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Hi, my name is Jamie.  I am almost 59 years old. I used to think I was invincible. I raised two wonderful boys that are both Navy vets. I went back to college late in life and have 2 associates, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public health Epidemiology. I had started my Doctrine with the dream to work at the VA here in Florida.

In Dec 2022 that dream came down hard. I had a bug that was going around and turned into bronchitis. Within a month I had Phenomena and struggled through Christmas. On Dec 26th, 2022, I returned to the ER. I was swelling and could not breath. The Dr was very observant and ran an MRI with contrast. I had Non-Small Cell lung cancer stage 4. I had when younger smoked, however this is generally caused by exposure. In my younger years I worked for Levi Strauss as a seamstress. As an epidemiologist I truly believe the NSCLC was caused by the exposure to formaldehyde that was used in textiles on clothes. 

I was transferred to Tampa General. While there I coded 2 times and died on the Cath table. I was finally released after 28 days to go home to hospice. I had lost so much weight I was not considered for treatment. However, prior to leaving the hospital, I recieved my first round of chemo.

I was placed in hospice; however, I was fighting to live. I was able to get my lung reinflated and actually got thrown out of hospice :-). That is very hard to do. I returned to the oncologist, and he ran more test. I made him prove to me I was worth treating. There was a plan. 4 rounds of chemo and 2 years of Keytruda.

I am happy to say the stents in my right lung were removed and the Plum ologist was able to remove the 2 small tumors on the top of my right lung shortly after starting treatments. That lung at this time is cancer free. Over the past year and half, the tumors on the bottom left inside my lung have now shark and disappeared. The main tumor which is on the back of my lung against my heart has really shrunk as well. It is also still in my lymph nodes, but not growing. I have beat the odds and the Keytruda is a miracle. I know at some point it may return, but I am giving all I have. I fight because both of my sons have said” mom you’re the strongest woman we know” You got this. I fight for them my husband and beautiful granddaughter. 

I was featured in the magazine Health Monitor Living.

No description available.

I am very blessed. I have a husband that was my high school sweetheart and we have been married 32 years. He has been so supportive of me through this. At one point it cost him his job to be my caregiver. He is just starting back to work. I am blessed for that as well as being to be me a bit more and not need someone every second.  As i get stronger I hope to be able to help others through their journey.

I am writing this as we have been hit hard. Cancer is a very real financial burden. Period! We now have zero savings for retirement as they have been exhausted for my treatments. It seems it is all we can do to stay afloat, and I sometimes wonder if I should just stop treatment. However, my boys would have a fit. We have had support from family and friends. We are blessed with that. However, Cancer is an ongoing cost. it seems as soon we start to get ahead here, we are again with our out of pocket is back. We are currently making $200.00 a month payment on a balance of $6000.00 that grows more every month. It averages about $1700.00 new expense every 3 months.

I have exactly 10 more every 3-week Keytruda drips and I will have completed the treatment path. I am writing this as I see the stress my husband is under. We have fared well, but he and I are a bit old for the financial burdens as well as the fear he faces of losing me. I guess you could say I am doing this for him. It would be so great to tell him “Hunny the $6000.00 balance is paid and the other $6000.00 coming in before the end of Jan 2024. The completion date of my 2-year battle.  The 200.00-month payments are hard on us and at times we skip buying groceries. We don’t starve, but really skimp. He is the knight in this story, and I am asking for his peace of mind.  I am also attaching the link to the Heath Magazine publication.

Anyone fighting cancer!!!! Don’t give up! Be Strong and learn it is ok to say I need help and even a friendly support system. we are not alone!


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