It’s no secret around these parts that I’m a breast cancer survivor. It’s a big part of my life, even now that the cancer is gone, and it comes up often enough. And I feel like that’s as it should be, to increase awareness of risk factors and to encourage preventative tests that help catch it more quickly.
But there is a high cost associated with cancer treatment, and I’m not talking about the physical, mental, and emotional cost to those affected and the people who love them, though there is that as well and it is no small thing either. I’m talking about the financial cost.
In 2015, the multiple diagnostic tests, baseline tests and scans, bloodwork, and office visits and follow ups with the breast surgeon and medical oncologist cost me over $2100 out of pocket. Placing the port, which meant a very small surgery, cost me around $500. Six rounds of chemotherapy, a hospital stay, sick visits to the chemo room for fluids and anti-nausea meds, and additional periodic echocardiograms, blood work and office visits meant that I hit my (then) $5000 out of pocket max very early on. That’s not even getting to the multiple surgeries, radiation, and Herceptin treatments and another hospital stay that I had to have in 2016, where my annual out of pocket increased to $6000. Nor does it include the additional surgery, resultant physical therapy, or preventative injections and medications to keep the cancer from coming back that happened in 2017, where my annual out of pocket max increased again to closer to $7000. Not to mention that I have to receive the injections and medications I mentioned in 2017 every year for 5 years. The shot alone costs me my continually increasing out of pocket max each year. And that is just MY out of pocket max…not our family out of pocket max, which we still inevitably hit, because, kids.
I’m one of the lucky ones because I have good insurance and because my husband’s job affords us the ability to pay those yearly out of pocket maxes each year (and for the next 2 years still). But so many don’t have that luxury. Let that sink in for a minute…affordable health care is a luxury.
That’s why when PencoLLC reached out to me about helping them promote and spread the word about their Pink Diamond Top Pens, where $.25 of the sale of each pen goes to a charity that supports those affected by breast cancer with temporary financial assistance, I immediately answered “yes!”
Steven Ford, the founder of PencoLLC has been making stylish and fun pens for all occasions (he has over 30 different styles and something for everyone!), but when a friend passed away from breast cancer, he wanted to make a difference and honor her memory as well. So he came up with his Pink Pens, a special line of his popular diamond top pens in various shades of pink or purple with pink crystal diamond. He partnered with Solano Midnight Sun Foundation to give $.25 from the sale of each Pink Pen or coordinating Pink Pen Bags to this local Vacaville, CA charity.
From the SMSF website, their mission is
to provide assistance and resources to men and women in our local community affected by breast cancer. We offer temporary financial assistance to women who have experienced a financial hardship during their cancer treatments and need help paying for basic living expenses. SMSF also promotes breast health and early detection, providing mammogram sponsorships to under-insured women.https://solanomidnightsun.org
In my recent Instagram post for World Cancer Day on February 4th, I mentioned that we need to do what we can when we can to help with research, preventative care, and to support those who are fighting. So if you would like a fun and fashionable way to support a great cause, please go check out the PencoLLC website and buy the pens that gives back.
For more information on Solano Midnight Sun, how you can help, or how you can receive help, visit their website here.
Until next time, take care of yourself.
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