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    Another sister
    ima_believer posted:
    in 2004 I lost my Mom and one of my sisters to breast cancer, just two weeks apart. It was adeno carcinoma. Last Sunday, I learned that another sister, the twin of the one we lost has breast cancer, this time invasive ductal carcinoma. I am heart broken. Angry, frustrated, sad, scared, gosh the list is endless, and her feelings have got to be even more extreme. She is far away, with little family support. I am 1600 miles away, and want so much to help. I want to make life somehow easier. The second largest burden in her life is financial. She didnt have insurance and now Medicaid is stating her contribution would be 3/4 of her wages per month. She is unable to do that. I cannot help, and want so much to do something. You all know as I do, the only thing someone battling this fight should focus on is their health. $ should not add stress. I just want to protect her, and get her well. Very sad... emotions are all over the map..... waiting to see if she will let me do a fundraiser to help.
    mark918 responded:
    My deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to your sister, you and your family.
    mhall6252 responded:
    I am so sorry you and your sister are dealing with this hideous disease. There may be resources in her community, depending on where she lives. Perhaps you could do a little research - check out the local American Cancer Society as they may be helpful. Also, there are many organizations that can help fund treatment. Finding them is the trick, of course.

    You might suggest that your sister join us here so we can offer moral support as she goes throught treatment. We have a wonderful group here, and it may comfort her to have a group who knows what she is going through.

    Best of luck, and let us know how she's doing.

    Read my blog at
    Smile and the world smiles with you!
    ima_believer replied to mark918's response:
    Thank you.
    ima_believer replied to mhall6252's response:
    I am trying to encourage her to reach out, right now she is wanting to be left alone, but that will not help her to fight this. Its so hard being so far away. I will give her this site info, and maybe just maybe she will venture on. Thank your for your thoughts, we are checking into the United Way in her county, as well as the ACS to see if they can help somehow. Be Well,
    brcansur replied to ima_believer's response:
    ima-believer I am so sorry to hear about your sister and what your family much be feeling right now I can not even imagine. But I would like to tell you I have had the same issue with the insurance I talked to my doctors and my breast care doctor took my bills and called and had it all taken care of I never heard another thing about it. He the doctor told if I ever get another bill like that just give it to him I should not have to worry about that I have enough on my mind right now and need to just focus on gettine well.
    Maybe your sister can take her bill to her doctor and see if they could call her insurance for her all he did is tell them what part of cancer didn't you get this shouild be covered 100% and it was. I had bi mast and they were going to pay for only half my sugery and half of my chemo. She can fit this and get it payed for just takes time and some standing up for herself. I know something you really shouldn't have to do with everything you are dealing with during the fight with breast cancer but it happens to the best of us. Just don't let her give up on this keep looking for ways to get it payed for you will find a way it is out there sometimes the hospitals even have programs that take care of the cost for you if it is from surgry or a stay in the hospital check in to it. Doctors office have them also you just have to ask they will not tell you about them because then everyone will want to get it. I wish you and your sister all the best stay strong it does get better.
    Just keep being there for your sister she will get to the place when she will need to lean on you or talk with you this is all new to her so just give her time. You are doing all the right things letting her know you care and are there for her now just give her time but keep being there for her. Send her a card or a letter in the mail just because that always made my day when I would check the mail and see a card from someone or a letter from a freind. Then you have them to pull out on a not so good day to brighten that day up some. send a text every now and again with I am thinking of you with a smiley face and balloons. Just little things letting her know you are still there for her but not being pushy about it. I hope that this has helped you a little but most of all take care of you and please do not stress your self out because if you do you will not be any good to anyone not even you ! So try to relax and take care of you also while helping out your sister. Have a good weekend angel hugs Roberta,
    ima_believer replied to brcansur's response:
    You are so kind. Thank you. We are taking one day at a time, and praying that it will all work. It is overwhelming. my sister hated telling our Dad, he's already lost one daughter to this disease, plus he is dealing with kidney cancer himself right now. Life doesnt always make sense, but it is amazing how strangers can be so kind, helpful and really help through their own experiences. Thank you. I have shared this with her, and we are going to try it, as she tackles these steps. PET scan tomorrow, surgery for port Tues, EKG Wed. Chemo and Herceptin the next week. Praying pet scan shows only the original tumor. This will let us exactly what she is up against. Thank you again!
    brcansur replied to ima_believer's response:
    please tell your sister I am with her in spirit any time she feels she needs a extra hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on. It isn't going to be easy but it sure is doable and she will get through this. I know it is a lot of test and appts but they will get less and less also as time goes on. I too had a port put in that surgery isn't bad at all and it was one of the best things I could have done because it was much easier getting chemo that way. Make sure she drinks plenty and eats small meals through out the day it helps with the upset stomach. My onc told me this and I never got sick because I was putting something into my stomach every 2 to 3 hours even if it was just crackers or toast. What ever works for her it does help and she has to drink plenty during this time also find something that taste good and works for her and stick to it. Mine was milk shakes or green tea. If any questions please feel free to ask any time. I wish you and your family all the best. I am so sorry to hear your father is also fighting his own battle at the same time I will say prayers for all of you to get through this with strength and comfort for all of you. My thoughts are with angel hugs Roberta,
    jenna291 replied to brcansur's response:
    I am joining in the well wishes for your sister, and we are here for questions and venting.

    I echo Roberta on making sure she stays hydrated. That is SO very important. Watermelon is easily tolerated, and raisin toast, tea, "boost" or "ensure" were also a big part of my daily diet. Chicken soup prepared blandly was good too.

