I fully understand the consequences of "Chemo Brain." I was in remission from Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma diagnosed June 2001 to March 2010. At which time I was diagnosed with Clinical Stage IVB Breast Cancer (T2N1MO bilateral) breast cancer, Multifocal disease, high Ki-67 with sub pectoral and axillary lymphadenopathy, Her2 + by FISH, and Stage III-B endometrial cancer, which were each found to be unrelated to the Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma of 2001.Upon diagnosis with Breast Cancer and Endometrial Cancer, I underwent forty-seven weeks of adjuvant chemotherapy, and thirty-nine treatments of radiation.
Prior treatment that I received for thyroid cancer consisted of radiation only. In pure ignorance, I equated the cancer treatment that I was to receive would be somewhat similar to my prior experience. I understood that I would lose my hair, experience a change in eating habits, have some nausea and sickness, perhaps some tiredness, simply the basic common side effects.
Nowhere did I read that there was a possibility of loss of brain function.
Presently, I am receiving ongoing treatment for Congestive Heart Failure related to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, chemotherapy (“Femara”), and a recent diagnosis April 2014 of malignant Metastatic Papillary Carcinoma. June 2, 2014 I underwent a Modified Radical Neck Dissection wherein twenty-five malignant lymph nodes were removed, and I was just treated with 100.3 mg I131 Radiation.
I have a mass in the right frontal lobe of my brain, “Glass in my Lungs”, and I am unable to process oxygen. Glass is defined as tumors in my lungs. At this time, I do not know more. My decision is to not know more because I am not in an emotional or financial position to endure more than today.
In addition to the harsh consequences of working through such traumatic events, I discovered that my employer had disclosed my confidential health history to customers, employees, and outside third parties, including the medical insurance broker utilized for employee benefits that I “suffered from “chemo brain.” It is my understanding the owner of the company continues to share my confidential health history and present situation with many of the same parties.
To make matters worse, during the latter part of my employment, the company owner offered to provide me administrative leave with full insurance benefits paid for by the company for as long as I needed, according to him so that I have time for my “brain to heal.” I carried the medical and dental insurance for both my husband and me through my employment.
I understood that I was covered by medical insurance. Therefore, I underwent the medical attention that I needed. It was when the medical bills started arriving that I learned that my medical benefits had been discontinued by my employer, and without ever disclosing the cancellation to me. The company also terminated my position.
I have lost most everything in my life because of my cancer and chemo experience.
My experience has resulted in significant emotional and financial loss. I have used all of our savings, 401(k), and IRA funds to pay for counsel and monthly expenses. We sold all our vehicles and we purchased a single used vehicle with over 100,000 miles on it to share so that my husband can go to work and so that I can attend my doctor appointments, and we sold most of our personal possessions trying to survive. We have filed personal bankruptcy, which has required additional legal counsel.
I have no money left for medical bills, prescriptions, groceries, utilities, mortgage payment, and legal counsel (they are unable to provide further legal services without further retainer). We can barely purchase a few groceries.
We have nothing remaining and I have lost hope. I do not know what else to do.
I have lost my self-confidence, my career, and my self-worthiness.