Finding a Surgeon

This story begins on June 30, 2013 when I discovered a lump in my left breast. That day has changed my life forever – some ways good, some ways not so good. If you would like to read the journey about my battle with breast cancer from the beginning, click here.

If you only want to read the post right before this one, click here.

Surviving to Find a Surgeon

choosing a surgeonAs I continue to educate myself about cancer, how to treat it, and ways to make my environment and my body healthier so that I can fight the cancer naturally, Sometimes I come across interesting bits of information.

Let me share one of those tidbits with you now. New research is showing that getting a cancer diagnosis may be as deadly as the cancer itself. This research has shown that suicide and heart-related deaths increase significantly in the week following the cancer diagnosis.

In a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at the psychological toll of a cancer diagnosis and how it impacts the risk for death. After looking at the data of more than 500,000 people who were diagnosed with cancer between 1991-2006, they discovered that the risk of suicide was 16 times higher and the risk of a heart-related death was 27 times higher during the first week following a cancer diagnosis over that of the normal cancer-free population.

I survived to fight this thing. Unfortunately many do not.

Finding a Surgeon

On Friday, August 2nd, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Knowing that I did not have insurance, the diagnosing doctor recommended a surgeon that she knew worked with people in my situation. I called to schedule an appointment and met with the doctor the following Monday.

After looking at the biopsy report, the doctor shared the options that were available to me. I essentially had three. The first was to do a lumpectomy which would be followed by radiation. The second was to remove the left breast. The third was to remove both breasts.

I knew immediately that I was not willing to do the first option because I was not willing to submit my body to the effects of radiation. It did not make sense to use a treatment for cancer that itself was known to cause cancer. I had also read too many things about how the treatment can damage adjoining tissue and organs.

That left a choice between option 2 or 3. I chose option 3, the removal of both breasts called a bi-lateral mastectomy, because I knew that I did not have the finances available for reconstructive surgery; and they (the breasts) might as well match. I also felt that by taking them both, I reduced my risk of developing breast cancer again. I have since learned that that assumption was incorrect. I have discovered that breast cancer can come back anywhere; and I have even talked to someone who developed breast cancer on their back!

So I scheduled the surgery for nine days later. I got the information to contact the lab doing the pathology, the medical group doing the anesthesia, and day surgery where they surgery was to be done.

You heard me right – day surgery! Although a double mastectomy is generally done in the hospital, with an overnight stay to help  deal with the pain issues, I was having the surgery done at a day surgery facility to save money – a substantial amount of money.

I contacted all of groups involved with the surgery and got quotes so I would have an idea how much money I was going to need to cover the surgery and to make arrangements for payment plans. I made sure to let them know that I did not have insurance and was a cash pay patient. The doctor and the pathology gave me a 50% discount because of this.

So the surgery was set and I was ready to go. All I had to do was to come up with the required funds for each of the parties requiring some prepayment. No small task …. Everything was set, or so I thought!


Image attribution: surgeon


Finding a Surgeon — 11 Comments

  1. I am following your journey with interest, Cindy. Breast cancer is a most dreaded decease and I take my hat off for you for having the courage to fight it with a positive attitude. May all your wishes come true. Hugs from South Africa :)

    • Thanks Martie! Thanks for following on this journey. Now I just need to catch up with where I am in the journey. Blessings to you.

      • Cindy, dear Cindy…i read your words with tears in my eyes. I am aware of your fight and include you in my meditation. I am canadian, and – my heart bleeds that not only do you need to survive and deal with the diagnosis – you have to worry about MONEY as well!
        GRRRRRRRR….You know i am VERY UP on american politics, and quite frankly – it sickens whereas it used to interest. People are not important – unlesss that ‘person’ happens to be a huge corporation! I listen to them bash ‘SOCIAL’ medicine in Canada and other places. I CALL BULLSHIT!
        They neglect to mention the ONE IMPORTANT FACT: Canadians now live an average of TWO years longer than Americans…Hmmmm…how can that possibly be considering our shitty medical system?
        The fact that your options narrow considerably because of your lack of funds is…SICKENING(redundant? I think not).
        My heart is with you, and i pray for your speedy recovery! HUGS- tight and warm!

        • Thanks, Leslie! Things are starting to look up a bit. I am a little behind on documenting this journey. But things are starting to brighten a bit. The unfortunate thing that many do not understand … they think that if I had insurance, I would not be having these problems. That is not the case. Insurance would not cover the alternative therapies that I want to use. If I wanted to use chemo and/or radiation, it would be covered … but not the alternative therapies I want to use.
          Thanks so much for your thoughts and concerns. Blessings to you my friend!

  2. Cindy, thank you so much for sharing this very personal story. Blessings and strength to you and your family as you travel this journey………May there be Rainbows at the end…..and you find your pot of gold/restored, radiant health!!

  3. Pingback: What Next ... Reality Begins to Enter the Picture ... Road Blocks Ahead - Growing and Using Herbs

  4. Hi Cindy, I read an article by you on Sea Cucumber. my husband is diagnosed with lungcancer, which has spread to bones and lymphnodes. Sea Cucumber sounds great, but I cannot find it. Any ideas?

    • Thanks so much for reading my article on I also welcome you to growing and using herbs. Not knowing where you live, I did a google search for “where to buy dried sea cucumber” and found that it can be purchased online thru amazon and on ebay. Other sources were also listed. If you live in an area where there are Asian markets or a Chinatown area, you might be able to find it there. I wish you and your husband luck in his fight against lung cancer. I myself am fighting breast cancer. I think when fighting cancer, that diet is a very important part of the battle. Blessings to you both. If I can help any other way, please let me know.

  5. How are things going? Is your cancer responding to your natural remedies? I note you haven’t updated in a long time. I hope things are going OK…

    • Beth, I am sorry about that … I plan to do better. I have been slightly overwhelmed in many ways. I hope to post a new article today. Blessings to you.

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