I’m a stage IV cancer patient. I fight to live, but every day I also fight to breathe. In 2017 I learned that my uterine cancer distantly metastasized from my uterus to my left lung. It didn’t spread, it jumped.
After undergoing a lobectomy, I followed by the standard course of treatment, including six and a half hour long chemotherapy sessions every three weeks. Despite the aggressive treatment and having a lung removed, the cancer kept spreading, now attacking the upper lobe, the pleura and the mediastinum, compromising even more my ability to breathe. Chemo didn’t work and I was told by my doctors that I had 18 – 24 months to live, I sought a second opinion.
The doctors offered me “the last resort” when nothing else works, a new immunotherapy that wouldn’t cure me but it could prolong my life. And if my cancer stops responding to the treatment I am on, there is not another treatment to try. My life shows the need for more research for better early detection, treatment and cures for lung cancer.
While the new treatment I am on has given me more time to spend with my family, including my four children, it has not come without costs. Every year I start with an established debt of minimum $20,000. While I am not cured, as long as I have my infusion every three weeks, my cancer is not spreading. That’s my out of pocket cost to prolong my life and fight cancer. Every day I face the imperative need for quality affordable health insurance, to be able to l access without such an economic burden the quality, holistic care that has extended my life.