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deborahlynn1979

Anna Marie has Breast Cancer

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usmcmom

In situations like Anna Marie’s, in a family where submission is completely expected, how much say does a woman have when facing such an illness? Does she have to defer to her husband on the issues of treatments? Would she even think she was allowed to consider her options and make decisions? So many questions keep coming into my mind.  
 

I can’t imagine how helpless one might feel to face this diagnosis and not have the freedom to make my own decisions about treatment. 

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JermajestyDuggar
9 minutes ago, usmcmom said:

In situations like Anna Marie’s, in a family where submission is completely expected, how much say does a woman have when facing such an illness? Does she have to defer to her husband on the issues of treatments? Would she even think she was allowed to consider her options and make decisions? So many questions keep coming into my mind.  
 

I can’t imagine how helpless one might feel to face this diagnosis and not have the freedom to make my own decisions about treatment. 

The Maxwell females don’t believe in bodily autonomy for themselves or other women. So unfortunately, she might automatically defer to Christopher. I’m just very glad she is not 4 weeks pregnant instead of 36. Because I’m pretty sure she would have put off treatment until viability. 

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FloraDoraDolly
4 hours ago, Dandruff said:

I think they chose to take the approach of the lump being due to pregnancy hormones, because it reasonably could have been.  When they noticed a change they took prompt action.  It still seemed to take a surgeon giving them a "99% cancer" opinion for them to decide to deliver early and treat, which suggests to me that the further development of the fetus was considered of higher priority than the possibility of cancer...until a medical professional laid it on the line.  I can understand them being afraid and can also understand them questioning the probability of it being cancer due to her age.  I wonder how quickly she would have had the lump diagnosed and treated had she not been pregnant.

I found a lump six years ago. I made an appointment to get it checked out, because everyone says that's what you're supposed to do because waiting can kill you. But I had to get a regular doctor's exam first, before I could get a referral for a mammogram. So I went to see the doc and she referred me for the mammogram, but they couldn't fit me in for almost a month. So I got to sit and stew and freak out about it. The doctor who referred me did tell me that my lump probably wasn't cancer, so at least I had that while I waited. I was lucky that when I went in for the mammogram, they were able to give me an ultrasound on the same day instead of making me wait another couple of weeks. It turned out that the lump was just a cyst. I still have it. But I can imagine if I had needed a biopsy or more testing, I would have had to wait another couple of weeks to get that done. So I will give the Maxwells the benefit of the doubt here, because sometimes a diagnosis is a long, drawn-out process. I expect the pregnancy complicated the matter even more.

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nelliebelle1197
6 hours ago, Lalabee said:

I want to clear up some misconceptions about Samaritan's Ministries. My family has belonged to SM since 2013. I'm not sure where some of the posters are getting their information, but it is most definitely NOT a case of "rack up medical bills and hope someone will chip in to pay them". Members are assigned shares each month. We are told the name and medical situation (being treated for pneumonia, having a baby, diabetic complications, etc.) and *required* to send a check to that family. If you don't send a check, your membership would be cancelled very quickly. Yes, just like regular health insurance, there are certain things that SM won't automatically covered (certain medical devices, orthodontists, etc. )and in those cases members can submit it as an extra need and in those cases only, others can contribute if they feel led. 

Clinics and hospitals don't mind giving discounts for cash payments at all. It saves them the trouble of dealing with the insurance company, etc.

And concern about saying no to chemo because of a women's hair?? I can't imagine what the basis for that comment was. Of course not! SM is not some cult telling it's members what to do in specific medical situations. It's a health care sharing ministry with freedom to choose doctors, tests, hospitals, treatments, etc.

I would be happy to answer questions you have. I totally understand where many people would think SM is not for them, but please base that opinion on facts. Thanks! 

I am heartsick for all the Maxwells. No matter the outcome, this is such a devastating journey to walk on. 

Scamaritan and other “ministries” are terrible and states are starting to notice and starting to regulate and even outlaw.  There is no misconception. I personally can read and think critically; I understand what these things are, the purpose of the “ministries” and find them and the type of people who participate... well, this is a anti- fundie snark forum after all. These scams are just another way to reinforce culty Christianity and remove people from programs that could truly help.

Edited by nelliebelle1197
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Ozlsn

It's possible they did a biopsy, the pathology was inconclusive and due to the pregnancy they adopted a "wait and watch" response - checking it regularly for changes, possibly doing additional biopsies. Getting as close to term as possible is not uncommon in these situations - unless there is an urgent reason (ie the tumour is growing rapidly, or showing signs of dissemination) then they will balance the needs of the baby and mother as much as possible. (A friend was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 25 weeks pregnant - due to the tumour type and it being a slow growing one they were able to get to 36 weeks, give her some recovery time and then do the surgery and chemo.) It's possible in Anna's case something has changed (eg pathology) or 36 weeks may have been the goal for a while. It sounds like it may still be a localised tumour, which is promising - hopefully surgery and chemo to mop up any potential seeded cells will be enough. It will still be a drawn out, exhausting process though - I am glad that there is potential help available.

