My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Danville, CA, USA
My husband and I were joyously expecting our first child after trying to conceive for 6 years. It was an exciting time in our lives that was stunted midway through my pregnancy. It was a winter Saturday in February when I noticed some irregular bleeding. My husband and I had struggled over the last several years with fertility so every little ache and tinge through my first trimester was often over-analyzed by all potential scenarios. We hopped in the car and raced to the E.R. and after hours of poking and prodding, it was determined that I had a polyp on my cervix that was determined to be harmless.
2 weeks later, during a routine glucose tolerance test, a bomb dropped on my family and I. Alone in the exam room, my doctor advised me that my polyp was actually cancer. A very rare and aggressive cancer called Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix. She went on to explain that I’d have to choose between waiting to begin treatment until after my son was born or to have him 10 weeks premature so that I could begin chemotherapy and radiation right away to prevent it from spreading.
My husband and I welcomed our 30-week old son and at the same time I underwent a radical hysterectomy to remove the cancer. 2 weeks later I underwent 10 months of intense chemo and radiation. I was in remission for almost 2 years when the cancer came back. I was reclassified as stage 4 since it had spread to my liver and many lymph nodes. During my short window of remission, I sought out mutational testing on my original tumor. I wanted to be prepared in the event I had a recurrence. MD Anderson was able to perform mutational testing on my cancer. Because I had this mutation testing done, I used that information to find a clinical trial that targeted my specific mutation. I opted against chemotherapy when the cancer came back and took a chance on a phase 1 clinical trial. The trial was over 400. miles away and I knew it would be financially hard on my family. Each trip would cost me over $700 and I would be going monthly. This was not an expense our family would afford and I was afraid chemotherapy would be my only option until my oncologist told me about the Lazarex Cancer Foundation helping with my cost of travel and lodging. I immediately contacted them and within a few days I was given an allowance for my trial. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy the process was and how helpful the staff was.
The trial had been a shot in the dark with a less than 5% chance of having any effect on my tumors but in my gut it was right. Within 3 months of being on the trial drug, my cancer shrunk 10%, and within 2 years all of the cancer had disappeared and I am now CANCER FREE!! I am very lucky that the treatment I am on has minimal side effects and I am otherwise living a normal and happy life.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is hard, having to fight cancer far from home on a small budget, is even harder! So many of us are faced this diagnosis and given so few options to fight. I am grateful that the Lazarex Cancer Foundation made it possible for me to find my cure. Without them, I'm not certain I'd still be here today being able to raise my son. THANK YOU LAZAREX CANCER FOUNDATION!!