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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:
Guided Ultrasound $375
Biopsy $602 each * 3
Surgical Supplies $190
Breast Placement Clips $307 each * 3
CT Scans $230 + 268
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.