It’s been almost 2 years since my diagnosis. In April 2016, I was diagnosed with “incurable” stage 4 metastatic breast cancer with positive Hormone receptors (er/pr/her2 positive). I was admitted to the hospital last year in 2016 just a few days before my birthday in April. The cancer has spread to my liver, lungs, and bones (especially to most of my spine and I also have lesions in my skull). I was hospitalised for 2 1/2 months. I also have spinal compression fractures (which was caused by the tumor growth in the spine). Cancer has weakened the bones in my spine, and makes them prone to fractures. I have fractures vertebrae in T6, T11, T12, L3, L5).
It was a nightmare for me to be hospitalised for such a long period of time. I was bedridden because I was unable to walk at that time. I was in severe pain, which has necessitated me to use steroids and morphine. I received my first chemotherapy treatment in April 2016. I had 4 cycles of chemotherapy. It was awful. I lost my appetite, and felt nauseated for more than a week. In addition, I had one round radiotherapy on my spine. I only had a single round because lying on the metal table used for radiation for an hour was too painful for my back. While I was bedridden, I was catheterized and had to wear adult diapers. I was not able to go to the bathroom on my own. That was the worst experience that I ever had in my life. I literally had to excrete waste, eat, drink, and bathe in my bed. I cried every night. I was alone and depressed. I was surrounded with only walls and a window. I don’t want anyone to imagine how it felt to be in that situation. After rehabilitation, I regained some strength in my leg muscles and was able to walk again with the support of a rollator. I was discharged in July 2016.
In Feb 2017, I had surgery to remove a tumor from my right breast. In my daily life I have to use a rollator and wear a brace/a corset (to support my spine) whenever I walk. In addition to that, I receive bone treatment monthly (zometa- to strengthen bones) and I’m taking morphine daily (for bone pain). I'm not allowed to work, drive, exercise, carry anything heavy, or bend. I can't sit upright (I use pillows to support my back whenever I sit). I also can't walk or stand up for too long. If I do, I will feel sick. In May 2017, I had chemotherapy again as there was no improvement, and my cancer marker kept elevating. My oncologist suggested another 6 rounds of chemo to see how it goes. Therefore, I did all 6 cycles and the next will be a hormonal treatment (herceptin + tamoxifen). Unfortunately, there has been no improvement. However; there's also no progression in other parts of my body.
In December 2018, I was hospitalized once again for 3 months due to breathing difficulty. My heart and lungs were filled up with fluids. I had several lungs fluids drainage procedures and heart surgery. And I had kidney stent replaced which needs to be change every 6 months. At the moment I’m taking chemo pills everyday to control the cancer from spreading.
I’m unable to work at the moment and I need money to pay rent, food and bills. I appreciated it if you could help me with my living expenses. Thank you so so much.