Exciting Update – My Oprah Debut

(Note: If this is your first time visiting my page, thank you for your concern and support.  You may want to read the pages to the left first, then read from below.  My latest blog entries will feed to the top automatically. ) 

Well, today was VERY EXCITING!!!!  First, let me rewind a bit and remind everyone of some earlier posts and recap a couple things.   As most of you know, I found my first lump last year and showed it to my doctor, who said it was nothing to worry about.   Then when I got pregnant in February, I found another lump in my armpit.  I showed both lumps to my doctor (a different doctor than the first one) and he too told me the lumps were nothing to worry about.  On March 10, 2009 Oprah aired a Dr. Oz special on medical mistakes and a statistic on their show startled me.  “More people in the US die every year from medical mistakes than breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined!”  They highlighted a story about a young girl who was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a mastectomy, removal of lymph nodes, etc., only to learn later that they had switched her scans with someone else and she never had cancer to begin with.  And even worse (I guess), the other girl who was given a clean bill of health actually had cancer and wasn’t getting any treatment at all.  After watching this show, I began worrying about my doctors’ dismissal of my concerns and their opinions that my lumps were nothing.  I thought, “What if they were wrong?”  I called and insisted on a mammogram, which I scheduled for March 17, seven days after the Oprah Dr. Oz show aired.  I am a big Oprah and Dr. Oz fan and have written the show before asking for them to do a special on fertility issues in young couples.  I never got through but always check the website to see when the Dr. Oz specials will air next.  I got on there last night and saw a link that read “Be on the Show / Did Dr. Oz’s Advice Save Your Life?”  So I wrote in and told them my story.  And now for the exciting part………..I got an email today from their Associate Producer asking me to send in a picture for an upcoming show, where they’re posting pictures of all the people whose lives Dr. Oz has saved and wrote in!!!  The pictures will be displayed in the background on the set of the show!!!  Woo hoo, my Oprah debut!!!!  Be on the lookout!!!

And a couple other updates for today…..I started trying on all my wigs that I’ve bought and will post some pictures later in my new section to the left called “Pictures”.  I also posted a “before” picture that I took around Christmas time.  My hair is still coming out, and moreso each day, but it’s coming out evenly so far so it just looks really thin at this point.  It may not be noticeable to a stranger yet but as soon as it is, I’ll have my wigs ready to go.  I’m wearing my hair in a pony tail and hat right now, otherwise the shedding would be really noticeable.  I got another wig today as an emergency.  As I’ve been trying on the wigs, I realized all of them were long and I really needed a short one.  I’m used to wearing a lot of pony tails and hats, or pulling my hair back in little clips like in my “before” picture.  As I kept the wigs on for a while, they were getting all in my face and I was tired of wearing them after a short while.  So I stopped by the wig place on my lunch break and picked up a shorter one that I had seen before.  I look really young in it but whatever. 

While I was at the wig shop, the girl in there heard me talking on the phone about the Oprah email.  She asked me about it and I told her the whole story.  She’s helped me before as I’ve been in there a few different times so she already knew that I had cancer but was just learning that it went undiagnosed for so long.  She told me how she had found two lumps in her breast, later one in her armpit, and now one in her neck (there are also lymph nodes in your neck area).  She doesn’t have health insurance and her government health office that she goes to won’t give her a mammogram.  Anyway, she told me if I ever heard of one of those mammogram trucks doing free exams in the area to let her know.  After I left, I called Charlotte Radiology on my way home to see how much it cost for all my appointments before insurance.  I thought maybe I could help raise money for her on my blog possibly and could “pay it forward” so she could get checked out.   She’s helped me with all my wigs and is such a nice person.  It would be very ironic for her to get cancer after helping so many cancer patients herself.  Anyway, here’s the breakdown of the different costs:

Mammogram $295

Ultrasound $192

Guided Ultrasound $375

Biopsy $602 each * 3

Surgical Supplies $190

Breast Placement Clips $307 each * 3

MRI $2,015

Injection $145

CAD $300

CT Scans $230 + 268

Total:  $6,927

She wouldn’t necessarily need all these scans right away and hopefully never will, but she at least needs the first two, which amount to $487.  I’ll contribute $100 for now so I only need $387 at this point.  I would contribute more but my own bills are coming in higher than I originally thought and the chemo ones haven’t even come through yet.  Does anyone else want to help?  Every little bit helps!!  If you can’t help financially, please let me know if anyone hears of any those free mammograms trucks stopping in the Charlotte area.


6 Responses to “Exciting Update – My Oprah Debut”

  1. vicki cunningham Says:

    Count me in for $25 for the “wig lady” – if you need more, let me know – don’t hesitate to ask.

    You are an amazing, amazing woman, Danielle – in your love for others and thinking of them while you are going thru such a difficult time yourself.

    I can’t believe the gov’t won’t pay for mammograms – Oprah needs to know this!

    Love you.

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Vicki!! That’s so nice of you!! I know! She said they wouldn’t give her a mammogram because she’s so young, and couldn’t pay for it. A lot of times they say they won’t do mammograms on younger women because their breasts are already so dense, they can’t detect anything anyways. But I saw my films and it was definitely noticeable so when there’s something bad in there you can see it. The Young Survival Coalition is helping fight the battle for better screening diagnosis tools in younger women but it’s still seems a prominent problem. If I make it to the Oprah show, I’ll bring it up. 🙂

  2. Janelle Says:

    I marvel at your generosity and postive outlook of your situation. It brings tears of happiness to my eyes knowing that you could be helping save the “wig lady’s” life and who knows who else’s life after everyone hears your story!!! I am so proud to call you my friend! I will donate money and give it to you this weekend. I LOVE YOU! Janelle

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Awe, thanks Janelle (LPMJ)! I’m proud to call you a friend too!! Thanks for the donation!! My mom gave Dr. Limentani my blog link and he already read it and forwarded it on to the nurses here and they’re donating too!! The Administrator and Financial Counselor both stopped by the chemo room to introduce themselves and gave me a bunch of information for her on some clinics that give discounts for people with no insurance.

  3. Carol Lambert Says:

    I’ll send you a check too. Also, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance (or dental, eye, etc) should ALWAYS tell the office they are visiting that they are ‘self pay’. This will allow the billing manager to charge self pay rates versus health insurance rates. It’s not free, but at least it is much cheaper.

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Carol for your contribution and for the tip!! I’m updating my blog today again with some more interesting stuff on all that.

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