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It Took Months For Her Doctors To Take Her Pain Seriously — And Now She’s Fighting For Her Life

In this video, you’ll meet Charlene Gerstner, a woman battling stage IV breast cancer since 2014.

Char talks about the months of pain she endured before her doctors realized that the pain she was in was not due to a cold, but rather, due to her cancer having metastasized to her internal organs and bones. She talks about the hard stuff: being doubled over in physical agony, her debate over whether to even treat the cancer because of the expense, and the bitter disappointment of realizing that cancer had returned almost 10 years after she had kicked her stage II diagnosis.

But she also talks about the joys: the value of relying on loved ones, how staying positive helps her push through, and how continuing to work has helped her not to dwell on her sickness.

“We have listed a Go Fund Me address for Char’s Medical Bills,” her daughter Nicki writes on the youtube page. “However good vibes, thoughts, love and prayers are welcome as well. We wanted to include the Go Fund Me to show women or men and families who are struggling with medical bills that there is a way… as long as you are willing to try.” Her Go Fund Me page is located here.

When Char started speaking at 1:03, I was drawn into her story by the painful clues that were missed by doctors; when she talked about the pain she was in prior to her stage IV diagnosis at 4:07, I teared up; and by the end, I felt fiercely supportive of this incredible woman who has been through so much and is so determined to do everything she can to stay alive.


Our thoughts are with you and your family, Charlene.


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C. Kramer is back in the Mitten State after a brief residency in the Sunshine State. She has an adorable dog-child, and enjoys reading, writing, going to the theatre, and finding pins on Pinterest. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor.