2nd Cancerversary

Today is my 2nd Cancerversary. It was hard deciding which date to celebrate such an important milestone. Many choose the date of diagnosis, but my cancer had been growing long before that date. To me, the most important date was the day I had my first chemo treatment and began taking back my body and its cells from cancer. In the process, I lost my hair, my breasts, and my energy. I learned a whole new vocabulary and underwent many new procedures and tests. I met many caring doctors, nurses, techs, and office staff who did their best to make me feel comfortable. I racked up enormous medical bills.

Two years later, my hair is back but my energy is still not back to pre-cancer levels. I have switched endocrine treatment from tamoxifen to ovarian suppression and letrozole. The cancer is stable and I am still dancing!

I am very grateful to my outstanding medical team headed by Dr. David Riseberg at Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD and also to everyone who sent encouraging messages, prayers, and donations for my medical expenses. I couldn’t have done it without you.

The costs of fighting cancer are enormous – even with health insurance. It has been called the hidden side effect of cancer. In addition to things insurance doesn’t cover, deductibles and co-pays reset every January. This will give you an idea of how expensive cancer treatment is:

Total Cost of Treatment since diagnosis: $540,239

Cancer Drugs Cost: $388,102 (72% of total cost)

Insurance paid: $507,921

My family & donations paid: $32,318

The cost of my treatments could buy a very nice house or put two students through medical school without needing student loans. And I am just one patient.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year in the USA alone. When you add the new patients to the existing patients, treating cancer is a billion dollar industry. It’s not surprising that some folks believe that the cancer industry employs too many people and produces too much income to allow a cure to be found.

Below is a list of the procedures, treatments, and diagnostic tests I received in my 2nd treatment year. Because cancer treatment is so hard on the body, numerous diagnostic tests and scans are ordered regularly to make sure the patient can continue treatments.

16 maintenance infusions & blood tests

4 potassium infusions

8 Xgeva injections

3 ovarian suppression injections

3 transvaginal sonograms

1 colposcopy

1 brain MRI

2 PET/CT Scans

1 Echocardiogram

1 MUGA scan

I humbly ask for your support to help pay for my treatment. Please consider donating any amount you can; every dollar will go toward my medical expenses.

Here is the link:  www.youcaring.com/baldballerina

Photo by Andrew Holtz