Health News

The Breast Cancer Diagnosis of a Loved One

My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. We’ve subsequently learned that her type of cancer is “triple negative,” which can be aggressive and spread easily. We are still processing lots of information and sorting through everything but two things come to mind.

First, my mother has access to health insurance from having gotten remarried a few years ago. She was self-employed for several years and simply couldn’t afford stand-alone health insurance (as opposed to employer provided) on her own. After a week of consultations, second opinions, labs and scans, I cannot imagine my mother going through this without health insurance; in the few appointments I’ve seen, there’s a visible difference once my mother shows her insurance card. The benefits of marriage (disclaimer: to a strong, well-vetted partner) cannot be stated enough here at BB&W.

While Mom has yet to undergo genetic testing to determine if she inherited genes that increase the risk of breast cancer, this seems likely given both my grandmother and great-grandmother died of various cancers. Since prior generations were so stoic and didn’t discuss health issues, the cancer in both women was quite widespread by the time they shared their prognosis with family. One doctor mentioned it was likely they both had breast cancer that spread before it was discovered. Had my mother known this, she likely would have been taking different steps much earlier.

I can’t lie, while I am trying to be strong and supportive for my mom, I’m incredibly bummed. My mother has suffered through so much already, and just when it seemed things were finally looking up and this has come along. Please keep us in your prayers/send good vibes our way and feel free to suggest resources below.

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