My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Pink Warrior Angels, Copperas Cove, TX, USA
In January of 2016, I found a golf-ball sized lump, under my arm. In the process of scans and biopsies, I was diagnosed with a mixed autoimmune disease. The previous 6 months, I had been running constant fevers, ached from head to toe, and had inexplicable rashes on my face and arms. Circulation to my extremities had become so limited and painful, that I avoided the refrigerated section at the grocery store and wore gloves at work on a daily basis.
Three days after being diagnosed with MCTD, pathology of 3 lymphatic tumors came back positive for cancer. However, doctors were unsure of where the cancer was coming from. All we knew was that it was aggressively spreading through the lymph system, it was feeding off estrogen and it was 90% squaumous cell carcinoma. My journey with MD Anderson and the hunt for a primary tumor began. After much deliberation and multiple opinions, I began a regimen for Breast Cancer Chemotherapy first. The theory was that my overactive immune system attacked the cancer cells in the breast before it could form a tumor, but not before it metastasized into my lympyh system. Once it spread, it differentiated into squamous cell carcinoma.
After 20 rounds of A/C and taxol, I had a bilateral mastectomy (where no tumor was found, but precancerous cells were identified) and 6 weeks of daily radiation after work. The 2nd degree burns took a turn for the worse in the end, and I had a topical infection that we treated with antibiotics. However, the infection was more aggressive than expected and MRSA rooted behind my right expander. Two emergency surgeries later, packing a cavity, learning to administer my own pic line and beginning new Tamoxifen side effects, my right tissue began to heal but was not able to seal...not even with a wound vac. A 3rd surgery was required to stitch up the tissue after 2 months. Even as recent as last week's follow up, signs of infection are back. Since I'm closely monitored, I think we caught it early and I'm back on antibiotics. Next week I'll undergo a surgery to remove my ovaries followed by Arimidex. Follow up scans will watch nodes around my supraclavicle that began to grow last summer, but seemingly responded to Breast Cancer chemo. Still holding high hopes that additional chemo for squamous cell carcinoma will not be necessary.
During this last year, I faced severe financial hardships as I had to miss so much work. PWA awarded me with enough money to catch up on my rent and utilities. I truly don't know what I would've done without the help. It was a scary place, to be too sick to work and behind on everything. But more than that, knowing that my Angel and others Angels in PWA were emotionally there for me, allowed me to always have hope and stay positive,
You are such an inspiration!!