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Mother of six seeks help in fight breast cancer

Published:Saturday | February 21, 2015 | 2:00 AMHorace Fisher
Fifty-one-year-old Janet Palmer, who is stricken with cancer and has already lost her two breast to the disease.

For as long as Janet Palmer can recall, her life has always been a struggle - playing the roles of mother and father to her six children, putting food on the table, providing shelter for the family, and ensuring that her children go to school everyday.

However, since her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2010, life has become more challenging with the disease claiming both breasts and now threatening to take her out completely - especially if she doesn't find funds to offset the cost of the radiation treatment by next Wednesday.

"I will need to find at least $50,000 by the 25th of this month (February) and, right now, I don't have the first cent to start," 51-year-old Palmer, who lost her job six months ago, told Rural Xpress.

The 19 Miles, May Pen, resident said her duel with the deadly disease began in 2010 after casually checking her breasts and discovering an unusual lump in the left one. The doctors recommended surgery to remove the lump, however, after removing the lump, a biopsy concluded that the lump was a malignant tumour. The breast was subsequently removed.

 

devastating experience

 

She noted that the onset of the cancer has been a devastating experience financially, physically and emotionally on the entire family, especially for her super-sensitive 10-year-old daughter Aaliyah Roach, who is constantly worried that her mother will

succumb to the disease.

"Cancer care in Jamaica is very expensive and can humble the best of us with the financial, physical and emotional costs associated. There are numerous times when I am faced with the decision of buying medications or food for my children, and many times I opted to send them to bed hungry just to get the medications because I can't afford to lose this fight," she indicated.

However, while still recovering from her first run-in with the disease, she again found a lump in her other breast. That lump was removed and to her dismay it, too, was tested positive malignant. As such, her remaining breast was removed in 2013.

With the removal of her right breast, Palmer underwent a series of chemotherapy and is now scheduled for radiation therapy to ensure that all traces of the disease are removed from her body.

"I have been through three rounds of chemotherapy already, but the doctors say because the disease was so close to my chest, I will need radiation treatment to burn the spots ... but I can't find the $50,000 at this time," Palmer lamented.

rural@gleanerjm.com