Story of Hope in Savannah

Helping Women Now is more than just a slogan or hashtag; it’s what you, our supporters, are helping us do, every single day. We recently received this encouraging story from L.M., a patient in Savannah, Georgia, whose life was changed through this support:

I was just like many of you… doing my best to provide for my family and make sure that everything, and everyone, was taken care of.  I was working 3 jobs…never able to look past the next day. I was so busy taking care of today.

As I was lying in bed after work, I felt a lump in my right breast. Memories of my sister came flooding back to me. She was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer at age 39. I watched her go through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She had waited too long…breast cancer claimed her life at age 43.

This would not be me. I went to Telfair Pavilion at Candler Hospital and simply told the receptionist that I felt a lump in my breast. I did not have
insurance. Although I had been working 3 different jobs, none of them offered insurance, and I did not earn enough money to pay for it privately. Telfair Pavilion told me about the mammography fund and provided the application to me that day.

The mammography fund provided me with a breast health nurse and a technologist who performed a mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy. Later, as I sat in my doctor’s office, waiting for my name to be called, I could not stop my mind from wondering, “Had I found the lump early enough, or would it be too late?” I was the last person in the waiting room that day, the last to be seen. My doctor explained to me that the biopsy was positive for invasive ductal breast cancer…my greatest fear confirmed.

I was quickly referred to a breast surgeon and a medical oncologist, where I met the nurse navigator and received a plan of care from a compassionate team of doctors and nurses. I was going to be able to keep my breast and this was good news to me! I felt empowered and started doing my own research to better understand breast cancer.  

After a successful lumpectomy, my oncologist recommended additional testing on my tumor that has not been available in the past. The results of this test showed that I was at high risk for recurrence and that I would benefit from chemotherapy. I completed 8 rounds of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments.  I am now on a daily hormone-blocking pill that will further reduce the risk of a recurrence.  

I am heading into my third year as a survivor. I am not sure what would have happened to me without the mammography fund. I do know that breast cancer has given me the gift of perspective. I don’t rush through life anymore. I am grateful for each day and I am much more aware.  

Please take the time to have a mammogram. It is a simple test that can save your life.

I am just like you… a Friend, a Mother, a Sister, and now… a Cancer Survivor.

Stories like this inspire us to continue to make a difference, and we could not do it without you. Thank you for all you do to join us in Helping Women Now!

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