For this Allagash woman, driving to treatment was a ‘brand new form of cancer’

Jackie Farwell, Special to The County
5 years ago

Margaret McBreairty of Allagash traveled from one military base to another during her decade of service in the U.S. Air Force and later journeyed to Iraq and Afghanistan to work as a private contractor. But after all that, driving to Boston for medical care was nearly her undoing.

McBreairty, 58, had survived breast cancer, but the disease returned and spread to her bones, sending her into emergency spinal surgery this spring. Multiple return trips to Boston soon followed to treat complications, and McBreairty made the roughly eight-hour trip south every three weeks for five months.

“I absolutely will not lie about it,” she said by phone from her home overlooking the St. John River. “It caused me to lose my damn mind.”

As her doctors attempted to repair leaking at the incision site, McBreairty, who is now unemployed, was forced to cover the costs of gas, tolls and hotels. She estimated it cost her $1,000, on top of her $2,000 co-pay, for all her trips.

“It is stressful,” she said. “I told them it was creating a whole brand new form of cancer in my body.”

To read the rest of “For this Allagash woman, driving to treatment was a ‘brand new form of cancer’,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Jackie Farwell, please follow this link to the BDN online.