To get everyone up to date, here's a summary of what's been happening the last few months...
On August 30, 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. For any person at any age, the “C word” is a shocker, and for me at age 34, it was no different! With two small children (Matthew age 3 and Joanna age 2) and a husband who recently stepped out to start a business to meet our family’s needs, this diagnosis has been life changing.
September was full of doctor’s appointments, two major surgeries, and further understanding of the nature of the cancer I am now facing. The cancer escaped to the lymph nodes, and I was told my cancer was stage IIB. The tumor markers showed this cancer to be ER+, PR+, and HER-2+. As more than one doctor put it, “This cancer has everything it needs for aggressive growth.”
Although some blood tests after surgery seemed to indicate things were fine and the PET scan looked pretty good, my doctors and oncologists felt we needed to treat this aggressive cancer aggressively.
With surgery completed, we were faced with treatment decisions. After much prayer and numerous consultations with doctors, we found a clinic in Atlanta that specialized in treating breast cancer using an integrative approach. At this clinic, I could get a specialized chemo treatment as well as intense immune system support. My initial six-week stay there lasted from November 8 to December 17.
Over the next year, we plan to work with these doctors as well as my oncologist in Illinois. I will need to return to Atlanta several times over the next year for maintenance treatments and possibly more intense treatments, depending on the blood work and scan results.
Treatments at the clinic cost around $2,500 per week. At other comparable clinics around the country, these treatments usually average $5,000-7,000 per week. As you could imagine, these costs are beyond our own means. However, we have already seen God miraculously provide, and we look to Him for His continued provision.
We are thankful that God has led us to a clinic where the head doctor is a believer in Jesus Christ as Savior and is unashamed not only to speak of Him to His patients but also pray openly in His name with his patients.
Your prayers for successful eradication of cancer are most appreciated. If the Lord would lay it on your heart to help with our medical expenses, we would be most grateful. Our friends at Herring Consulting have graciously designed and hosted our website and made it possible for people to donate online (see link at top left of page). For those interested in making a tax-deductible contribution, you can contribute here and designate your gift for Melissa Huizinga.