“I tell people about The Singletons all of the time!” ~ Amy, who received help from The Singletons from 2011-2013
As a single mom who worked as an office manager at a veterinarian’s office, with a daughter in high school and a son who was already out of the house, cancer was the last thing on Amy’s mind. But that all changed one November day in 2011. She found a lump the size of a little pea and immediately called her doctor for a screening. The next ten days would tale-spin her into a completely uninvited new world. She had a consultation with her doctor, a radiologist sent her for a PET scan, followed by surgery for a lumpectomy – all within ten days of having found the lump.
After her surgery she had a follow up with her doctor for results from pathology. She knew it wasn’t good news when the doctor handed her a box of tissues as she told her just how aggressive her breast cancer was.
“I don’t need your tissue box, I need a solution” Amy said.
The type of breast cancer she had was so aggressive that in those ten days her tumor went from the size of a small pea to spreading into her breast ducts with the diagnosis of Stage 3 Breast Cancer. Her doctors said if she didn’t get in as soon as she did, her results would have looked very different. She was referred for chemotherapy and radiation, but something felt off.
She soon went for a second opinion where she found out about new blood tests called an Oncotype DX – a blood test that could help give doctors a rough estimate of how effective chemotherapy treatment may be. With her estrogen related cancer, there was only an 8-13% chance of it being effective. She quickly decided to change the course of her treatment with this new doctor and information, which she felt much more comfortable with.
A double mastectomy was completed 30 days after she first found her lump, which had already grown all of the way to her breast plate. She went on a very restrictive diet with no dairy, red meat or sugar. She would later go through a full hysterectomy all with the efforts to keep the estrogen related cancer at bay. She also endured 25 radiation treatments.
A single mom at the time, her thoughts were focused on doctors appointments, paying her bills, and providing for her daughter. She started pet sitting for clients as her doctor had her on a very limited work schedule, but things were tight.
In the spring of 2011, during her radiation treatments, Amy heard about The Singletons. She reached out for help from a list of resources, but unlike many organizations that turned her away, The Singletons were able to fill the gap for her while she recovered.
“I absolutely appreciated the help during treatments then, but now looking back – I can’t even imagine how I could have gone through any of that without them. Even my own family didn’t know how to be there for me. The Singletons were there for me when no one else was.”
She attributes the reason she is still here to three things: her positivity, the early intervention, and The Singletons.
“Staying positive is 90% of the battle and I always tell people about The Singletons. Learning to let go of things – that contributes to my well being. Staying connected and following other moms (and dads) – seeing how people are radiating through things – puts things in perspective for me.”
Amy is now a nearly 10-year survivor and The Singletons supported her family with programs from 2011 to 2013. Her kids are now grown up, and successfully pursuing their own careers. Amy recently bought her first house with her new husband. A lot can change in 10 years, but she has carried the spirit of The Singletons with her. Amy pays it forward by helping others who are going through cancer treatments.
“When I got through cancer, it gave me the confidence to make it on my own. If I could get through that, I can get through anything.”
Since 2006, The Singletons has helped over 700 families like Amy’s. Some things have changed over the years, but our mission has remained the same.
Together we are meeting the needs of today, and providing hope for tomorrow.