As to whether she has a BrCa mutation or not - if she has no family history of breast cancer it could be a de novo mutation or it could be a really unlucky copying error in a cell. Either way I hope the treatment works.

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frumperlicious

Oh, that’s so awful! I’ve been following the Maxwells since I was giving Terrie’s book when my oldest was 4-5 and I was thinking about homeschooling. She is now 21 and a member here! 
 

the Scamaritan insurance scares me, as the costs for a preemie and then cancer treatment will be huge...I hope the hospital is on it to get them signed up for anything they qualify for. 
 

 

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molecule

I'm sad for her that she has to go through this. Anna Marie is the only Maxwell who looks truly joyful to me (not that I'd wish cancer on any Maxwell instead). She is fortunate to be surrounded by family members who are willing to pitch in and do real work. 

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Waffle Time
mango_fandango

The post says “earlier in the pregnancy”, not a specific point; we have no idea when exactly the lump was found. As @Ozlsn said, results could have initially been inconclusive. 

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OhNoNike
10 hours ago, FloraDoraDolly said:

I found a lump six years ago. I made an appointment to get it checked out, because everyone says that's what you're supposed to do because waiting can kill you. But I had to get a regular doctor's exam first, before I could get a referral for a mammogram. So I went to see the doc and she referred me for the mammogram, but they couldn't fit me in for almost a month. So I got to sit and stew and freak out about it. The doctor who referred me did tell me that my lump probably wasn't cancer, so at least I had that while I waited. I was lucky that when I went in for the mammogram, they were able to give me an ultrasound on the same day instead of making me wait another couple of weeks. It turned out that the lump was just a cyst. I still have it. But I can imagine if I had needed a biopsy or more testing, I would have had to wait another couple of weeks to get that done. So I will give the Maxwells the benefit of the doubt here, because sometimes a diagnosis is a long, drawn-out process. I expect the pregnancy complicated the matter even more.

This happened to my mom recently with a lump as well. First doc blew it off and then by the time she went back to her reg doc and then had to get the referral and all this stuff, it’s been another 3 months.  Her insurance and PCP is all rolled into one. She’s always “loved” that system but I have insurance that is recognized pretty much everywhere (Though an HMO) and I can see Whoever I want without even getting a referral. 

The worst part I think is the waiting and knowing you have this thing growing and not being able to do anything. 

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anachronistic

I have 100% government funded healthcare and I’m one of the luckiest people in the country. It’s called OneCare/Commonwealth Care and is a program in Massachusetts that combines state health insurance and Medicare for people with complicated disabilities. I get so much support from them, and I also have rights. When I wasn’t getting along with my case manager I asked for another one. When I am prescribed a medication they don’t cover I have the right to appeal and so far that appeal has been granted. It’s not as fast as private insurance but the coverage is better, and I’ve developed a great team of doctors who know what they’re doing.

In Scamaritan it doesn’t seem like you have any rights, and you can’t appeal. I think this recent story on them was very good and interesting, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/health/christian-health-care-insurance.html

Scamaritan is for healthy people who occasionally get sick. It’s not for people with chronic illnesses or disabilities, like me. But that seems pretty hypocritical to me because Jesus said, “whatever you do to the least of these you also do to me.” I’m not sure if I’m the least but I’m pretty darn rare - I’m a zebra in terms of medical stuff, and I’m really glad to access a zoo veterinarian and not have to worry about being treated by a cats and dogs veterinarian, if that makes any sense.

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Tatar-tot

This is very sad.  I pray to God she does not listen to these nutty supporters who tell her they prayed over the cancer & it went away.  
Hopefully, she elects the best medical treatment ever and beats this battle.  Cancer is an evil disease.  It takes no prisoners and loves to kill.

My SIL decided to take an unproven treatment for cancer and was dead within a year.  This is not a time to fool around.  

The family needs to focus on getting Anna cancer free and taking care of the children.  I hope they are all prepared for the rough road ahead. 

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meee

Fortunately, it seems the Maxwells aren't against modern medicine. 

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petrushka

The pathology report will probably determine when labor is induced.  As I read into the blog post, it sounded like they were still waiting for that to come through, which says to me that they only recently did a biopsy. Imaging can only tell you so much about an internal lesion.  You have to have a tissue sample to confirm malignancy and if there is any question, additional independent pathologist opinions may be considered.  I initially thought they might induce her in the next day or two, but now I'm not so sure.

I imagine she will have this baby in a hospital or birthing center.  Hasn't she homebirthed all the other children?  This has got to be so overwhelming for her.

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Jana814
1 hour ago, meee said:

Fortunately, it seems the Maxwells aren't against modern medicine. 

Glad for that. Hopefully she gets the right treatment she will need. 

