I am honored to be dancing for the Pink Fund Raiser:
Here’s the short version of “My Story”.
On July 8th 2010, I walked into a place that I never thought I would be: the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), Robert Wood Johnson, New Brunswick. The moment I walked into the CINJ I knew it was true, but I still could not believe it was happening to me. For the most part, I thought I was fairly healthy. I ate well, and while I’d been exercising less, I knew I would get back to working out some day.
My appointment was at 1:00 pm with Dr. Liz Berg. There, I was introduced to Dr. Kearney, the surgeon that would examine me for further testing of the Palpable Lump (2.3 cm x 3.2 cm x 2.9 cm situated in the 7:00 position). Dr. Kearney did a needle biopsy and confirmed that I had Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I shook to my very soul and a sadness that I had never experienced came over me.
The first thing I wondered was, “how I will tell my children, and the people in my life that I love and that love me? How will I tell my daughter? If I don’t make it through, who will take care of my daughter, and who will help her stay on a good path?”
I had a million and one things going on in my head. The doctors were talking about all the procedures they were scheduling: tests, tests and more tests. I was being counseled on the difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy, and then chemotherapy (“chemo”). You must understand I have never taken any type of medicine other than during child birth and for common colds. I was scared to death and did not know who to talk to other than the doctors who gave their first and second opinions. So I began to reach out to cancer support groups, seeking support.
There is Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, emergency room coverage for those without insurance, state-supported nursing homes for seniors with no assets, and even organizations that provide free treatment for cancer for a limited time. There are soup kitchens, homes for battered women, and houses of worship that shelter the homeless. But do you mean to tell me that there is NO place in this entire State of New Jersey or the surrounding States where someone with cancer can heal their body without the responsibility of paying a PSE&G bill? . This is unbelievable to me! . . . If a person ever needed a break from it all, this would be the time. . . . How is someone supposed to survive cancer if they don’t have the bare minimum with which to life?
I am completely appalled to know that there isn’t a place anywhere in New Jersey that a woman with breast cancer can go and stay, and not worry about how she will care for herself and her children if she cannot earn money while going through her treatments. Not everyone has a son’s house to go to, not everyone has a husband or family, or for that matter, friends that are willing to open their doors in this time of need. Shame on us for not providing a minimum of support when people’s very lives are on the line. . . Shame on us!
I am dancing, to support the Pink Fund and in admiration of the many survivors and those that did not survivor. I am dancing because it is our obligation to directly impact and empower this community, while adding to the survival rate.
I am grateful to be included in something that is so dear to my heart!
My wish for all the survivors that are dancing and the staff that is facilitating this event, an abundance amount of peace, love and joy!
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