    I am sorry about your dad too. My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer the year after my chemo. Quite a rollercoaster, trying to take care of myself just getting back to normal and helping out with my family thru the tough times we went thru with my dad.

    It is amazing how strong we can be when necessary - I will be praying for your sister and please let us know what type of treatment plan she is going to have. Odds are someone here will be able to offer some adivce or assistance.

    hugs and blessings,
    ima_believer replied to jenna291's response:
    Jenna thank you!
    We got some good news this week, her PET scan came out clean, they biospsied her lymphnodes and we just learned yesterday those appear clean. We are staying hopeful. Monday she starts chemo and biotherapy. They are using herceptin, and we will learn which chemo on monday. They want to shrink this tumor due to its legs, and after 5 months, recheck and plan a bilateral mastectomy. Monday will give us more details as to the type of chemo. She has already lost weight due to nerves. She really gets nausious easily even under stress. I worry about the volume of food wont sustain her and keep her strength. She has been reading about Indian Tea and is going to take that daily, which is supposed to also fight cancer. She is also trying to stay away from sugar, as that also feeds cancer. She is trying to stick with whole foods, and balanced diet. But she just wont eat if she isnt feeling like it. Trying to get her to understand. She is using the ipod I sent her filled with her favorite music, and that is relaxing her. She is seeming much more positive. She is also connecting to Pretty In Pink, a foundation that helps cover costs that arent covered by insurance. Now she is just hoping she will be able to continue to work through this treatment. I hope to start fundraising in the next month. Thanks again for the ideas, stories, and know that you all area amazing, with your own experiences and how strong you all are! Thank you. God Bless you all.
    rachael67 replied to ima_believer's response:
    Yes, Jenna, that certainly is good news! And it sounds like your sister is a real Warrior...Good for her!!!

    How fortunate she is to have you by her side. There is no one on this board who doesn't find those who stand by us and offer their love and support to be our best meds and real treasures!

    I hope she is letting her medical team know what a number this is doing on her nerves, etc. There are great meds which can help her over such problems...No need to concern herself with addiction as one only takes them for a limited time...They certainly can offer relief from some of the fears that are inherent in the situation.

    Glad to know she is exploring the options available to help her deal with the side-effects and nutritional needs. Has she given any thought to medical marijuana which might help with the not eating. Especially if you are in a state which pemits its use, it might be something to explore.

    Please keep us updated, and do let her know she is in our thoughts. You too!! (Incidentally, it wouild be quite natural for you to have some concerns regarding the genetics which might affect you...Please do NOT feel guilty to focus on yourself and working thru those worries. You have every right to do so!! And to consult with a genetic councelor regarding it.)

    A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
    Maya Angelou
    rachael67 replied to rachael67's response:
    A PS...I forgot to mention something....Please make sure you check thru the "Tips" listed on the right side of this page for a variety of suggestions regarding financial help! Perhaps there is something there that you've not thought of??

    A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
    Maya Angelou
    ima_believer replied to rachael67's response:
    Just wanted to update all on Darcy's progress. She has completed 3 rounds of Chemo/herceptin, she has three more to go, however, her red blood count is very low, so we will see if she will have #4 on Monday or not. I need to share something too, she told us that by the time she started her chemo her tumor which was 2.5 cm at the time of discovery grew to larger than a golfball protruding from her breast, deep purple in color, and the skin extremely tight like the tumor attached to the skin. After 3 treatments, she cannot even palpate the tumor it has albeit disappeared. We are so hopeful! She is careful about her diet, using low acidic foods, and using supplements that are considered anti-cancer friendly. She is exhausted, weakened, ill, her skin hurts, her muscles ache, her spirits are high. She is focusing on her wellbeing, and that is making a difference. We did start a fundraiser, and that is helping to remove the financial fears, which were escalating her stress beyond control. Though it is just a start, she is feeling a sense of support she never expected and that is giving her the urge to fight this even harder! I am hoping to visit her in the next month, as I hate being so far away. Thanks all for your words, and your support
    brcansur replied to ima_believer's response:
    ima_believer, hello and thank you so very much for the up date. Sorry to hear your sisters blood counts are low but hey if that is all that is going on after 3 treatments that is great news. All the other stuff you put in your up date about felling tired, skin hurting, ill, achy muscles that is all normal feeling with chemo think about what it is doing to the cancer !! It could make her feel all those things. But think of it this way it is killing the cancer and starting all new cells in her body so it is going to be like a all new start with everything. That is how I liked at a whole new beginning a new me with new blood cells, new hair, my body and I had a new start on everything after chemo. It is like a bay you get to start over but you really don't have to learn everything over again that was the fun part
    Oh it was so nice to hear about the fund raiser and her not having to worry about that it does help so much when that worry is lifted off your shoulders. Then the support from others is great also that does help a lot and pushes you even harder to fight. Staying positive is number one and just keeping up beat and believing in your self is just so important. I know how hard it has been on you being so far away but her just knowing you are there for her and that you are supporting her is very comforting to her I am sure. I just loved hearing the comforting words from loved ones they didn't have to be right here just call or text me was great too. Then to get a card in the mail was the best day ever I loved them because when ever I needed a pick me up I would take them out and read them all again and the letters that came with them. I wish you both all the best tell your sister that her news of the tumor going down in sizes is great I will keep sending her the angel hugs oh and you too have a great day and week ahead angel hugs Roberta,

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