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JermajestyDuggar

Not gonna lie. I’m impatiently waiting for an update. They don’t have any obligation to share anything about this. But I really would like to hear some news on the baby and Anna. But I’m impatient in general. Especially about medical issues. I keep checking the Maxwell blog.

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seraaa
12 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

Not gonna lie. I’m impatiently waiting for an update. They don’t have any obligation to share anything about this. But I really would like to hear some news on the baby and Anna. But I’m impatient in general. Especially about medical issues. I keep checking the Maxwell blog.

Yes. Hopefully they will let us know when the baby is born. 

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Dandruff
3 hours ago, petrushka said:

The pathology report will probably determine when labor is induced.  As I read into the blog post, it sounded like they were still waiting for that to come through, which says to me that they only recently did a biopsy. Imaging can only tell you so much about an internal lesion.  You have to have a tissue sample to confirm malignancy and if there is any question, additional independent pathologist opinions may be considered.  I initially thought they might induce her in the next day or two, but now I'm not so sure.

I imagine she will have this baby in a hospital or birthing center.  Hasn't she homebirthed all the other children?  This has got to be so overwhelming for her.

I'm wondering how accurate the imaging can be without the use of radiation (due to pregnancy).  Perhaps the lump is very near the surface or ultrasound was able to pinpoint where to put the needle for the biopsy?  I tend to agree that they'll wait for the pathology report and opinions from any subsequent consults.

I believe all the other children were born at home and she seems to have remarkably quick and smooth labors.  Some of the delay in delivering could be to get injections to help develop the baby's lungs, since (s)he will be early.  If she hasn't had the baby already then I doubt there will be news today.  It's Sunday.

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raspberrymint

The baby could share Sarah's birthday.  

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SassyPants

Wouldn’t be surprised if the baby has already  been born.

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PennySycamore

@Dandruff,  the baby's lungs should be mature enough at 36 weeks.   At 32 weeks, you may have a problem and at 26 weeks, you definitely will.  @SassyPants, you were/are a neonatal nurse.  What is lower gestational age limit for steroid shots to improve surfactant levels?  I don't think I got them when I was in labor with my 26-weeker. 

Also, while a woman would not ordinarily want to have a mammogram during pregnancy,  the doctor might want to do one if there's a concern about a lump.  They'd likely use a lead apron over her belly sort of like they do during dental x-rays.  

 

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SPHASH
2 hours ago, raspberrymint said:

The baby could share Sarah's birthday.  

Stud John's birthday is tomorrow and Judgy Chelsy's is later this month.  So is Axton's.

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SoSoNosy

I had dense breast tissue that, as I got older, started getting less dense so the cysts started appearing.  The first one was a surprise, I guess, so they had me come back for an ultrasound.  It was weird, the mammogram showed it but the ultrasound couldn't find it; I had to have a wire inserted somehow so the ultrasound could zero in.  Still inconclusive, so I had a needle biopsy; as she looked, she told me it was healthy tissue.  I had to wear a bra constantly for a few days, and was sore, but it was really no big deal.  I hope she has at least had this done.

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MMAH

I know she has homebirthed before.  There are currently no hospitals in Leavenworth that even provide non-complicated L&D care.  I am familiar with the hospital where Chelsy ended up delivering, and they do have a NICU.  However, if it were me, I'd be coordinating care at the University of Kansas Medical Center between the Cancer Center and the L&D Unit.  They have a top level NICU there, and it won't be the first time they have had to deal with a pregnancy/cancer combo.  There are a few other big hospitals in greater KC that can do similar work, but KU is an advanced center under one roof.

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nvmbr02
6 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

@Dandruff,  the baby's lungs should be mature enough at 36 weeks.   At 32 weeks, you may have a problem and at 26 weeks, you definitely will.  @SassyPants, you were/are a neonatal nurse.  What is lower gestational age limit for steroid shots to improve surfactant levels?  I don't think I got them when I was in labor with my 26-weeker. 

Also, while a woman would not ordinarily want to have a mammogram during pregnancy,  the doctor might want to do one if there's a concern about a lump.  They'd likely use a lead apron over her belly sort of like they do during dental x-rays.  

 

Not Sassypants and I do not have her experience, but my sister did have the shots with both her babies (29 weeks and 33 weeks) but my other sister did not at just a day or two past 36 weeks. I don't know what the cutoff is but I am imagine it to be right around the 35-36 weeks mark. 

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PennySycamore

@nvmbr02,  I think that the shots can her given around 28 weeks.  (Wikipedia says as early as 23 weeks, but that was not done when I had Katherine 32 years ago.  The earliest GA then was 28 weeks.)  It might even be given as late as 37 weeks, but infants of that gestational age are unlikely to have severe pulmonary distress requiring ventilation.  I know that they gave Katherine Decadron (dexamethasone) which is one of the drugs that help mature the lungs. but they did not give it to me before she was born.  

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