Ediana's Survival Story
The following story is from an actual patient at The Rose. We have used an alias to protect her privacy.
When I was 29, I felt something strange in my breast and decided to get it checked. The nurse said that I had lumpy breasts due to my cycle and that I was too young to get a mammogram. Another nurse and her actually ended up laughing at me as I left.
The following year my breast turned dark pink and what used to feel like the size of marble now felt like the size of a golf ball. Consequently, I made an appointment with my primary care physician and he immediately sent me to get an ultrasound that changed my life forever.
When the results of the positive cancer ultrasound came back, I thought that my world was falling apart. I was so scared and I felt like I couldn't do anything. I was about to graduate from University of Houston, but I didn’t have a job, insurance and definitely didn't have the money for an expensive biopsy. Breast cancer came at the worst time in my life.
To me, cancer was synonymous with death and I didn't know how I was going to fight it. My physician, however, gave me the best news in the world. He said, 'Don't worry, there's an organization that helps women who don't have the means to get the exams and treatment for this disease, they are very good.' So I patiently waited for my appointment at The Rose, and from then on, it's been an entirely different story.
The Rose—which to me stands for a help for life, a relief of fright and the solution to my problems—was a blessing in my time of despair. It's because of The Rose that I am here telling my story of survival. Thanks to them I was able to get of all my biopsies, mammograms and ultrasounds done at no cost, something I thought impossible before. They gave me faith, the faith I had somehow lost. They made me feel secure and sure that it was all going to be fine. The Rose is that light at the end of the tunnel when you think there's nowhere to go. They guide you, give you hope, counsel you and stand with you every
step of the way.
By the time I was 30, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Type C, aggressive, inflammatory, invasive ductal carcinoma, HER2 positive cancer. When I completed my chemotherapy treatment and had my mastectomy, pathology tests came back cancer positive. I was then put in Stage 4 and treated with the cancer-fighting drug TDM-1. The Rose told me not to worry because everything would be taken care of. The person who took care of my case was a true angel, making sure that I had the best team of doctors to treat my cancer and all the financial support that I needed to complete my cancer treatment.
There are no words to express my gratitude to this group of ladies that will go above and beyond to provide access to proper care and treatment for cancer. To me, The Rose is synonymous with life. Thank you, The Rose. Because of you I am alive. You gave me life, you gave me hope and because of you I can dream and I have a future.
More survivor stories:
"I'm extremely grateful to all the people at The Rose. I had my ultrasound and biopsy done at the Galleria location where I was treated with kid gloves. Everybody was loving and understanding."
survivor, mom, and professional in the hospitality industry
"I am not a survivor of breast cancer; I am more like an extended survivor. I felt the fear and pain when my sister and mother-in-law were diagnosed, knew their anxiety as we discussed treatment options, worried through the treatments, and rejoiced with the news that they were clear of cancer. When it was time for me to start regular screenings, The Rose became more than just a diagnostic and treatment center for those with cancer - it became a place of hope and comfort that provides me and my family with the reassurance that someone is looking out for me as well as for those I love. Each year, when I go to The Rose for my routine mammogram, I do so knowing that as I sign the insurance paperwork, I am not only receiving valuable services that bring security and peace of mind to me and my family, but I am simultaneously helping someone else find that same security and peace of mind that they might not find otherwise."
patient, volunteer, frequent supporter of The Rose
"… when we visited The Rose, Sally, a very sweet girl, attended to us. Sally explained the whole process of what we were facing. In her office while we talking to her, I sensed that she was dealing with many people like me, yet she was patiently focusing on my case. She encouraged us with a positive vision, and she told us that she would let us know what she discovered in 2-3 days. When we came home, we had hope …. As Sally had assured us, in a few days she called and gave me the good news that my case was accepted at MD Anderson. She had found the right program for me to enter."
survivor, mother of three, native of Spain, and now proud Texan
"When I found my lump, I thought it can't be what I think it is. I'd always heard that you didn't need to check until you were 40 and I was 38 at the time. So when we discovered my cancer, I called my three younger sisters and made them all get checked."
survivor, personal trainer, mother of five
"I don't know how this beautiful kind-hearted person was able to make this happen but I do know it was truly God's favor. That day I was able to get a mammogram at a low, low cost, and a breast ultrasound and a few weeks later, a biopsy through sponsorship. The staff was inviting and caring towards my needs, they kept reassuring me everything was going to be okay no matter what the outcome was. I am forever grateful."
survivor who had found a lump and wanted an appointment at The Rose as soon as possible
"I have always been treated with nothing but the utmost respect and was given gentle care each time I have used The Rose. I always refer people to the facility as I think it is the best place to go and the only place I will have my mammogram done."
patient and volunteer
"I can't thank you enough … You helped me get assistance with Medicaid for Breast and Cervical Cancer. The cancer was so hard to go through and not having to stress over the unimaginable financial burden I haven't had to worry over … it's a wonderful program. … It's been a bumpy road but now the worst is over, and I just wanted you to know, I'll never forget you …. You are an angel to me."
survivor, thanking her Patient Navigator at The Rose
"I am a 7-year-survivor of Cystosarcoma Phyllodes, for which The Rose granted me a scholarship to pay for my surgery in June 2005. I just want to give my deepest thanks to Dorothy [CEO and Co-Founder], to The Rose, and to all the staff. Thank you all for your hard work, dedication, and support. Blessings!!"
mother of three who was initially told her cancer wasn't cancer and feels that The Rose validated her as a true survivor
"Being one of the largest employers in Texas, HISD is committed to having a healthy, safe, and effective learning environment. Since 2008 HISD has partnered with The Rose to conduct on-site mammogram screenings. By providing employees with this benefit, it shows HISD cares. The Rose provides fast, convenient and safe screenings."
Alton J. Nash