance. YES, our insurance was recently canceled! I'll spare you the details because many of you are probably already aware of all the ways our healthcare system fails so many of us who have serious and expensive treatment needs.

Our family has been affected by my cancer in so many ways. In addition to the worries about me and my health, the kids have been affected so much financially. With all of the medical costs involved-it's difficult to even pay our monthly bills, much less have anything left over to help Alex with money for college, or to take Conor to visit colleges that he is interested in attending. I could go on-but I'm sure you get the idea.

Some of our friends have suggested several times over the past few months that I create a GoFundMe account and I dismissed that as just being humorous-even joking about possible names for the campaign-"Bucks for Boobs" or perhaps "Tips for TaTa's"........?????, but the more times I heard, "Sorry, you will need to pay now in order to have these tests done," and the more depressed I became about our situation, the more the GoFundMe idea started to not just be a funny idea.

It took quite awhile for Ray and me to swallow our pride and ask for help. Those of you who know me, know my asking for help is extremely hard. But I have a dear friend who reminded me that Ray and I have spent a lot of our lives giving to others-from friends or neighbors in need to camps for sick children-and while we much prefer to be on the giving end, I guess we must now learn to be on the receiving end.

Please know that any amount you can give will help and will be such a blessing to our family. I have fought hard to get to this point in kicking cancer's butt, and I would like to make sure I can continue with the treatments needed, even if it means turning to my friends for help. Although my prognosis is good and I can now consider myself to be a "Survivor"-due to the size of the masses and the number of cancerous lymph nodes that were removed, there is a risk for recurrence of this disease, and I will need to be monitored closely for some time.

All funds received from this campaign will be used to help pay my medical expenses for my cancer treatments and to alleviate some of the financial stresses on our family.

Your support and love mean so much to my family and me and even if you cannot help monetarily, I want you to know how much your continued prayers mean to us.

With love and appreciation-
Pam, Ray and the kids.


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Hi, Friends!

Someone mentioned today that I never did an update on my Gofundme page after my last CT scans. Sorry-I forget that not all of you see the posts on FB!

The news was good! "No CT evidence for metastatic disease to the chest, abdomen or pelvis! Stable cystic masses arising from the pancreas." The tests also showed "Atherosclerosis of the aorta and coronary arteries." But again-no evidence of a recurrence of cancer! My cholesterol is high, but that is probably partially due to the anti-estrogen drugs I am on. Most likely though, more so because I've never met a cheese I didn't like! I guess I really have to get to work on my diet and exercise program! I'm also still struggling with Lymphedema due to the removal of so many lymph nodes, but that is just something I have to learn to live with. Not a huge deal considering the fact that I am ALIVE!!

We are still struggling quite a bit financially, and I get really stressed over the situation, but because of great friends like Y'all, we are still hanging in there. We have been so very blessed by your love, financial support, and prayers.

We love you ALL!

Pam and Family
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Hey there, dear friends! I was asked to share an update on my current health situation and I'm happy to report that other than some joint and bone pain from my meds, and the lymphedema from the lymph node removal-I'm doing well! I do get quite fatigued still, but the doctor said that is pretty normal. Oh-there IS that chemo brain thing, but I am learning to use sticky notes-A LOT!!

I have a couple of scans, including a CT scan coming up in July, along with a visit with my Oncologist. I'm anxious to have those done, and yet a bit nervous also.

As for the finances-we continue to struggle to pay our daily living expenses and medical bills, but we are very thankful to all of you who have helped lessen that load for us over the past few months with your donations and support. Again-we can't thank you all enough!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I will update you all after my scans next month.

Love, Pam and the Gang!
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Dear Friends-

Several of you have asked for an update on both my health and on our financial situation. Fortunately, my health is looking much better than our finances these days!

Seriously, I am doing well in spite of some increase in the side effects of the Femara (hormone-based chemotherapy) that my oncologist has me taking. I'm okay with the side effects because the drug was prescribed to help keep my cancer from returning. I'm also dealing with lymphedema, but that is not life-threatening, just painful and annoying!

I have another CT scan and some other tests scheduled for July. These tests are essential to monitor for a possible recurrence.

As for the finances-the doctor and hospital bills keep rolling in, the bill collectors continue to call, and we continue to do what we can. It's such a blessing that we now have insurance to help cover the continued treatments, tests, etc. But we still have a ways to go to reach our deductibles. We are also struggling to pay a lot of out-of-pocket expenses. Ray's insurance will hopefully keep us from incurring thousands of dollars more in medical bills on top of the ones we are already dealing with.

There has been some additional financial stress recently due to Conor's broken Patella and Alex's hospitalizations. In fact, we have had so many things thrown our way recently that we have spent some time wondering if perhaps someone put some sort of curse on our family!! LOL!! Alex and Conor are both on the mend now though, and hopefully, things will calm down a bit in the Robbins household!

We are so thankful for all of you who have supported us with your prayers and your generosity. We love you all.

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to try to dig our way further out of some of this debt. Also, prayers appreciated in regards to my upcoming tests.

God bless.

Pam, Ray, and the gang.

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Dear Friends-I was asked to share this again, but every time I do, I feel sick to my stomach....UGH....I HATE asking my friends for help.

The donations that we have already received have been such a blessing! Having insurance now has put us on the right track, but we still have a long way to go to reach our deductible, and it's putting an additional financial strain on our family.

Yesterday alone, the bill for my Lymphedema compression garments and some other cancer related medical necessities were almost $700. I also had to go to physical therapy 3 times this week. Once we reach our deductible, our insurance will pay 100%, but the money we put toward that deductible is money that we just don't have to spare.

As thankful as I am to simply be here today.....this financial burden is just unbelievable. I know we all have our struggles and again-I HATE asking, but any and all donations will help so-much-as will your prayers.

Also, again-I can't put into words how thankful we are for all of the prayers, love, and donations we have already been blessed with.

Love you all.

Pam

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$9,650 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 71 people in 13 months
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