In 2012, I spent my birthday having a lumpectomy. It was my second surgery for the month, and was followed by a clinical trial and radiation treatments. Happily for me, today, I am cancer-free.
My cancer was found during a routine mammogram. I could not have been more surprised with the diagnosis as no one on either side of my family tree had ever had it.
I was lucky in that my cancer was the easiest type to deal with. I was also lucky that I had a loving husband, supportive boss, great medical insurance, and the means to fund my share of the medical bills.
Reading through my insurance statements taught me the true cost of my cure. It was shocking to see the figures and I wondered aloud to my husband how women without insurance or adequate resources could afford treatment. Sadly the answer often is that they can’t and don’t.
Until my cancer, I had never heard of the Pretty In Pink Foundation. But one night while waiting for a table at Bella Monica, I saw that they were holding a wine tasting and fund raiser for the organization. Intrigued, I looked them up online.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients with quality, life-saving medical treatment regardless of their ability to pay.
The word “journey” is often used in conjunction with cancer and its treatment. I hated that word when it was applied to me. I was fortunate that my brush with cancer truly was a mere side trip. And I am determined to assist others through my support of Pretty In Pink.
My series of “Side Trip” paintings can be seen at www.vlrees.com. A portion of all sales from the collection will be donated to the Pretty In Pink Foundation.