Heather Farr, who tried to make a comeback on the LPGA Tour this year after breast cancer surgery in 1989, has had a recurrence of the disease and will undergo chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
"My breast cancer has returned inside the bone," Farr, 25, said. "There is a spot in the back of my skull and a spot in a back vertebra."
The former Arizona State standout was coming off her most successful year on the LPGA Tour when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 1989 and subsequently underwent a mastectomy.
Following chemotherapy, she received a clean bill of health this summer and was looking forward to rejoining the tour. But she said she had to stop playing in November because of pain in her back and now finds that even everyday chores are becoming difficult.
"I was trying to go back out on tour by the end of January and then my back started hurting," Farr said. "We just happened to do a bone scan, and luckily, because God knows how long it could have gone" without being detected.
Farr said she is hopeful in her fight against the disease.
"They caught it at such an early stage, so that all my organs are functioning perfectly and have no traces of disease in them," she said.
She said she soon will begin about six weeks of chemotherapy at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and then move on to the University of Colorado Medical Center in Denver for the bone marrow transplant.
"A lot of places would not take me because breast cancer bone marrow transplants are very experimental," she said.
Farr's problems are not limited to fighting cancer. She said her medical insurance plan dropped her this fall and she does not know how she will pay for her operation, which, it is estimated, will cost between $150,000 and $200,000.
"We've gone to every attorney in town and obviously no one is going to insure me now," Farr said. "I don't know what to do."