Fighting Stage 4 Leiomyosarcoma one day at a time

Hello Everyone,

Thank You for visiting, I initially started this blog to keep family and close friends updated on our journey to Houston Texas, to visit with Dr. Burzynski, a world renowned doctor, who specializes in cancer.

A year and a half ago, MB was diagnosed with stage 4 Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and given no more than a year to live.

MB is only 50, she hasn't seen any of her kids get married or have babies. She still has a thirst for life, three kids and a Husband who absolutely adores her. My sister is 23 and youngest brother only 17. We still need our Mama Bear. If you are, or were, blessed enough to have an MB like mine, who has always loved you unconditionally and supported you, you will know how we feel. Nothing can replace a mother's love. Nothing.

Because MB's cancer is very aggressive, we had no time to waste. The very same day the doctor told us to prepare for hospice, MB and I said, "Fu*k That!", Hospice is a dirty word at our house.We started applying to the Burzynski Clinic as soon as we got home from the doctors appointmet, after 3 days of collecting medical records and sending faxes we were finally accepted.We never took time to think, we just acted. No more than a week and half after we were told to go home and prepare for death, we were on a plane headed to Houston TX in search of life and a second chance. We've left California and our family during Thanksgiving.

Even though the treatment is crazy expensive and we are away from home during the holidays, this is still the best decision we ever made. Sometimes you have to bet big to win big!

We aren't the Kardashians, we are just the Vargas' and we are going through the "realest" hardest battle of our lives...This is our story....If you'd like to start reading from the very beginning click on November, on the lower right hand side of the page and the very first post is the "Adventure Begins"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Bills, Bills, Bills, Can you pay my Medical Bills?!"

We just met her at whole foods and she shared her stage 4 diagnoses with us and says her faith in God has kept her alive.

Christian giving us great tips on how to save money on meds, he's the one paying for his friends treatment!

Another Chance keeping hope Alive

If the Cancer doesn’t kill you, the medical bills will. Everyday my mom is given a new drug I can see her start to sweat, then she starts to cringe, and then the mumbling of the prayers begins. As we wait for the financial advisor I look over at my Mom and say, “Don’t worry, Sadie (that’s our financial advisor) is probably in there making someone else cry but they find a way to pay and so will we!
The very first drugs they prescribe you at Burzynskis you have to buy there, after that you can get prescriptions filled by your local pharmacists and hopefully your insurance can pay for it. Today, my Mom was given an injection for her bone metastasis, One injection once a month is, are you ready for this, brace yourselves, 3,300 American dollars! ONE INJECTION!  This is apart from what she had to pay to get started and that’s not even ¼ of the medication she will eventually be prescribed. Her Blood markers showed that she has a lot of very active HER 2 receptors and will eventually be prescribed Herceptin and that only runs about 500 dollars A PILL, one single pill!
My heart breaks every time we go into the financial office but like I tell my Mom, I don’t need an inheritance I need a Mama Bear! If the treatment works we will find a way to pay, nothing is impossible. There is no way I can let my Mom die because we couldn’t afford it. To break the tension and make my Mom laugh I tell her she better start getting ready to sell some tamales!  
Luckily, we have made some good friends here at the clinic and they have given us pointers on how to get these same drugs cheaper and how to get our insurance company to pay for them.  Even if we get the drugs at a cheaper rate we will still be spending a great deal of money. It looks like we may have to start fundraising at some point but more on that later.
Today we had lunch with Christian from New Zealand, he was telling us how his friend’s insurance company was willing to give her 20,000 towards her treatment but another woman we ran into at whole foods said her insurance company wouldn’t pay for it. The American Insurance system is so screwed up it makes me sick. People are being cured at this clinic but it is still considered experimental by the insurance companies. I won’t even mention the angelic 3 year old we met today with brain cancer, her poor Dad loses sleep trying to figure out a way to pay.
On a happy note, because there is always a happy note, I ran into my old acting teacher from LA that I hadn’t seen in 6 years! He was at the clinic because his sister has stage 4 cancer. My heart broke for her because she’s very young and has a three year old. She has to be in her early thirties, my acting coach is in his mid-30 and I remember having the HUGEST crush on him when I was in his class. Maybe I can convince him to take me to the new twilight movie this Friday! They got here at the same time we did so they will definitely be hanging out with us while we are here ;)
Update on Joe Perez, turns out he is bringing his wife to treatment booo for me YAYA for her. When he told us their story my Mom whispered to me, “Now that’s a HUSBAND!”
 Joe is relatively young and at this point his wife is practically a vegetable, when you see her you think she has a very advanced form of cerebral palsy. Turns out her breast cancer spread to her brain and the doctors told him to take her home and wait for her to die, but like all of us who just can’t accept a death sentence, he brought her to Burzynskis for one last shot and in the 2 weeks they’ve been here he says she’s improved a great deal and has started talking and moving her toes again. Stories like these remind me of how lucky we are that my Mom is still mobile and cognizant, they show the inner beauty and strength in people, and they show that in some cases for better or for worse, in sickness and in health still means something. Shout out to Joe and His lovely wife! And to all you ladies out there, if you can’t picture your Boo wiping your drool or your ass then he is definitely someone that needs to be kicked to the curb with quickness!

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