By KeyHolder: Lori Jo Vest
In August of 2018, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I was shocked, as I had no family history of breast cancer, and somehow, never thought I was at risk.
I discovered it during one of the few self exams I'd ever done and it felt like I was unceremoniously dumped into the long, grueling trek that is cancer treatment. It took about 9 months or so. I was surgery-ed, chemo-ed and radiated. My hair fell out. I felt sick and looked sick. I hardly left the house, except to go to the hospital to get cut, poked, radiated. I was terrified, hopeless, tired as hell and, as my husband said, I lost my "happy." AND I was extremely fortunate, because, by the grace of the angels, I found my cancer at Stage 1. I was able to get a solid treatment plan and receive treatment from the wonderful team at Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Henry Ford Hospital - West Bloomfield.
My prognosis is good and odds are, I'll live a long and healthy life.
I finished treatment two months ago and have been working on nutrition and fitness. My stamina is back, I feel like my old self, and my happy has returned.
In spite of that good news, I learned some lessons I didn't really care to learn. I learned that, in the U.S., having a health crisis like cancer is expensive. Very, very expensive. With many Americans choosing higher deductibles as a way to make high health insurance premiums a bit more affordable, it's a big hit in the family finances. In fact, cancer patients are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy as the general public. The toxic financial stress that many cancer patients experience - right here in our community - is disheartening.
Through Game On Cancer, I've heard stories of a patient riding her bike to chemo for lack of transportation, another who didn't have the funds to buy a prescribed nutritional supplement that wasn't covered by insurance, a patient choosing between a prescription and their mortgage payment, and many more stories of people struggling to endure heavy cancer-related financial stress during treatment.
I count a few cancer survivors in my circle of girlfriends and more than once, I've heard them say that the motto among survivors is "Don't waste your cancer." I've always interpreted it to mean, "Take what you learned and help someone else." Now that I've been through treatment, I think it means, "Help someone else who is behind you in their trek through cancer treatment in whatever way you can."
That's why I'm raising funds for Game On Cancer.
Game On Cancer is a joint partnership between Henry Ford Health System, The Detroit Lions and The Detroit Pistons. The mission of GOC (a joint partnership between HFCI, the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons) is to provide a platform for funding groundbreaking research, enhancing patient care by alleviating barriers or burdens, and by supporting clinical programs that allow for best in class cancer care.
Help me support the these patients by making a donation or joining my team today. The process is fast, easy, and secure. I truly appreciate any support you can provide. It will benefit a great cause.
Thanks so much for your generosity and for joining me in to help patients - right here in metro Detroit. 100% of the funds raised go toward the Game On Cancer mission and I've seen firsthand the many different types of help that Game On Cancer provides.