Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Meet Catriona.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Meet Catriona.

This Breast Cancer Awareness month, meet Catriona, an Ohioan who was diagnosed with breast cancer — twice.
“In May 2014, I was diagnosed with stage two triple negative breast cancer. I went through chemotherapy, radiation, and had a double mastectomy. I was told all cancer had been removed and declared in remission—I was excited to move on to the next phase of life! My husband and I got married this past November and together, with our ten-year-old son, life returned to as close to normal as it possibly could. I had checkups every six months and all my scans showed that I was healthy and doing well.
 
This past spring, I had a cough that wouldn’t go away. After being told I just had a bad cold multiple times, I went to an urgent care where they told me I had pneumonia. Two days later, they called me to let me know they saw multiple nodules in my lungs. My gut immediately knew what that meant.
 
I was diagnosed with stage four metastatic triple negative breast cancer in May. Scans showed that I have tumors in my lungs, liver, pelvic bones and femur, and my brain.
 
Sherrod’s colleague, Senator Mazie Hirono, recently said, “This is how a lot of people learn about a serious illness or condition: Out-of-the-blue. Bang. They can’t plan for it. We are all one diagnosis away from a major illness.”
 
There are millions of Americans that rely on the Affordable Care Act — and many of them, unfortunately, will have an unexpected medical bill. Just like Mazie and I did.

At 31-years-old, my doctor gave me a prognosis that I have one to two years left. I’m currently in intensive treatment to try to keep the cancer at bay for as long as I can. But, the thought of dying not of my own volition, but because I’m forced to choose between stopping treatment or bankrupting my family, keeps me up at night. How do you make a decision like that?

In America, there will be an estimated 68,000+ new breast cancer cases in 2017 alone. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and three of those women will be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
 
Sherrod has been a crucial leader in the fight against breast cancer. In 2015, he introduced the Accelerating The End Of Breast Cancer Act, which would have recruited thousands of researchers and doctors to find the cure. He also introduced the Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, which helps breast cancer patients understand all of their options before surgery and treatment. Finally, he understands that access to quality health insurance is crucial for fighting breast cancer.
 
We have a lot of work to do, but the one thing you can do right now is to learn about a cure. Research is paramount and what will ultimately be the key to our survival. Share this post so we can educate as many people as possible about the dire consequences of breast cancer, and hopefully prevent someone from experiencing a story like mine: cancer.org.” — Catriona