Nov 18, 2012 07:16PM pinkpower78 wrote:
My name is pinkpower78 and I am 34 years old. I am an African American single mother of two children; 11 and 13 and I am the youngest child of 8. My journey started just a few months ago in August 2012, when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer, also invasive ductal carcinoma? My world, as I knew it, was over! I initially discovered the small knot back in March 2012 but circumstances prolonged my capability to get to the doctor. I relocated from Raleigh, NC to Columbus, OH after living there for 7 years. I had previously lived in Columbus for 26 years. After a failed business deal gone bad and the fact that I lived with my parents and they had filed bankruptcy and were moving back to Indiana, I stepped out on faith and moved too. I, my kids and my kid’s father moved in with my sister, her husband and their 3 kids. After a month, in April 2012; we all became homeless! My sister apparently was not using the money that I and my kid’s father were giving her to pay the rent. We all went to the YWCA homeless shelter. Because I was in between jobs and had limited funds, I could not get healthcare; hence, I could not get to the doctor to see about this knot that was now twice the size. Because my sister was evicted while I was at work, all of my things; including myself and my kid’s social security cards and birth certificates; were set outside and lost!! Because of this reason, I could not go to social services to try and get help because I had no identification. The shelter helped me get the birth certificates and social security cards, which came a month later. Moving right along, myself, my kids and my kids dad got on our feet; and with the help of the YWCA were able to secure a low income apartment, we were thrilled! With us both working, things started to get better in April 2012. In July 2012 I finally got my Medicaid card in the mail and immediately scheduled an appointment with my family doctor. 2 days before my scheduled appointment, I ended up in the ER due to severe pain in my breast. I was immediately referred for a mammogram. On August 2, 2012; the day after my oldest child became a teenager, I got the disturbing news of my mammogram results. I have since then had emergency surgery for a port and have had 3 rounds of chemotherapy. My first round of chemo was September 19th 2012; 8 days before my 34th birthday. My kid's father left and abandoned us the day before chemo started; stating that he was not ready to deal with any cancer. After my second round of chemo on October 3rd 2012, by that weekend; around October 7th 2012 I removed my head scarf to discover that all; I mean ALL of my hair was in my scarf and not on my head! Even though the oncology nurses had warned me of such, I was still devastated! Because I was not able to work anymore due to the hectic chemo schedule and the sickness that lasted for days after, I was threatened with eviction. With no money and no help in sight, my 2 children and I were forced to move in with my parents. I was very thankful for that; seeing that I was just homeless months prior. The problem was they lived in Indiana and they had a small 2 bedroom apartment. So the guilt of having to move my children now for the 3rd time this year and being crammed into one room left me feeling hopeless! Today; November 2012, I am happy to say that I have food and shelter and support from my parents and I have began chemo treatments here in Indiana. The enormous mass has shrunk a bit and I am treading along on this journey. My oncologist was concerned that the tumor was not shrinking quickly enough and referred me to a breast surgeon. I met with her last week and she suggested a single radical mastectomy, it is scheduled for next week on Thanksgiving. I am soooo nervous and anxious because she said that one possibly two of my lymph nodes are swollen and that may indicate involvement. In addition to that, my hemoglobin is 7.9 and I may have to have a blood transfusion on Monday if it hasn’t gone up to at least 10. Has anyone out there had a blood transfusion or a mastectomy? So sorry for writing a book but I am in such a panic for a number of reasons! I always bragged to people that I have never been in a physical fight in all my life but I tell ya I am in the fight of my life!!!! I have to survive to be here for my kids! I just need encouragement! I am praying for us all that a cure will be found!!!