Jayne Rechtzigel, Menomonie, WI

Total eligible bills
$148,988
Provider discounts
$69,352
Total bills shared
$79,636

Too many years had passed since my last mammogram, so I checked the cost of getting one at clinics and hospitals near me. A breast cancer center in Sarasota—though an hour away—charged only $50. The cost was worth the drive. I scheduled an appointment.

To my surprise, doctors were concerned by the results and recommended further testing. More scans and a biopsy confirmed invasive ductal carcinoma.

I had breast cancer.

As I look back on my journal entries and Bible verses I’d read in the beginning days of this scary journey, I realize that God was teaching me to rest in Him, especially as I contemplated my treatment options:

Should I have only the lump removed and undergo radiation and chemotherapy? If I choose a mastectomy, should both breasts be removed or just one? Which type of reconstruction surgery is best?

I felt comfortable with the simplest route: a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. I opted to avoid radiation and chemotherapy, and went to war on cancer in a different way. I changed my diet by avoiding gluten, sugar, soy and dairy. I eliminated chemicals from my home environment and increased my antioxidant intake. I detoxed regularly, took supplements and did what I could on a daily basis to strengthen my body and immune system. (Editor’s note: CHM recommends that for your safety and benefit you always consult with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.)

I also leaned on the experience of others and the comfort of Scripture, particularly Psalm 103:1-3; Philippians 4:7; and Isaiah 41:10 and 13. One book that was particularly helpful was The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer by Hollye Jacobs. It was one of the most illuminating resources to understand my diagnosis from a medical perspective.

After giving the ministry my permission, CHM shared my prayer request amongst members and I began receiving cards and letters of encouragement. Prayers, Scriptures, bookmarks, children’s drawings and more comprised over 130 acts of kindness. I felt humbled, joyful and blessed because of the support, thoughts and prayers from my CHM family. These kind offerings and my faith in God helped me tremendously in my healing journey.

Today I’m in excellent health and grateful for recent blood work that shows no sign of the cancer returning. In addition I’m pleased to say that CHM is much better than other healthcare cost programs. Though it was a little more work to negotiate discounts, I didn’t have to worry about large out-of-pocket costs. In all, CHM shared $79,636 after $69,351 in discounts.

I’ve had several opportunities to share my CHM experience and the lessons I learned with others who were or are just beginning their medical journey. The ministry worked so well and I’m thankful for the prayers and financial help from God’s people.

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