Living Paycheck to Paycheck with Breast Cancer


When You Can’t Afford Breast Cancer

Hearing that African-American women are dying because they can’t afford breast cancer is devastating. I am very grateful that I was able to afford breast cancer testing, surgery and treatment. I have very good health insurance and my salary is decent. And I don’t live above my means.

Even so, I was not prepared for the never-ending doctors appointments and co-pays. Trying to keep up with the bills was a headache. There were bills from the testing centers, my surgeon, my plastic surgeon, my oncologist, and my physical therapist. Not to mention the amount of time off from work I needed because of complications. Fortunately, my job offers short-term disability insurance, which gave me partial paychecks.

Breast Cancer is Costly

The cost to treat breast cancer can be more than $30,000. There is no true answer to how much treating breast cancer costs because it depends on the type of surgery and treatment received by the patient. For example, my mastectomy cost almost $28,000 but that does not include the cost of my reconstruction and revisions.

In order to pay for breast cancer care, you need a very good health insurance plan, a good income and hopefully savings. But some of my sisters are single parents living paycheck to paycheck, unable to pay for expensive insurance plans. We may also be taking care of our parents and disabled siblings. And if we have a good job with good health insurance, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose your job. In fact, the only way that you are guaranteed to not lose your job while battling breast cancer is if you are lawfully protected in the workplace. 

How can we afford to miss work, pay for breast cancer treatment, and take care of our families?

Help with Breast Cancer Costs

If you are looking for financial assistance, you can start with the Komen Treatment Assistance Program. In upcoming blogs, I will provide other financial resources that I am able to find.

In the meantime, here is a a list of companies offering Free Stuff for breast cancer. Have you received any freebies or financial assistance? Please share with us!

Keep your heads up, my Black & Topless Ladies!

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