Maria went in to see her gynecologist for her annual well woman exam in May 2015. Little did she know that her world was about to be turned upside down just three months shy of her 30th birthday. Maria noticed a discolored lump in her right breast and brushed it off as it being the color of her undergarments rubbing off on her skin. During her well woman exam, she mentioned this to the gynecologist. The gynecologist took this concern very seriously and quickly did a breast exam and ordered a mammogram. On May 6, Maria was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer.
Maria was uninsured was referred to the Bridge Breast Network for the possibility of treatment. It was decided that under the care of Dr. Robin Young who often provides her services to the Bridge Breast Network, Maria would undergo between 15 to 20 chemotherapy treatments before undergoing a right breast mastectomy and possible radiation treatment.
A social worker’s from the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, referred her to Cancer Care Services since she was uninsured. Cancer Care Services has been able to step in and assist Maria with several of her needs. Maria is currently receiving $300 a month in medication assistance, readily accessible at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Pharmacy. Maria will also receive transportation reimbursement when she begins her radiation. Cancer Care Services social workers have also enrolled Maria and her family to the holiday adopt a family program.
Undoubtedly scared and overwhelmed, Maria and her husband have participated in several of Cancer Care Services Spanish speaking support group meetings. It is through the Spanish-speaking support group that Maria has been able to connect with other women who have been through a similar journey. She has been able to get guidance and feedback from her peers. She has found a camaraderie and newfound “family” with the group.
Maria is not just a breast cancer survivor. She is a devoted wife to her husband. She is an amazing mother to two beautiful precious girls, ages five and nine. She is someone’s mother, sister, wife and friend. She has cancer, cancer does not have her.