I was taking a shower in November 2019 when I noticed an elongated lump in my right breast. I thought maybe it’s an infection. You never want to think the worse. But it just kept growing and growing, and it got huge so I thought it might be time to see somebody.
My problem was I was in between Medicare and having no health care insurance. I was 67 at the time and had taken early retirement a few years before, after working 50 years as a bookkeeper. I didn’t have the means to get my lump checked. A good friend’s daughter worked for Susan G. Komen in West Palm Beach at the time and I got in contact with Komen to see if I could get help or at least get a mammogram.
It all started from there.
Within two weeks, I was put in touch with Fanny Jackson, a patient navigator with Susan G. Komen, who guided me through the entire process of getting a mammogram to completing treatment.
I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. Fanny was by my side the entire time and helped me stay positive, no matter what. She really went above and beyond. I remember she helped me find financial support because I’m on social security and had some really huge co-pays for my care.
And thank God I was able to get help from Komen, too. I think it was $300.00, which paid for my chemotherapy medications one month. Somehow, everything always comes through; but Fanny – Fanny’s always been so great about finding all these things that would help me along the way.
I think what surprised me about Fanny is that I really felt like I had known her all my life. I felt like she had been in my life forever, and always will be. She and I would talk at least once a week during the early days of my breast cancer journey, and even though I’ve completed my chemotherapy, I’m still in contact with her, letting her know good news.
I’ll provide her an update after my lumpectomy and after I complete my radiation. I will have follow-up scans after my treatment is complete and will take hormone therapy medication for the next few years. I’m going to keep Fanny in the loop.