Christine's Cancer Recovery

$13,944 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 228 people in 38 months


In April 2016, I was thrust into a situation that at my age and good health, I didn't think was possible,  when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Since then, I have been undergoing a lot of tests, and will begin my first round of Chemo here in a couple of days.
  As many of you know, I am a very independent woman, and like to think of myself as strong. I WILL beat this. For that I am certain!
But, during this time of treatment, I know I will need help. It is very hard to ask for help. But I know, during this battle, that I can not do this alone. Already, I have had my family and a great group of core friends helping me. Now, I need to ask for more help... With the cost of living and covering medical expenses, I am very scared that I will not be able to do this by myself. I do plan to be working as much as possible during everything, but myself nor the doctors know exactly how the treatments will effect me from day to day. I am hoping that this will allow me to have the saftey net I feel I need to help give me a little piece of mind on the financial front, especially if I need to take an extended amount of time off work to continue my recovery.
I thank you all in advance, for the love and support you have shown and continue to show me! I love you!
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Hello everyone, 

It's been almost a year since my last update and two and half years since my cancer diagnosis. I would like to thank you all for supporting me in the past and give you an update as to what is going on in my life now. 

I am very happy to inform you that my current status is NED (no evidence of disease). However, last few months have been very difficult as I had to face challenges that I haven't anticipated. My beloved grandfather, who was my rock, died in September. A week after he died, I lost my job at Trader Joe's. If you are my friend,  you know how much I loved my job and how sad I am that I'm not working anymore. TJ’s Store #630 was my safe place and made me feel better. Losing the job I loved was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, particularly with respect to my mental health.  

I am currently struggling to manage my mental health and to "stay above the water". Both my therapist and psychiatrist suggested that I should start Intensive Outpatient Therapy and to make mental health my main focus. They specified that I am not in a good enough place to work full time. 

After losing my job, I moved in with my mother, as I was not able to afford living on my own anymore. My mother kindly provides a roof over my head and food in my belly, but she cannot help me with some additional bills that have to be taken care of. Right now, it's of the utmost importance to prevent losing my car. I am two months past due on some other bills and, as I mentioned, I am unable to work at this time. 
 
I applied for SSDI, but it takes months for paperwork to go through and I still might not get it. Between moving out of my place and worrying about finances, I switched into survival mode and could not focus on my mental and physical health at all (apart from showing up for my medical appointments and Intensive Outpatient Therapy).

I know this is a difficult time for many and budget is tight, but I would greatly appreciate if you could help me ease the financial burden. You have been here for me in the past and I hope that you can be here for me once again so that I can at least put some fires away. 
Photo by Douglas Düerring
Not all who wander are lost.
YWBCAF Lanterns Of Hope
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I want to start off by saying, THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who reached out, shared my story and donated to my GoFundMe. As stressful and serious as everything was leading up to the surgery and for my recovery, I feel very calm and happy to know I have so many people looking out for me to make me feel safe and loved. Sometimes I forget when life or my mind goes crazy, but when I find myself in these scary situations I remember that I am loved and well looked after.

The good news: The surgery that took place on January 16th went better than expected! No cancer! Still in NED! A simple laparoscopic surgery to remove the mass was a huge relief for me and my family. My first 3 weeks of recovery went well and, thanks to the people who donated, I was able to pay my bills, take care of myself and relax while I healed.

The bad news (not that “bad” though considering still being in the NED stage): I still have many weeks until I am able to return to work. On the health side of things, my condition was complicated by the fact that I became ill with a 102.9 temperature. We did not know if this was a surgical infection or something else, but after testing it was determined I had the flu. With my white blood cell count being extremely low due to the clinical trial I’m on, news of any type of infection was particularly disturbing. This flu, on top of the many other doctor/oncology appointments, is overwhelming. In addition, I am unable to work at Trader Joe’s or train and do my normal running and exercise routines until I am cleared by the doctors. This too contributes to my ongoing depression and anxiety.

Once again, I ask for your help. Please send me good thoughts, share my story and donate if you can! I will continue to keep you posted. And again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I appreciate everything you guys do for me. I love you!
For a successful surgery!
Frustrated with the flu.
Healing hounds.
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After a few doctors visits, we have discovered a cyst on my right ovary that is a solid mass and has grown 2 centimeters since it was first discovered a month ago. Cysts are typically the size of a walnut, but mine is the size of a tangerine.

Now I need to have surgery to remove the cyst and my right ovary. The doctors are talking with my oncologist and we are setting the date soon. If the surgery goes as planned they will remove everything, it will be an outpatient procedure, and I’ll be recovering for a week. However, if this solid mass is cancerous, It will be major surgery, there will be a complete hysterectomy, I will be in the hospital for a few days, and will then have to heal up for about six weeks. This will possibly open Pandora’s box for chemotherapy after.

I am putting this out there because I need help. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover bills, rent, and food. I am hoping for the best, but either direction is still hard to swallow and I am frankly scared. Thank you all for taking the time to read this and for all the amazing people who have been taking care of me through this very hard time. If you cannot donate, please consider sharing. Today was hard.
Photo by Douglas Duerring Photography
From the waiting room today.
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I’m happy to report that things have been getting better in the past few weeks. About two months after starting my new chemotherapy, I was out of “double menopause”, and experiencing less dramatic effects from the Tamoxifen drug. Since my last post I have also started taking the antidepressant, Venlafaxine, that helps my major-depressive disorder and relieves my hot flashes. My anxiety has lessened and I feel a little lighter. Apart from taking a few days off work from a virus while my white blood cell count was low, (which tells us the clinical trial is not a placebo, because low white blood cell count is not a side effect of my chemotherapy), work is starting to pick up and getting very exciting and energetic with the upcoming holidays. I’m excited now too because October is my favorite time of year. The leaves will change and fall away, but they will return better than before. And so will I.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This annual campaign helps increase awareness and promotes ways to take steps in detecting the disease in early stages. For those like myself who are well aware of the disease, it’s weird to think that breast cancer becomes somewhat the center of attention this month. It’s something that I and many other women carry around every single day and will continue to for the rest of our lives. I’m still trying to figure out my “new normal” and staying happy and healthy with my goals, work, relationships, and life. The months experiencing the side effects of double menopause took so much out of me. For some time I felt so lost, scared and sad. I felt like a failure and that I was letting myself and a lot of other people down from my medical problems and mental health. To all my friends, family and supporters who have stuck with me from the beginning and all the amazing relationships I’ve made through this crazy journey: I’m still here, hopeful and happy for all of your help. Every donation, the sharing of my story, buying me books or beers or listening to my bullshit banter, and reaching out to me has truly helped comfort and calm me. I am so thankful and grateful. Thank you. I love you!
Photo by James Jimmyz Crawford.
Be sure to check your pumpkins!
Still here, hopeful, and happy.
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$13,944 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 228 people in 38 months
Created May 11, 2016
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$25
Stephanie Trainer
6 months ago
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7 months ago
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heather gray
7 months ago

Everyone needs a little support sometimes. Sending you much love.

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MS
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