And while insurance companies are willing to pay for the traditional treatments, even though they didn’t work against this particular cancer,
“They would like me to start tomorrow,” Miller said.
The only hold-up is the
“Unfortunately, anything really good for you, insurance doesn’t want to cover,” she added.
“We’re going to blast this out and share it as many places as we can,” Miller said. “We would like to get there by
“We are encouraged by the doctors here, as well as the doctors there, that it would be in our best interest to get there as soon as we can,” she added. “If we can raise the money and be there by
FIRST SIGNS OF CANCER
Miller, 35, is a mother of two, a 9-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. She is a fitness trainer at the
“I found a bump under my armpit,” she said. “I had been working out really hard, lost 40 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. So when I found it, I was encouraged to check it out, never thinking cancer.
“The size was like half a centimeter, nothing drastic, and when I was at my daughter’s preschool assessment medical appointment, our family doctor,
“That was a Monday morning. By Thursday morning, around
Thinking it was a low-stage cancer, the Millers began working toward a cure.
“All through those next confusing weeks and months, I anchored on the fact that God is good, and he made me stronger than I ever thought possible,” she said. “I’m glad I was able to vocalize that the very first day that I found out. As time went on, we were referred to
It was an aggressive form of cancer.
The doctors there recommended chemotherapy that she later learned was not effective, after 11 rounds at
She also had a double mastectomy.
“After all that, I still did not know what stage cancer it was,” she said.
So they went to the
“I found out I have stage 3 breast cancer,” Miller said. “I have two different types of cancer, one is inside (contained) and the other is outside. It is grade 3, how aggressive it is, and three is the highest grade.”
It was at the James where they discovered the type of cancer she has is not responsive to chemotherapy.
DIDN’T HAVE TO DO CHEMOTHERAPY
“I went through all of this because I was fighting for my life, my husband of 13 years, my two kids, and you do the math and add it all up, it’s sickening,” Miller said. “We still have to pay bills for something I didn’t have to do and would have chosen not to do. The doctors at the James said the cancer I have … only 6 percent that chemo would work. I doubt I ever would’ve opted to do chemotherapy if I had known that.”
She wondered how many other people have been put through that hell that they didn’t necessarily have to go through.
“That part has been hard,” Miller said. “The people at the James thought I knew my cancer was non-responsive to chemotherapy.”
She had 30 rounds of radiation treatment that ended at the end of July.
“Radiation burns you from the inside out,” she said. “It cooks you from the inside out. It takes about six to eight weeks to feel like yourself. My recovery requires a lot of rest, which puts a lot of pressure on my family.”
Her faith, along with her family has helped her tackle this.
Ashadee Miller grew up in
Now, we are looking forward to this immunotherapy,” Miller said. “I have done nothing systematically to kill the radical cancer cells, which enables it to spread through the blood stream and into other parts of the body. These radical cells have been in my body a year and I have done nothing to kill them. That’s what immunotherapy will do: kill those free radical cancer cells that are in my body.”
Miller never thought she would have to choose between quality and quantity, but right now, she has chosen quality, and is praying really hard for quantity.
The immunotherapy is three weeks of intensive in-patient treatment in a facility in Tiajuana,
“Once this is done, this is my only chance, and it has me a little freaked out,” Miller said. “After that, we’re not really sure what we’re going to do. We’re doing everything we know possible to lower my risk of reoccurrence. For me, it’s worth it, because I want to live.”