Sandra always led an exemplary lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise. Coffee was her fuel. She attributed a small lump on her breast to her caffeine intake. (There are very few medical studies of caffeine and breast tissue density, and results are mixed.)
In six months, the lump in Sandra’s breast grew exponentially. What was mild discomfort became throbbing pain. Hugging her grandchildren was physically painful. Fearing a benign, fatty breast lump known as a lipoma, she scheduled an appointment with her doctor.
A mammogram and biopsy later, Sandra received unexpected news: she had breast cancer. The diagnosis was especially shocking to her being that not 40 years old yet, and had no family history of breast cancer. And she had taken such care of her body by staying fit and eating mindfully.
Oncology treatment at the DHR Health Advanced Care Center began quickly after her diagnosis. Sixteen sessions of chemotherapy reduced the size of the mass in her breast. Two months ago, Sandra underwent surgery to remove the cancer completely. Radiation therapy is next to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurring after surgery.
However, Sandra faced a new obstacle: her medical coverage had terminated. “My oldest son had paid for all my bills already,” shared Sandra. Radiation treatment was more than what they could afford to pay.
Her patient navigator advised she apply for funds from the Renaissance Cancer Foundation. “I don’t know how long I would have had to wait to continue my oncology treatment if it weren’t for the Foundation,” says Sandra. “I now have a chance to meet my fourth grandson thanks to the Foundation and those that donate to it.”
Once cancer-free and back at work, Sandra wants to volunteer to help the Renaissance Cancer Foundation. She wants to donate, and support other cancer patients through their journey.
Don’t forget to visit our CALENDAR OF EVENTS for upcoming opportunities to become involved in our mission to help underserved cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley.