I am a 47-year-old wife and mother of two daughters. I was diagnosed with de novo metastatic breast cancer in the emergency room on Christmas Day 2014 with innumerable mets in my liver and bones neck to knees. I had no warning, except fatigue and some pain.
The ER doctor came in and said: “I’m so sorry, you are 100 % riddled with tumors.” The shock I felt was indescribable. I was in liver failure, and I was told to get my affairs in order. They said I’d likely have a few days, maybe 30, if I’m lucky. I wasn’t ready to die. That sounded too soon to me, WAY too soon. I still had lots of things I wanted to do, to see, to experience.
I asked my oncologist if there was anything at all that we could try. I was too sick for IV chemo and too sick for hormone therapies to work, so oral chemo saved my life. I spent 3 months weeping and crying in my sleep, not getting out of bed, eating or drinking for days at a time. I had so many frightening vivid death dreams. It was a scary experience I will never forget. I spent more time in the hospital than at home, and I hated it. But slowly, the chemo started working. I was able to feed myself, take a bath by myself, get myself dressed, walk; I was able to cook meals, go out for dinner and get groceries. I was feeling SO much better! Each day for a metathriver can have many challenges. Lots of tests, blood work, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, appointments, specialists, palliative care, end of life issues…they seemed to never end. In order to cope with needles, I got a port, which has made everything so much better, and almost no pain!
I am now 33 months into my diagnosis, much longer than I was told I’d live! I am a metathriver who fully enjoys living life, being with friends and family and checking things off my list that I had always wanted to do! I spend much of my time advocating, which is my main focus and passion. Awareness and feel good campaigns have been beaten to death and are a waste of donation dollars. What I’m passionate about is getting RESEARCH dollars for MBC, the only form of breast cancer that kills. We get almost nothing. We aren’t noticed. We are pushed to the side by a big wave of survivors during the pink wave, and we deserved to be noticed, to be acknowledged. These early stagers are afraid. So they ignore us. Thirty percent of “them” will become “us” no matter what they do, no matter what they eat, no matter how many self exams or mammograms they have. It’s an unstoppable cell mutation, and there is no way to prevent it. Not even with a mastectomy. Please, do not blame us anymore. We are some of the most otherwise healthiest women I’ve ever met. Runners, vegan prima ballerinas,
Please, do not blame us anymore. We are some of the most otherwise healthiest women I’ve ever met. Runners, vegan prima ballerinas, weight lifters, dancers…people in prime condition, they still get MBC. It can, and does, kill anyone it touches.
I am still alive, living well and accomplishing things! I am not done. Wven though my timeline said 33 months, I just passed that mark and am hoping to live as many years as I can, with the best quality of life. But without research, the 113 of us a day dying will continue to circle the drain and fall in. Research is essential to our lives! And will help every early stager. Without mets knowledge, there is no breast cancer knowledge. They walk hand in hand. Please help me in trying to spread the word about MBC. Pink ribbons overshadow us, but we matter. We are your wives, your children, your aunt, your grandmother, your sister (and even brother)…we are the dying for a cure.