Marlene Braham, 61, had been feeling a ‘toughness’ in one of her breasts for a while. When she relayed this to her doctor, she was advised to do a mammogram.
Six tests later, nothing was detected.
Convinced that something was wrong, she did another test, plunging herself into debt, and that was when she was told that she had breast cancer.
Since then, life as she knew it has been rerouted down a painful and stressful path.
“It (the diagnosis) was frightening … very nerve-racking. I had to do chemotherapy, which took a severe toll on me financially, as I had to purchase the medication for the treatment and I was out of a job at that time. I had lost my job before. I could only depend on God and my family,” the Portmore, St Catherine resident said.
After doing the treatment, she did surgery to remove the affected breast.
“I suffered during the time of the treatment, hair loss, weight loss. I lost my fingernails, my facial features changed, I couldn’t taste my food. I depleted all my resources as a result of the treatment,” she said.
Her health situation also affected her involvement in her children’s lives.
“I have three children, one is 21 and my twins are 32. My daughter was just about to go to college and I couldn’t assist her. It was very rough,” said Braham.
But after all of that, the cancer has now returned in both her breasts and also in her lungs, further terrifying Braham.
“I will have to do another round of chemo, which I am dreading. I was advised that if I complete this round of chemo and the cancer progresses, there is nothing more that can be done for me. I was told about a new treatment known as immunotherapy that has been successfully used to treat patients with advanced stages of cancer, giving them a chance of hope,” she said hopefully.
However, she falls short with the financing aspect.
“The treatment is considerably expensive, and I do not have the funds to pay for the treatment or the trip to Mexico to complete the treatment. I am seeking assistance from any person who is willing to assist by contributing whatever you can to help me to have a chance at life and to continue to fight this battle. Any contribution, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated,” she said.
Anyone seeking to assist Braham can contact her at 876-727-3602 or 876-422-8515.
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