3rd Cancerversary 

Today is my 3rd 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. Three years later, my hair is back but my energy is still not back to pre-cancer levels because of the medications I take. Despite this, I am still dancing and there is no evidence of active cancer! 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: $689,064 Cancer Drugs Cost: $523,689 (76% of total cost) Insurance paid: $654,496 My family & donations paid: $34,568  Before the ACA, many health insurance plans had a lifetime cap of one million dollars. While this is an enormous amount, just 3 years of treatment have used up almost 70% of that million. It is vitally important that our lawmakers do not put lifetime caps on benefits or determine that certain treatments can be excluded because they cost too much. Life is more valuable than money.  Sadly, the health care debate has pitted healthy people against sick and disabled people. Good health is not guaranteed to anyone. Cancer does not discriminate: No one is too young; no one is too fit; no one is immune. Everyone is at risk.  Below is a list of the procedures, treatments, and diagnostic tests I received in my 3rd 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 8 Xgeva injections 12 ovarian suppression injections 1 transvaginal sonogram 1 brain MRI 1 PET/CT Scan 1 CT scan 2 Echocardiograms  I humbly ask for your support to help pay for my treatment. I have an ACA (Obamacare) plan and am very scared about what will happen in 2018. 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 Beau Pearson Photography

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